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Calvin Freiburger

Hot Post: A Tale of Two Rallies

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Posted on October 10 2010 5:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

Not the only difference between Glenn Beck’s and Ed Schultz’s events…

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful to John Avlon for his Daily Beast profile of left-wing “wingnuts” for a change—he exposes a lot of bias, hatred, and stupidity present at Saturday’s One Nation Working Together rally—but he does so within the context of, well, every group has their bad apples, suggesting that the Left and Right have roughly equivalent levels of extremism.

First, behold the rabid leftist in its natural habitat (protesting):

The signs started off badly as I approached the Washington Mall. “Yes We Can… Bomb Civilians!” read the first sign I saw, held aloft by a 2008 Ralph Nader supporter from Providence, Rhode Island, named Adrian. Behind him, representatives from “The World Can’t Wait” positioned a black-hooded orange-jumpsuited effigy to protest Guantanamo next to signs that read “Stop Occupation and Torture for Empire!”

A pregame rally south of the Washington Monument featured drum circles and papier maché puppets. President Obama was called an “imperialist president” who was insensitive to the “African community” and “the 2.5 million people in concentration camps called prisons.”

“We recognize that the U.S. government is waging the same kind of war—a counterinsurgency,” warned the woman on the makeshift stage “that it is waging against the people of Afghanistan—against the people of the African community right here inside the U.S.”

Damn Amerika’s war on minorities, and every one of its apologists! Like, uh, Bill Cosby. The Left’s racial fear-mongering is old hat by now. I doubt it’d be easy to dissuade the above protester from her hatred, but I would like to ask her: if it’s a counterinsurgency, then what was the initial insurgency to which it’s responding?

The curious migration of anti-Semitism to the left was evident in signs that read “End All U.S. Aid to the Racist State of Israel” and “Fund Jobs, Not Israel.” I cringed as these marchers crowded past a group of World War II vets from Columbus, Ohio, being wheeled to their war memorial as part of the excellent “Honor Flight” program.

The migration of anti-Semitism to the Left? Hatred of Jews isn’t exactly new among anti-war types, and I wasn’t aware it had every been a major part of anything resembling American conservatism.

The crowds mostly wore union T-shirts—tie-dyes for members of SEIU/1199—while UAW members donned straight-forward navy blue shirts that said “Mobilizing for Justice.” Justice is, of course, supposed to be impartial, but in this crowd the word had ideological overtones, as protesters marched past people handing out copies of “The Workers World” and selling The Communist Manifesto next to the collected works of Malcom X.

Signs from the group A.N.S.W.E.R.—Act Now to Stop War and End Racism—dotted the crowd more than any other. Presumably, the attendees didn’t know that this anodyne message came from the group that held an “anti-war and anti-racist rally” less than two weeks after the attacks of September 11th. This is the reflexive left, always indulging a blame America first impulse that creates a stereotype that is used to discredit mainstream Democrats.

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