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Rebecca Takes On the Dark Side
Rebecca is under 24-hour protection by guards she chooses herself. Chief Scalia and Hendersen both choose to stay in jail for a while. Anytown lacks the resources to provide full protection for them in their homes. From jail, Scalia is managing a team of Anytown police. This team quickly finds Frank Sarkozi, the owner of the three phones used to call Scalia. He lives in New York and is obviously connected to the mob, but he’s not talking.
Rebecca and Cassidy now realize it was a mistake to have Cassidy at that press conference, but she dyes her hair, dramatically changes her appearance with makeup, then heads for New York. She’s not looking for trouble with the mob. She’s looking above them, to the politicians or captains of industry who use the mob for dirty work.
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Rebecca’s Disloyal Opposition
Rebecca sits straight up in bed. She’s just seen two men doing something under her car and has a strong feeling it’s not just a dream. She lies down, but doesn’t go back to sleep. It’s happening. She knew it would. The forces for centralized power want to nip her resolutionary movement in the bud. She thanks her guardian diety and asks for continued protection and guidance.
After breakfast, she calls her neighborhood mechanic, Mr. Kim. She tells him she suspects her car has been sabotaged and wants him to check thoroughly for every possibility. Mr. Kim comes over and immediately finds a bomb on the oil pan. “I don’t know how to deal with bombs. Do you know anyone you can call?”
Rebecca calls Anytown’s police chief, Anthony Scalia. She tells him briefly that she’s found a bomb under her car and needs someone who can remove it without blowing anything up.
“OK, I’ll have Hendersen there in a few minutes.”
“Chief Scalia, please send Cassidy with him, and please put her in charge. I want her handling this case.”
“Are you kidding? She’s barely been here three years. This is a high-profile case. I can’t let her have it. The whole department’ll be up in arms.”
“Blame it on your stupid, hysterical mayor. Tell your people I threw a hissy fit, which I will if I don’t get Cassidy. I need her on this case, and I believe by the end of this you’ll see why. Please, trust me.”
Josh comes into the office looking tense. “Can I talk to you? I’ll need some time, and I’d rather the conversation not be recorded.”
“Sure, Josh, what’s up?”
“Mr. Bradley and a few others are badmouthing you because of the cameras. You know I am and always will be on your side, but sometimes I think they have a point. They say it’s unnatural to be on film all the time. It’s like a big-brother-is-watching-you kind of thing. Everyone has secrets, even if they’re not doing anything bad or illegal. We all do some things we don’t want others to see. Like this conversation right now. I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong, but I wouldn’t want Mr. Bradley or anyone else in my department to know I’m in here talking like this. You know what I mean?”
“Yeah, I do. And I’ve thought hard about this. I don’t want people to feel like I or the city or even the public is breathing down their neck, or that we’re like big brother looking for signs of dissent. That’s not what this is about.
Resolutionary Government in Anytown
Rebecca is mayor. City bureaucrats are in shock. Instead of writing up plans and proposals, they attend meetings with camcorders. More than 2,000 people showed up for the meeting about privatizing three public schools, so the meeting was rescheduled and held in a high school stadium.
Everyone who had anything to say on the subject was welcome to speak. The company expecting to take over the schools made a presentation. Then another company rose to explain why they would be better. Then the crowd heard from teachers, administrators, students. The meeting lasted from 10am to 10pm, with a few breaks. Ever on the alert for opportunities, the stadium refreshment stands opened and started selling hot dogs and popcorn (but no beer). At the end, nearly everyone was still there, and an enormous audience was watching on their TVs at home.
Rebecca Changes Anytown - 2
Rebecca is campaigning for mayor of Anytown. It’s June 1990, the election is in November. The campaign is going great. Her volunteers now number nearly 500. They have wonderful campaign literature designed by Chandra Milbino and her crew. The volunteers are handing it out door to door, talking to everyone who’ll let them talk.
The most persuasive piece of literature is, as Rebecca predicted, her bankbook. When the campaigners tell folks about her vows of poverty and openness, then display her bankbook, the stiff atmosphere softens.
“Really? She’s doing that?”
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Rebecca Changes Anytown - 1
By the time she graduates, Rebecca has welded her college classmates into a solid body of student activists. The school eliminates house closing, increases wages for employees, including students on work scholarships, and changes the name of the humanities building, which had been named after Andrew Jackson, well known slave-owner and Indian killer. On graduation day, as she walks across the stage to receive her diploma, an enormous cheer goes up, and much of the crowd bursts into tears. In the yearbook, she is “most likely to succeed.” Everyone knows she’ll be impossible to replace, but she’s groomed several underclassmen and women to keep her college in motion.
Encouraged by her college successes, she decides at 21 to run for mayor of Anytown. In fact, she decides to create her own political party and run on that “third party” ticket. So in January of 1988, she calls together a small group of friends and acquaintances to announce her plan to stand for the mayoral election of November 1990.
“You might be wondering,” she starts, flashing that irresistible smile, “why I called you all together tonight.” The group of about 20 people settles down and gets quiet. “I want to start a new political party, and I want to be the next mayor of Anytown.”
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Rebecca Changes Her College
It’s probably hard for young people in 2016 to imagine, but in the early 1980s when Rebecca is in college, many institutions of higher learning still protect their female students with a policy known as house closing.
At Rebecca’s school, girls have to be in their dorms by 11:00pm on weeknights, 12:00 midnight on Friday and 1:00am on Saturday (Sunday morning). A lot of girls don’t mind this. They don’t want to stay out later than that anyway, and it’s a good way to get rid of guys before the witching hour. But in the 80s what nearly all girls cannot handle at all is the fact that the boys’ dorms never close. Boys can stay out all night. It’s only girls who have to be in at a certain time.
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Rebecca Whyte Decides to Change the World
Rebecca Whyte is black. Not just black, beautiful. Not just beautiful, irresistible. She’s not just proud Ethiopian features with a box-office body, she glows. She’s light itself. She can take the dark out of the nighttime, but never turns the daytime black. She’s as warm and lovable as the sun, as subtly illuminating as a full moon. Several decades from now, as Rebecca lies on her deathbed surrounded by friends and family and TV cameras from every continent broadcasting her every labored breath to an audience in the billions, Gaia says, “Maybe you shouldn’t have made her quite so attractive.”
And God replies, “You could be right. But at the time, what with the human family such a degenerate danger to self and others, it seemed like the thing to do.”