I am all for people demonstrating in an orderly way to have their voices heard, but when it borders on radicalism and racism, it becomes a move to embolden the extremists in our midst to act. I was appalled to see some of the signs held by some demonstrators, a predominantly white crowd, at yesterday’s 9/12 March in Washington D.C. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) embraced the crowds by saying he was “glad they’re here to take back their country.” He said that the attendees were nonpartisan, adding that “it’s not about President Obama. It’s not about the Democrats.” Wow, really Senator DeMint?
ThinkProgress sent some members to march and the signs carried by these so-called protesters were hardly nonpartisan. Many were downright racist, radical portrayals of Obama, despite DeMint’s claim. Here are some examples of what ThinkProgess saw:
The signs comparing the President Obama to being a communist didn’t rile me the way the signs associating him with Osama bin Laden did. What is upsetting is that this movement of radicals are entangling themselves in the tragedy of 9/11 is what makes this so sickening.September 11, 2001 was the darkest day in American history, but also a day when we must take pride in the heroism of the day, when many gave their lives to save others. That’s why it is repugnant and disrespectful that the tone the 9/12 march took on. Of course, there are many who marched to have their voices heard, but there was an extremist faction that sought to re-appropriate this national tragedy to divide Americans, not to unite us. They claim this was to protest the health care reform, then why hold this event in the aftermath of 9/11? Sorry, but many of these protesters are extensions of the “sore loser” rallies we saw at earlier tea parties and they are 110% partisan.
What is equally sinister and downright disrespectful is the person who wore a t-shirt with “Mississippi Freedom Rider” on the front. That’s a slap to the civil rights movement, when blacks were being killed for no other reason but the color of their skin. That was another dark period in American history. Sorry, but the real freedom riders were civil rights activists who rode buses into the segregated South in the 1960s, knowing that they could be beaten and killed.
Let me end on a portion of an article Paul Begala wrote for the Huffington Post: There was not, to my knowledge, a sign that said, “Let’s Bury Medicare,” even though Medicare is precisely the sort of single-payer, government-run, socialized health insurance the whack-jobs say they hate. Nor did I hear about a sign that said, “Let’s Bury Tricare,” although the military health system is as socialized as Britain’s, its beneficiaries (including, according to Newsweek, Congress clown Joe Wilson of South Carolina) are very happy with their socialized health care. Nary a sign, so far as I know, decried the Bush prescription drug entitlement, even though it ballooned the deficit, enriched the pharmaceutical companies and furthered the supposed slide toward socialism. Nor, I’m told, were there any signs criticizing the $2 trillion Mr. Bush’s unjust, unwarranted, unwise war in Iraq will cost our children and grandchildren. Nor ever a single sign about the Bush tax cuts, which helped squander the Clinton surplus. If this were about fiscal policy, the protests would have happened long ago.