The phone rang at five in the morning—an ungodly hour for a consultant. I craned for my phone to make sure it wasn’t a relative calling with an emergency. It wasn’t a familiar number, so I hit ignore and fell back asleep. Then it rang again. I hit ignore. And again. I silenced it and slept for a couple more hours.
When I got up I had several voicemails, dozens of text messages, and even more missed calls. They were all calling, writing, and texting about a free iPod. Sure enough, the status quo’s goons—they call themselves antifa—had posted a Craigslist ad announcing that I was giving away a free iPod to the first person to call or text.
Earlier in the week, they replied to our announced intentions to attend the event “Good luck with that, we’re on to you!”
It turns out we had that good luck. The antifa didn’t bother to show up. This would be puzzling to somebody who actually believed the antifa’s stated reasons for why they make a game out of threatening us and our families. When it actually comes down to it, they’re not against the “fascist” international bankers and “racist” multinational corporations—they’re anti-White. In fact, they’re so primarily anti-White that they’ll even threaten and harass White Advocates attempting to support a popular protest of the international bankers and multinational corporations! For all their pontificating about fighting “fascism,” “racism,” and “bigotry,” I suspect they’ve simply watched so many History Channel re-runs while smoking cheap weed that they imagine Nazi villains are out to get them in Indiana in 2011.
Our experience was peaceful and positive, affirming my suspicion that the majority of the Occupy Indianapolis attendees were fed up with the same corporate and federal abuses the majority of the Tea Party protesters are fed up with. In addition to some sign waving, some marching, and listening to the colorful speakers deliver their colorful speeches, we spent some time asking the attendees to explain what brought them there in their own words:
“Patriot Paul” Wheeler was on hand and in full effect to respond on behalf of the Tea Party. He successfully delivered the Tea Party leadership’s message: We don’t care about unemployment, poverty, or communities in crisis; we just care about riding our “constitutionalism” hobby horse around in circles while the people choke. Initially, I had assumed the “leaders” who had hijacked that popular revolt wouldn’t be stupid enough to step right into the Occupy Wall Street’s “99% versus the 1%” paradigm. Patriot Paul joined the Tea Party blogosphere and the rest of the conservative leadership in stepping right in it. He expressed his heartfelt concern that all this noise on the street could cause indigestion for those 1% who are “comfortable” . . .
Shortly thereafter, I stumbled into a man Jaenelle concluded must be my twin. He was definitely as handsome as me, with an equally keen fashion sense. That’s where the similarities ended . . .
While there must have been stupid liberals in the audience, we couldn’t find too many. Every conservative we spoke to was hostile and stupid . . . peddling their abstract ideological elixirs to an audience who weren’t there to swig some more reductionist platitudes. Of course, their original Tea Party audience didn’t ask for it either. Nobody asked for more neocon warmongering, another helping of Ayn Rand’s lofty libertarian fancies, or an anachronistic blast of 18th century political discourse. They were there because they’re fed up about being pushed around and are struggling to keep their heads above water.
As the speaking portion of the event got underway, it became apparent why we had trouble finding stupid liberals in the audience—they were all on the stage! An elderly man in a wheelchair who’s rightfully terrified about his access to medical care and fearful that his pension will be robbed had to suffer the indignity of being reminded that he’s White and therefore “privileged.” Young people who were trying to figure out where their jobs went had to stand through a bunch of graduate students, professors, and token minority “community organizers” push their Marxism, globalism, and anarchism.
The organizers began the ceremony with an explanation that the whole thing is distributed, with the exception being that White people must file into the back of the lines for speaking and leadership opportunities because of the color of their skin. Nothing that was said there (save for perhaps the declaration that Israel should be wiped off the map!) would have been unwelcome or out of place at an Obama rally a couple years ago. There was little talk of Obama either among the audience or on the stage because to reject him and his message would be to reject what they’re selling and to directly embrace him would drive home the point that they’re falling for the same shtick.
As the speeches droned on, the sense of deja vu was overwhelming: Hoosiers were angry enough to take to the streets to demand real change only to end up with the same hucksters strutting up to the microphone to offer the same tired “solutions.” This is exactly how the Tea Party trip began. Presuming the people don’t wake up, this trip will arrive at the same destination: co-opted by the nearest major party, castrated by lobbying pressure, and enabling politicians who know how to drop the right buzz words while voting for the wrong legislation.
- Our interview of Eric and Sophia was left out of the final cut due to its running a bit long and having some sound problems. It was definitely a thoughtful and thought-provoking dialogue.
- The complete edition of Rev. Mmoja Ajabu‘s interview is also worth your time.