March 2, 2012

One year ago today at the Wisconsin protests: Meade is attacked by a mob.

This is one of the more disturbing of the videos we recorded last year. Meade was protectively standing by a woman, a Walker supporter, who went into the big anti-Walker crowd at the Capitol to stand with a sign that read "Public workers don't need collective bargaining." At first the woman is confronted, and eventually Meade asks some questions and people turn to him.

I'll start you off a couple minutes in, but feel free to scroll back to an earlier point so you can see how this ugliness develops. Stay for the very end, where an old woman gets up in Meade's face and says "You are a person against all of us. The whole nation is looking at you."



How thoroughly awful and creepy these people were! I hadn't watched this video since I edited it, but I just watched it now. How terrible people were! And I was just reading John Nichols book, "Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street." He assures readers that media talk of thuggery was a lie:
Yes, of course, talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh would condemn the marches and rallies by Wisconsin workers, farmers, teachers, and students as “thuggery,” “mob-ocracy” and “an anti-democratic movement.” Dismissing the protesters as “union thugs,” Limbaugh ridiculed “the same old traditional argument; the rights of working people are being trampled on,” as if the fact that the rights of working people were being trampled on, and had been trampled on for a long time, was rendered irrelevant by the mere use of the term “union thugs.” 
Page 22.
It was not uncommon during the course of 2011 to hear protests by middle-class families and prim-and-proper students dismissed as gatherings “of filthy hippies,” “criminals” and “union thugs.” The truth is quickly sacrificed by those who fear the numbers and the message of protesters against a corrupt status quo.
Page 160.

But there were thugs. Going downtown in our own city to see what was happening, Meade was surrounded by thugs. Watch that video and see how the mob creates its own energy and attains a righteous belief that it can designate a human being as "a person against all of us." And, as we learned later, it was just the previous day that a vicious mob had surrounded GOP state senator Glenn Grothman.

People were losing their humanity:
I see some people descending into irrationality — beginning to form a cultish mentality that demonizes outsiders.... [W]hen they perceive that Meade isn't one of them they flip... into fear. Meade had been trying to talk to them rationally about why the pro-Walker woman might not want to debate her ideas in that setting, and instead of seeing Meade as a citizen who's finding out what's going on and helping 2 women who are surrounded and outnumbered, they spread their "plant" theory. And it's not just a theory. They know he's a plant. 

But he's not a plant. He's a human being. An individual human being. And so are all the protesters, but I fear they are losing their grip on that reality.
Later, Meade defends a monument.

23 comments:

mesquito said...

Gee whiz, Professor.

Wan't that very bad person Ann Coulter's most recent book about just this very thing?

How about reading Demonic rather than John Nichols' no doubt shabby little commie fart of a book?

traditionalguy said...

Cool Hand Meade had the upper hand that day. That's what caused the attacks on him.

garage mahal said...

So....where does the attack part come in the video?

Ann Althouse said...

"So....where does the attack part come in the video?"

At 5:17.

edutcher said...

Remember that.

As mesquito notes, Coulter's book gets a big vindication.

Penny said...

Ouch! My ears hurt!

That whistle blower's mom needs to send him to his room for a time out.

I ♥ Willard said...

Why does Meade refuse to identify himself (3:08), especially after insisting one of the women introduce herself (0:35)?

Ann Althouse said...

"Why does Meade refuse to identify himself (3:08), especially after insisting one of the women introduce herself (0:35)?"

At the earlier point, Meade is protecting a woman who is being confronted, and he invites the couple who has started the interrogation to introduced themselves to her. He's trying to make that a more social interaction to calm things down.

At the later point, a new person suddenly interrupts and says, with no social niceties, but in an accusing tone "Who are you?" This is part of a roiling mob gathering about. Meade says "Who are you?" and she won't answer. If she had moderated and acted social, he would have introduced himself.

You need to see what was going on. There was a huge crowd, growing and threatening, around perhaps 4 pro-Walker people whom Meade had just noticed and wanted to talk to.

See the whole context and you will realize that Meade was standing his ground and not running away, but not trying to wind anyone up.

Carnifex said...

Hijacking here, we just had a bad bout of storms come through. So far 75 tornadoes confirmed. Lots of damage, some loss of life. Went to my sisters, had my sister, wife, niece, nephew, nieces husband, their 4 y.o., and 2 large hound dogs. We came through with nary a scratch, a lot weren't so lucky.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

These people are suffering from PTSD.

A marker of those with endless grievances.

They are to be pitied.

I ♥ Willard said...

See the whole context and you will realize that Meade was standing his ground and not running away, but not trying to wind anyone up.

If Meade wasn't trying to wind anyone up, why was he somewhat tactless in responding to the man who teaches public speaking (4:40) (e.g., I pity your students if you teach public speaking).

Petunia said...

Glad you and yours are okay, Carnifex!

Carol_Herman said...

Did Meade file a police report?

Did a policeman REFUSE to take a police report?

wyo sis said...

This is why the Wisconsin protestors and the OWS protestors are so despised by ordinary people. They are so combative and confrontational. The simple fact of Meade's camera made these people behave like thugs.
Meade did exactly the right thing in standing up to them. There is no such thing as a dialog with a mob. He's lucky he didn't get hurt more seriously.
As a point of law, as you and even the ever-so-disingenuous garage know, an assault is when you touch another person in a situation like this. Meade had a right to defend himself and the woman who was being harassed. I hate the idea that those who don't back down are encouraging violence against themselves. How backwards is that?

Meade said...

Carnifex, ditto on Petunia's comment. Terrible terrible storms. Glad to hear you're okay and hoping all our friends (An Edjamikated Redneck, Dadvocate, et al.) through that part of the country are also okay. So sorry for all who are suffering losses.

Michael The Magnificent said...

The simple fact of Meade's camera made these people behave like thugs.

Cameras are incapable of altering someone's behavior. Thugs will behave like thugs, with or without a camera present.

Richard Dolan said...

"People were losing their humanity."

If so, they were following in a long tradition. I don't know whether college history classes still read George Rude's book (The Crowd in History), but it had a lot to say, along the same lines, about this.

Rusty said...

Carnifex said...
Hijacking here, we just had a bad bout of storms come through. So far 75 tornadoes confirmed. Lots of damage, some loss of life. Went to my sisters, had my sister, wife, niece, nephew, nieces husband, their 4 y.o., and 2 large hound dogs. We came through with nary a scratch, a lot weren't so lucky.


Oh. Boy. Thank g*d.
My wife's people are from around Shawneetown. One roof gone and one house destroyed, but nobody injured.

Wally Kalbacken said...

But this year, you've got concealed carry to help that bash!

sarge said...

sarge here...ppooor ppooor meadie nearly clobbered to death by a old lady or fat old man meadie coulda coulda bin kilt or worse flip destroyed




Now you say you're sorry
For being so untrue
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

You drove me,
Nearly drove me out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember?
I remember all that you said
Told me love was too plebeian
Told me you were through with me

And now you say you love me
Well, just to prove you do
Cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

You drove me
Nearly drove me out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember?
I remember all that you said
Told me love was too plebeian
Told me you were through with me...

And now you say you love me
Well, just to prove that you do...
Come on! Come on!
Cry me a river...
Cry me a river...
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you...

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

"You need to see what was going on. There was a huge crowd, growing and threatening, around perhaps 4 pro-Walker people whom Meade had just noticed and wanted to talk to."

sarge here...oh the horrors

Palladian said...

I'm glad you wear a helmet now, Sarge. A second traumatic brain injury might be fatal.