September 13, 2009

If anybody at that tea party yesterday was carrying a sign that had any whiff of racism or insanity...

... you can be sure some anti-tea-partyist took a photograph of it and posted it on a blog.

That's the trouble with demonstrations. You're going to be judged by the company you keep. And nothing's going to make it fair and proportionate.

I've tried to be careful with things like that when I've photographed protests in Madison, Wisconsin. I remember very well the time I made a video of an anti-war march:
Here's the peace march that took place today at about 1 p.m. on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. This clip shows the whole length of the parade. Note the man at the front, just behind the banners, who is holding a sign that says "Vive Saddam." (It's the third sign from the right.) The entire clip -- which I shot while walking in the opposite direction -- is about 3 minutes long. It includes a large dove puppet and a large papier maché skull.
I describe the worst guy, but I also show the entire parade and mention some noninflammatory details.


***

I walked down State Street today. The Ironman Triathlon was in town. Here's a picture of the winner just before he crossed the finish line:


Photo by Meade.

The winner was Raynard Tissink. He's on Twitter:
Just won IM Wisconsin. A very tough day with stomach issues, but managed to push through and take the win.
Nice going, Raynard Tissink.

Anyway, we weren't protesting. We were stretching out hands to high-five the Ironman, then skittering over to a café to wash our hands, drink iced coffee, and blog.

We saw no protests on State Street today. The closest things I saw to a protest was an old man wearing a light green T-shirt that had on it the image of Che Guevara wearing a light green T-shirt that had on it the image of Che Guevara wearing a light green T-shirt (and implicitly Che images ad infinitum).

I wish I'd stopped him, taken his picture, and — in the style of The Sartorialist — asked him some questions about what he meant by that.

31 comments:

rcocean said...

You need to do that. Stop interesting people, take their picture, interview them and then post it - so we can judge them.

The Drill SGT said...

The Ironman Triathlon?

Lem said...

He meant that there was a glut of them at the salvation army.

miller said...

It's only fair to judge the protest by the craziest signs, because then we don't have to pay attention to the protest - we can just dismiss it with a pfft.

Ann Althouse said...

@SGT Thanks. Typo corrected.

traditionalguy said...

I still am delighted with the new T-Shirts sold to wear to these Rallies that say,"ANGRY MOB" on them

Joseph N. Welch said...

"Fair and proportionate."

Ha! Like you have ever been that way on this blog!

Invisible Man said...

That's the trouble with demonstrations.

What's the whole thing about, if you travel with dogs you get fleas.

kentuckyliz said...

So, wearing a t-shirt idolizing a murderer is OK because it was cheap?

Talk about dogs and fleas!

BJM said...

It just occurred to me what was missing in the DC march.



WV: delaynati = the Congressional leadership

fred said...

the problem with the teabag protest? unfocused. An anti-war protest, for better or worse, has one big issue As you can note from the signs you warned about, a wide range of "concerns."

http://lookatthisfuckingteabagger.tumblr.com/

and then the misleading news about the size of the crowd? far from even one million let alone the number circulating on the net

blake said...

Actually, given how upset some folks get around here when ONE person disagrees with them, I suppose it must be completely crazy making to have 2 million disagree.

rcocean said...

When it comes to photography Althouse is definitely the better half.

scinfinity said...

So, Obama hanging out in a church with Rev. Wright for 20 years or being friendly with Bill Ayers is immaterial --- but isolated examples bastardizes the entire Tea Party movement, eh?

WV: wisedar --- I am able to tell when other wise people are nearby

bagoh20 said...

I watch that anti-war march with all the "bring them home now" and all I can think is: aren't our guys still there? What happened to the outrage? We elected a Democrat, so never mind?

I thought they were against us being there, but I just can't follow this nuance stuff. I need a flow chart or something.

bagoh20 said...

The majority of those "offensive and racist" signs have nothing to do with race and are quite normal in tone if not subdued compared to most protest signs. Some people really have a thin skin all of a sudden.

peter hoh said...

BJM raises an important point, but I'm not sure if that kind of police presence happens during a typical DC protest march.

peter hoh said...

bagoh20, I agree that the 8 posters/t-shirts shown at the ThinkProgress link are well below the threshold of racism. I'll even give the Confederate flag a pass, as I'm sure that it would have been waved had these folks come up to protest President (Hillary) Clinton's health care proposal.

Not sure if it matters, but I spoke with a vet's mom on Friday, and she was definitely interested in bringing the soldiers home. FWIW, her daughter is already back, and not likely to be redeployed.

LoafingOaf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LoafingOaf said...

The right-wing blogosphere has lied about the number of people who attended the protest, pretending here were over a million and half more people there than really were. They also have attempted to suggest everyone at the demonstration is an example of the finest citizens, all so extremely nice, all employed, etc etc etc.

When the right-wing blogosphere shamelessly lies by wildly inflating the number of people in attandence by, not just a small anount, but adding an extra 1.5 million or more people just for the heck of it, others have to point out it's B.S.

And when the right-wing blogosphere tries to suggest the people at the event are a higher class of people than you find elsewhere, that they are all so nice, so good, so pure, so polite, so normal, so level-headed, etc etc etc, and that furthermore they all have jobs unlike people at other protests, others have to the point out that an awful lot of crazies, extremists, and racists were there.

And not just amongst the crowd, but amongst the organizers of the event. For example, Little Green Footballs has shown that one of the leaders of the event supports portraying Obama as a witch doctor from Africa with a bone in his nose!

How many racists were there? Who knows? But when a Pajamas Media blogger (VodkaPundit) posted reports from the scene to hype up the event against those who were attacking it, he did so by taking calls from the scene from hardcore racist blogger Stacy McCain, someone who actually writes for racist web sites and pals around with white supremacists. If PajamsMedia itself cannot avoid using hardcore racists for their reports from the scene on the streets, it tells me there were MANY nuts at the event.

Which, again, I only say because that propagandist Instapundit and his fellow righty bloggers tried to tell me otherwise.

LoafingOaf said...

The same people who tell me Obama is some kind of best buddy of terrorists and has an administration infiltrated by commies wanna tell me there were 2 million model citizens at the D.C. 9/12 rally, not a nut amongst 'em!

chuck b. said...

We disdained many protests during the 2000-2008 period because we didn't like the politics depicted in pictures of some protesters.

I will continue to disdain whatever I want to.

Kylos said...

Ann, I think you're referring to this onion t-shirt.

phosphorious said...

Wow, this Obama guy must be the WORST PRESIDENT EVER to attract this much hatred.

How did he ever get elected?

Fred4Pres said...

Offensive signs and signing comparing Obama and the Dems to Nazis, while hyperbolic and disrespectful to the office, are not racist.

And I have seen far worse for George Bush. No excuse for it now, but the left can lay off the hypocrisy just a bit.

Now excuse me, I have to get back to my giant paper mache head of Joe Biden.

former law student said...

So where are the pictures of the sane and nonracist protest signs? Surely some of the two million tea partiers must own cameras and cell phones, and must have taken snapshots on Saturday -- where are their pix on flickr?

peter hoh said...

Best Che shirt ever. Thanks for the link, Kylos.

I'm reminded of this New Yorker cartoon.

mcrhoden said...

OMG, those signs are racists!!!!!!!!

BJM said...

You leftie one-note johnnies are becoming a bore.

Eli Blake said...

posted on a blog

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm relieved to know that there was virtually no racism at the tea parties, based on the fact that that was the best that think progress could come up with.

Honestly, do these people even think about how silly they look?

Also, Loafing Oaf, link or it didn't happen.