But I would like to say a few words about some guests who did not share the goals of their hosts. The Tea Party must be making an impact because the counter-protesters are becoming more aggressive. On the Boston Common, I was confronted with this ugly scene:
Just as the speeches were getting underway at the Parkman Bandstand, a group of gentlemen from the School Bus Drivers Union, the Steelworkers, and other labor organizations joined us. They muscled their way in between the crowd and the bandstand, blocked the view with a bedsheet, and chanted through a megaphone:
Racist, Sexist, Anti-GayThe noise was intended to drown out the speakers, including the Reverend Paul Jehle, who was attempting to lead the crowd in an opening prayer at the time. This was not an isolated incident. Bill O’Reilly reported similar unpleasantness in Oregon, Arizona, and Wisconsin.
Tea Party Bigots, Go Away!
I originally intended to use this space to express my indignation. After all, if someone shouts down people who are trying to speak, that's a sure sign he doesn’t have any arguments of his own. If someone shouts down people who are trying to pray (and I speak as an atheist) that's a sure sign he's an asshole.
But better writers than me have already made these points. Michael Graham of WTKK Radio, who, as emcee for the event, took the brunt of the union heckling, had this to say:
Boston Tea Party Rally: Goons Vs. God (In all fairness to the union, I think Mr. Graham gave as good as he got. “Shut the Biden up!”).
Instead of complaining, I decided to reach out to the Left. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are, after all, terrible, repulsive things. There’s no place for them in the Tea Party. I’m sure my friends on the other side of the aisle wish to join me in eradicating these evils from our movement. Here’s how you can help: I put together a gallery of the signs I saw, both at the Boston rally and at a rally earlier in the day at the New Hampshire State House. Please look through them and let me know which are the racist ones, which are the sexist ones, and which are the anti-gay ones:
Thank you for your help with this. I know you are adept at finding hatred where the rest of us see only macroeconomics and Constitutional jurisprudence. Once you have satisfactorily explained to us which signs are bigoted, we can be on the lookout for them at future rallies, and ask anyone carrying one to put it down or leave.
Ok, I had some fun with this. I sucked sarcasm dry. But there are a couple serious points in there that I'm sure you picked up on: 1) The Tea Party came together because of concern that the Federal government was spending irresponsibly and trespassing beyond the boundaries set for it by the Constitution. The notion that fiscal sobriety and enumerated powers discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation is ludicrous. 2) I meant what I said above, that bigotry is terrible, repulsive, and evil, so much so that no one should throw around accusations of it without credible evidence. BTW, signs with swastikas that, on investigation, turn out to be carried by counter-protesters, or the unsubstantiated allegation that Tea Partiers hurled racial epithets at Congressman John Lewis do not come under the heading "credible". Please don't bother to bring up the latter incident unless you're prepared to show me video of it.
I would like to thank the (unionized) Boston Police for maintaining order at the rally. By providing a human barrier between the counter-protesters and the Tea Partiers, they ensured that nothing more serious than noise marred our event.
Finally, I want to thank this guy for making the most important point of all:
| T’s don’t have to be loudmouthed thugs to be heard. We just vote vote vote. |