About a week or so ago, Bill Sparkman was found hanging naked in the woods in Kentucky. The word "fed" was spraypainted across his chest. Now, normally, I would just glance over this story make a sarcastic comment about Kentuckians and go about my day. But this story made me stop and think. Mainly because Sparkman was a census worker.
Starting in the middle of April, I began working for the 2010 Census and it was pretty cool work. Essentially I went door to door throughout Lawrence verifying that the address actually existed and I mapped it. It was pretty decent work and it was honest work. When I got out of Lawrence that's when things changed. In Topeka I met people who feared I was with ACORN or that I was pushing some sort of Obama-ian propaganda on them. We've been doing the census since 1780 so I think that's really out of the president's hands by now. But it was really interesting the huge difference of people I ended up meeting. The more rural I got the more people looked at me very cautiously and I'm pretty sure they thought I was there to cause harm. I actually had it pretty easy compared to some other people who were doing the same job.
One person said that when they drove up someone's driveway (which we are legally authorized to do) the people on the property told her "you sure are lucky that gate was open or else we would've had to shoot at you." What? Shoot? Why? Because they had an oil pump on their land. Another person was told by several nearby neighbors not to go onto this one guy's property because "he's always blowing something up on his land" and that "even the police won't go down there." What? Is this new epidemic of crazy new or is it something that has been around for awhile? We census workers were also warned about deadly animals, snakes and other stuff that could cause harm.
I just find this horrible that someone took their hatred of government (or probably more accurately, Obama's government) too far and killed an innocent man and then humiliated him all to...what? Send a warning? Prove a point? I don't get it. And I probably never will.
On the plus side, the census will know if he was working, where he was working and other things because all that is on the computer we workers were given and those computers have GPS.
You can read a full article on the death of Bill Sparkman here.