Friday, April 16, 2010

Civics 101

Spur of the moment. Excitement can live there. And fun. And good lessons.

Cassie and Caroline agreed to drop a school friend off at the Tea Party on tax day. The crowd was colorful and lively so they decided to hang around for awhile. It wasn't long before someone handed Cassie a picket sign to carry. Checking out its message and deciding she agreed with it, hoist it she did. Energy ran through her young veins. "I'm protesting! I'm speaking my mind! I'm engaging in the democratic process." It felt good.

Both girls were inspired by all the different types of people there. Not just old, crabby Republicans. 

An old ('she was even older than YOU, Mom!') hippie woman in hippie attire, beads, long gray hair, a big big smile, a picket sign, and encouraging words approached my daughters expressing her joy at seeing young people exerting themselves in the cause of freedom and democracy. The kids LOVED her and thanked her and were inspired by her.

Cassie and Caroline were not surprised that there were - shall we say demonstrative - opponents driving by with upraised fingers and hollered expressions of disagreement. No surprise there. What DID surprise them was the oft-shouted word, "Racist!!" 

"Why did they call us that? I mean, what were we doing or saying that was in any way racist?" 

The Eugene crowd yesterday was simply protesting the wild use of government spending and encroaching governmental power into the lives of Americans. All Americans. I explained to the kids the media's recent splashing of the epithet 'racist' against Tea Party types because of a still undocumented instance during the signing of the health care bill. It was a good lesson in the power of the media to distort, label, and thwart people and their efforts. Sometimes perseverance wins out, sometimes the media does.

Civics 101.

1 comment:

deanna said...

I learned this evening (from Levi, one of the event's "peacekeepers") that the Federal Building's official in charge of events like these thanked and complimented those in charge of the tea party for letting them know a week ahead of time (the guy said no one ever gives such good notice) and for conducting themselves so civilly. A good show of democracy, and politeness, at work!