I was 18-years old when I went to my first demonstration. It was the 1969 March on Washington. It was relatively peaceful, but I was in a restaurant when the police threw in a tear-gas canister. Running out to the street and hearing more commotion down the way, I found myself running towards it rather than away. My testosteroned little soldier boy was ready to run into the heat of the fray and do battle. Turns out nothing much was going on, but it was interesting to note my instinct.
Today is another opportunity to put my body on the line and go confront the Neo-Nazi crazies who have the gall to step into my city. Supported by the Big Looney, all the crazies are coming out of the woodwork and this can’t be good. But I find myself not the least bit interested and thinking of taking a bike ride to read my book in the park and see if I can shop somewhere for an elusive Pyrex measuring cup my nephew broke a few months ago and never replaced.
My reasoning is part-philosophical. These far-Right (and far Wrong) Fascists were scheduled to go rant and rave at Crissy Field and the creative Bay Area folks were thinking of all the different ways to respond, Mostly having a loving/ peaceful/ song-filled gathering in another part of the city. Another creative response were dog owners flooding Crissy Field and not picking up the dog poop! Let the marchers deal with that!.
But the word last night was that the crazies changed tactics and instead arranged (or tried to arrange) a press conference at 2 pm at Alamo Square. (It’s 1:52 now and I can hear helicopters hovering). Hell, I’d like to hold a Press Conference about Music Education, but I guess I have to be more extreme before it would get anyone’s attention. My friend lives right nearby and reported that the police have fenced off the park and all the local stores have closed. And that’s partly my point of view. They want to have a voice, want to provoke confrontation. Let’s aikido them down to the mat, just have no one show up except the police, for once doing their job to curtail the actual dangerous people with real guns rather than innocent black man with perceived guns, have no media coverage, certainly no press conference. They can spew their hate to each other and the rest of us will go on with something called civilization.
So I’m not the least bit inclined to run toward this fiasco, to put my life on the line for something not worthy of recognition. If there’s a rally to impeach Trump, I’m there in a heartbeat, no matter how many police with clubs and armor show up. But I am not going to go down fighting with these nasty, ugly men who don’t deserve the attention they crave. Except to say that if any want to learn how to live without hate in the lead, I’m happy to go talk with them.
I gave this talk to my daughter, who is inclined to show up and I’m nervous about it. But seems like while talking on the phone, she was considering my advice. If ever there was a time to listen to her father, this might be it.