Joe at Bessemer Opinions has pictures from yesterday's teabagger rally in Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park, as does Bradford Daly via flickr. I have a few below the fold – forgot my real camera. Joe notes, and I second, the irony of a bunch of over-privileged white people bemoaning their “oppression” on the site of real civil rights struggles. My skin is still crawling from what I saw and heard.
We were treated to a Sarah-Palin-wannabe proclaiming herself a “Christian-American” and railing about the oath to defend our country from enemies “foreign and domestic”. We all know who those domestic enemies are. Lots of talk of “taking our country back”, as if they are the only true citizen patriots of the US. Plenty of caveats that they’re talking about the 2010 elections, but reality is some of these people would relish a coup. Plenty of soul-stirring music about our country turning into the “USS of A” if we don't do something NOW.
The birthers didn’t come out till near the end. One woman wanted support of her birther lawsuits and announced a forthcoming Continental Congress. If Democrats had done anything similar under Bush, I truly believe there would have been arrests for sedition.
The program wrapped up with a plug for a local radio station that carries Rush Limbaugh (half-hearted cheers from the crowd) and Glenn Beck (more enthusiasm from the crowd). They were shilling for Sarah Palin's book signing (even bigger cheers).
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James was in attendance, and I saw quite a few of his campaign signs. None for Roy Moore, but some featuring the Ten Commandments.
There were a couple of African-American speakers on hand in an attempt to defuse charges of racism, but the 99% white crowd belied those efforts with caricatures of Obama and their ugliness toward the largely African-American counter-protesters.
Several teabaggers tried to pick fights, walking past the counter-protesters and yelling at the top of their lungs, “Obama's a communist!” over and over. One (pictured below) did his best to start an argument with the people representing civil rights foot soldiers. He insisted his t-shirt was just a play on words and not a criticism of Obama. Yeah, right.
There were a few people there who were protesting the protesters. The woman holding this sign [it reads “Yes, We Must Have a Public Option] had been denied a procedure by Blue Cross Blue Shield, and now she doesn't have insurance. Her husband was threatened by one of the teabaggers, who told him he could “make him need some healthcare” after making fun of his weight. Classy.
I was on hand for that lovely display as well. The teabaggers were angry because they ran over the time allowed by their permit and the police asked them to wrap it up. Instead of announcing that, one of the speakers said, “They're saying we have to leave,” without specifying who “they” was, inciting the crowd to turn around and roar at the counter-protesters.
As the event wound down, a white man walked by the civil rights banner, smirked, and said to an older black men, “If we didn't leave, would the dogs get called on us?” I'm still trying to pick up my jaw off the ground over that one. Was he just being ugly, or does he really think he has common cause with someone who lived through the dogs, the fire hoses, the bombings, and the assassinations?
More pictures below the fold:
He looks so proud of his bigotry
Nothing like a little eliminationism in the mix