Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scenes from a Teabagger Counterprotest

Yesterday's "Day of Outrage" rally in Houston was a community wide response to the Texas' legislature's threats to cut vital public services like HIV/AIDS medication assistance and public education. I was late to the rally at Houston City Hall (damn job that pays the bills) so I missed the kerfuffle when a teabagger decked Harris County AFL-CIO president Dale Wortham. The Houston Chronicle reports that Wortham bravely refused to retaliate and that the crowd subdued his attacker. The man, who has not yet been publicly identified, was taken into police custody.

Even though I missed out on the headliner act of teabagger violence and hate I was still able to catch the sideshow, including
  • The teabagger couple who, when LULAC director Herlinda Garcia spoke of how budget cuts would hurt children, rubbed their eyes in the universal sarcastic symbol for "boo hoo", intoned "poor children" and then cackled. They literally cackled at the misfortune of children, like Disney villains.
  • The group of three teabaggers who heckled a prayer delivered by one of the speakers.
  • The middle aged male teabagger who shouted "terrorist" at the top of his lungs through the message delivered by Mustafa Carroll, president of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and a personal friend of mine.
  • The small group of teabaggers, all men, who chanted "Hey, hey, how many queers did I kill today"
  • The young teabagger woman who walked throughout city hall plaza calling everything "socialist": the publicly supported radio station, the booth for the NAACP, the reporter for the Houston Press; all the while oblivious to the tax-payer funded public park she was enjoying the use of.
There was a time when I viewed the teabagger movement as simply uninformed, the result of a culture that neither celebrates or teaches how its government works or came into being. Yesterday was not the first time I had interacted with these violent reactionaries, but after witnessing their vile, racist, homophobic and down-right maleficent behavior yesterday I am reawakened for the need to denounce teabaggery with constant vehemence.

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