Tampa, FL - Smiling faces of all colors speaking total lies about conservatives, calmly telling me that I was a goon for the big drug companies, a racist and a moron. Another told me that if I went to the emergency room without insurance I would get care because "my skin was white" whereas she wouldn't "because her skin was black". I calmly explained that was illegal and if she allowed herself to be turned away, she was not claiming the rights she already had by law.
I had someone violently smack my hand and tell me to "stop trying to poke my eye out with your f**ing finger!". Another person walking down the sidewalk saw a "Don't Tread On Me" flag and said - "Oh don't walk buy them - we might get hit!". Heard another say about a white male protestor "Look at that idiot redneck with the potbelly - he don't know crap".
It's enough to make you angry (along with all the FISHY things that the GOVERNMENT is doing and all the lies told in the media). But I work VERY hard at not showing that anger. I do that purposely.
Why? Well I have a scenario that keeps popping in my head. Because a majority of those (definitely NOT all) who are showing up to protest Health Care Reform and ask questions happen to be Caucasian or Asian - well actually, we're just Americans, but I guess that doesn't matter - I believe we have a real danger emerging as the ACORN and SEIU thugs appear. And it's not violence.
I am going to speak the unthinkable. I was raised in the Northeast and do not have a prejudiced bone in my body. My place of work is in a very poor community However, I am just getting an image of someone catching this scene on camera - I give in and shout "Answer the question!" while black SEIU workers are lining the front of a room and a politician is spouting talking points and not answering any questions. And the photograph would not be pretty.
Most people are not attractive when they yell. Pictures of white people yelling while blacks stand calmly? Not very pretty at all. And, I believe, just what SEIU is hoping to see. Then there will be a reason for violence - because we will be "just like all them rednecks who held blacks down for a hundred years!". Anyway, remember we have a president who does not believe that the Supreme Court has done enough to redress the grievances of slavery. Making us angry is one of the "Rules for Radicals".
Let's not give the opportunity for that falsehood to run rampant. At any event I attend I am simply going to stand silently - whether with a sign or without - and calmly ask a question if I get the opportunity. I will not interact. I will not answer questions. Just stand and represent my country and my fears and hopes for the future.
PS - I will also join the "silent prayer line" movement on Saturday August 15 from 10-12 that has been being promoted on Twitter. They (not sure the originator) suggested doing this at the State Capitol, but local Town Halls or congressional offices would work for those who cannot travel. No debates, no violence - just flags and silent intercession for our nation. No Obama/party directed signs. Make messages about policy, not the president. Anything else is pointless and provocative. Single line stretching as far as it will on public sidewalk without blocking any entries or exits for vehicle or pedestrians.