Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Sign Said Come to a Poetry Reading!

This past Sunday I travelled to Washington, D.C. for a reading and it happened to be the day Congress signed a bill regarding health care (the first major bill to address a social program in over fifty years). Walking next to the tea party protesters was rather scary. They shouted about killing, about socialism, and their signs threatened that Texas will one day rise again. The old man is Jewish and I have never feared for his life the way I feared when I walked by tea party protesters. The Republican/Tea Party protesters' message confuses me. One person's sign said: Get Your Government Hands Off My Medicare. Huh? I hate to tell ya, but it's a government program, as is garbage collection, police services, and the fire department. Hmm. Should we cut those programs too? Another protester's sign said: I Love My Country But All I See Is Red. I thought it was kind of clever because all I could see were crazy Republicans too. Their color is red. The old man explained to me that she probably was exhibiting her fear that a health care program would turn our country socialist.

While all this was happening, the largest immigration rally in U.S. history took place Sunday. I felt pretty overwhelmed. The old man and I cheered on the street as the protesters made their way to National Mall. Seeing all those people choked me up so much that I could hardly speak. Rallies in D.C. are so different than other places. People get really fired up. All the health care rallies I went to were pretty tame compared to what I saw on Sunday. When people aren't yelling racial epithets or threatening to kill anyone, seeing people gathered is a very beautiful thing.

I'm sad I found this sign in the garbage:

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