Last entry; remember ACTIVISM AND BRAVERY TRUMPS LECTURE. GO OUT AND DO IT! peace, out, D.
Cross posted from my blog, The Wild Wild Left (and I was told WWL & DD were the only 2 mentioned on Detroit’s WWJ radio report! 🙂
We parked at Mexican Jones, a small and empty restaurant I worked for at one time, when it was thriving. In the very back of the lot, there was a neglected trellis that lead to the almost invisible path that follows the waterway along the back of the business district to the Mill Pond where the “festivities” awaited.
We could hear the roar of the crowd, and the speakers a mile out. My 10 year old was nervous. “We have to walk through all that Mom? They’ll kill us,” he said laughing, but with the tinges of fear in his voice. I assured him we would be fine, as we came around the bend into the open where our wet footsteps squeaked on the slippery boardwalk that went over the swampy creek leading to the pond.
I opened my video camera as we neared the crowd, and asked him to hold my hand in unity. I told him despite my “Liberal” t-shirt, no one would mess with a Mom holding her son’s hand, told him it would make me safer. That appeased his queasiness at being “almost 11” and holding his Mom’s hand. There were thousands there, and as we approached the outskirts, groups of ten here and five there, their wild-eyed glares, almost drugged, hate-filled ecstasy told me I had to keep him close, keep him safe. He fell for it.
Safe, from these self-acclaimed “Real Americans.”
“Don’t run your mouth, we’re here to report, not fight, Jake,” I warned him. He heard, but couldn’t help but say, “Unbelievable!” when we passed a black woman standing with a sign, standing and cheering the toward the stage from the bridge, not 15 feet from a middle aged businessman, whose sign read, “We don’t want no BaLack Obama.” “Mom why would she support these Republicans, they hate people like her, they’re racists,” his voice rising in the pitch of a distraught youth, whose voice has not yet changed. I saved the explanation that Brighton was chosen for a reason for a later date. Making it in Howell, the National Seat of the Klan for many years was too overt, so they made it 8 miles away in Brighton. They knew what base they were tapping. Hard core racists.
Then we entered the crush, the belly of the beast, circling to the right across from the roped off stage area to our left. A swarm of middle-aged whiteness, dotted with the elderly and swaddled in flags, crosses, fear and rage. A smattering of hard-core skinheads rubbed elbows with them, and were accepted in every quarter like family.
I felt like my Liberal shirt was a Star of David and I was pushing my way through a Hitler Youth rally. Yet somehow, I found myself smiling, and laughing aloud at them. At the sheer fallacy of them.
A Grateful Dead concert could not have been weirder, with the costumes and chanting, yet this was the antithesis of the vibe. These people wanted blood, not elevated consciousness.