Every day on my way to work I drive past our county court house. Once in a while there are protesters in front, demonstrating for or against something. I firmly believe in the right to protest, and I certainly admire those that take the time to stand up for something that they believe in.
I think the largest group I have seen there was about forty people. Most of the time it's about ten, a few times one or two people in lawn chairs with big signs propped in front of their legs.
Here's the problem. I never know what they are protesting about. On t.v. coverage of protests we always see easy to read signs. We have a nice audio of the chanting. In reality, at least here, I only have a few seconds to glance while driving by. If they are chanting, I might here the sounds of their voices, but never what they are saying. And their signs? Never can read them. They might have one word I can make out quickly: "Fight..." or "Stop..." or "Support" but the rest of the words are too small to quickly read. And unlike the televised signage, the signs I see are usually filled with words. Like twenty or thirty words. Not really getting the message across.
I'm not sure what audience the protesters are trying to reach. If it's the few people strolling around that part of town that day, or the employees at the county courthouse then I guess they are making their point. But if they are trying to inform the community at large---the people that drive by--about their beliefs I'm afraid they are missing their mark. It actually makes them look a little pathetic and inept--not smart enough to make their signs big enough or condense their concept into fewer words. This is a college town, and there should be enough educated people to be able to manage that simple feat.
I know that this weekend Glenn Beck, a man who makes his living off driving fear into the hearts of white America, is planning a big rally in D. C.. It's supposed to be remniscent of the march on Washington and giant rally that took place on the same date about forty years ago. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous "I Have A Dream Speech".
Beck's followers are the antithesis of people who support real freedom, equality, and opportunity for all Americans. There are too many of them in this country, and I'm sure they will be out in force. And I'm sure their signs will be nice and big and easy to read, and probably spelled correctly. Perhaps that is the difference between genuine citizen protests and rallies that are backed by sponsors promoting their particular agenda.