Our fight against city hall
continued to escalate. The city council circumvented rules and laws and
ignored the opposing citizens. In fact, outside of public meetings, the
mayor and city council members refused to talk to us at all.
Larry Milton declared, "Anyone who
supports that woman [me] is no longer welcome in the town!"
ProNexus friends of our group stopped speaking to us.
It was hard to get courteous service at
many local businesses.
But it wasn't totally silent.
Jim D'Angelo emailed me one time to tell
me that he would unleash his army of employees upon me. (I have a copy).
I received anonymous death threats and
hate-mail from Nexus supporter/s (It turned out to be at least one relative
of a MLA employee.)
I received harassing comments on my blog.
My 83-year-old mom received obscene phone
calls - and due to her age and health, she was not an active participant in
our fight. They hurt her to punish me.
Those who opposed the Nexus/Onamia MLA
relocation plan were being ostracized. It was getting ugly.
According to Kipling Williams, an expert
in sociology, ostracism and The Silent Treatment are the most cruel form of
social punishment. As a professor of social work at St. Thomas University in
2007, Nexus Board Member was also an expert on this subject, although
according to his website, he specialized in scapegoating (which I'll get to
in a minute).
"When you get the silent treatment, a common form of ostracism, you feel as
if you don’t even exist. There’s no playing field on which to influence the
relationship or situation — you may not even know the nature of the offense.
The imposition of silence is a power play that expresses the ultimate
contempt for the target: as George Bernard Shaw put it, “Silence is the most
perfect expression of scorn.” The one giving the silent treatment — whether
it’s not answering email, turning away in the middle of a conversation, or
pretending not to hear a question — gets to feel control. In not explaining
the cause, the perpetrator delivers particular pain. The message is loud and
clear: “You do not matter.” 1.
So yes, we heard their silence loud and clear. Jim D'Angelo, who had
publicly declared his willingness to "work with the neighbors" was
unavailable except at public meetings, at which he threatened me with law
suits and announced to the crowd that I was the one who caused my mother's
One Nexus supporter lunged for me at a public meeting, assaulting me before
being dragged into the back room at city hall.
None of this came out in court, however. We were arguing about our Motion to
Dismiss due to the Minnesota Anti-SLAPP law. I never had the opportunity to
testify or tell my story to a jury.
1. Parramore, Lynn Stuart, The
Social Death Penalty: Why Being Ostracized Hurts Even More Than Bullying