Bush Haters Rain On Our Local Parade
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 1, 2007
By Mary Grabar
love the parade of the Inman Park Festival, which if it was to have a theme, it
would be "The Parade of Silliness."
It's a procession
of the colorful, first the children, then the dogs, then Kelly's Seed and Feed
Marching Indomitable Marching Band, all in zany costumes marching, walking, and
playing raucous music in a carnival style.
But my delight was
disrupted by a group that was far from cute. They followed shortly after the Indomitable Marching Band,
that motley collection of adults who unleash their inner children. These were the grizzled and
girth-widened carrying signs that repeated all the tired slogans about the
traitorous nature of the current administration, calling Bush a war criminal,
calling for impeachment.
I've heard this so
often that it's boring.
Both my friend,
who is a liberal, and I were annoyed.
We don't discuss politics, and we didn't come out on a beautiful Saturday
afternoon to hear political speech.
Inman Park is an
intown neighborhood of historic million-dollar Victorian mansions. Last year, the
usual procession of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school marching bands, local
political candidates, businesses, and freaks-for-a-day was joined by a group called
"Flowers for Peace." I like
flowers too and often wish that it were as simple as that: Give a flower. Get peace.
old hippies were more emboldened than ever this year to display their juvenile
sentiments, decided to take advantage of a captive audience and ambush them
with their message, which since the November 2000 election has been a variation
on: We hate President Bush.
My question to
them is why do you think I care what your opinion is?
My second question
is what do you hope to accomplish?
Well, I can hear
them sputtering about First Amendment rights.
True, but didn't
your mother teach you manners?
Parties are not the places to make your opinions known, no matter how
firmly you believe in them.
To ask someone to
change her mind on the basis of slogans spewed out with hate is to ask for a
subversion of that process by which we make responsible choices as citizens. People who would change their minds on
the basis of your displays are dangerous.
was this demonstration to show the Bush administration your displeasure?
obviously, they did not see your little parade. Nor are parades in themselves or even public opinion polls
grounds for making foreign policy decisions.
If this was a "symbolic
act," then it was only in your imaginations.
This was not Tiananmen Square, but a gathering of
mostly like-minded folks, a place where gay couples felt free to walk holding
hands among the overwhelmingly white crowd scooping up pricey arts and crafts,
and beer and food at the booths.
can imagine these protestors later putting away the effigies and signs,
congratulating each other, "Yeah, we told them! We did our part."
of these same protestors are teachers and wonder why children have no respect
for authority. As they inflict
their negative slogans of hatred, they show also contempt for the office of
Clearly, these middle-aged
narcissists need a cause. One of
the best ways to escape narcissism is to go outside oneself, do something for
others or for the community.
I suggest they
help plant trees with the Trees Atlanta contingent of the parade.
I want to make
sure that when I can afford one of those big Victorian houses in Inman Park
there will be plenty of trees around me.