Mob Mentality Spoils Local Tea Party Protest

‘Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned, fools go aimlessly hither and thither, like blind led by the blind,’ from Katha Upanishad Hindu treatises.

Signs reading OBAMA, MOUSOLINI, HITLER flew high in the air with yells of encouragement from other protesters.

‘ALL HAIL THE SAUDI KING IT’S A MOSLEM THING!’ and ‘OBAMA KILLS BABIES’ were given a lot of attention; passersby cheered and honked their horns in approval.

Photos with synthesized images of Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden graced many banners, posters and signs.

We stared in awe of this event while trying to find one coherent quote for our story.’ This turned out to be a lot harder than we thought.

People gathered around a stage listening to random people scream whatever came to mind.

On April 15, thousands across the United States gathered to exercise their first amendment right, frustrated at the current economic standing of our country, at ‘Tea Parties”mdash;a reflection of the 1773 Boston Tea Party that was staged by fed up colonial Americans.

I love a good protest, just to shake things up and let people know that you are unhappy.

That is a special characteristic of our country we should appreciate and exercise.

Earlier that morning, I saw the coverage of Tea Parties in New York and Washington.

Though I did not agree with what they were protesting, I thought it was cool people were getting out and trying to get their voices heard.

A classmate from my journalism class and I decided to cover our local Tea Party.

We prepared ourselves mentally, but upon arriving at the ‘taxation protest’ I realized no amount of preparation could prepare me for the mayhem.

It became clear after the first two or three interviews this was not a protest against rising taxes but an all out Obama grill session’mdash;all they needed were pitch forks and torches.

This was not a protest, but a disorganized mob; misled angry people who needed something or someone to rage against. Obama became their scapegoat.

Apparently in his 86 days, he caused all the turmoil they just now deemed fit to protest.

They clearly didn’t understand years and years of unsavory and irresponsible behavior by the governing bodies and others led to the economic problems we face now.

Yet they all seemed willing to forget the fact that the economy had been falling way before we even heard the name ‘Barack Obama.’

The final aspect of the protest that showed its misguided nature was how hard it was to get some of those in the mob to speak their mind for the public to hear.

If I show up to a protest, I want anyone and everyone to know what I’m there for and what I’m mad about so that they can fix it.

There were people who were repressed by their profession.
Police and school administrators had to keep their views quiet, but there were the people who would scream and shout in a crowd, but once their name was on the line they would remain silent.

‘You should ask someone else’ or ‘No I wouldn’t like to speak,’ they’d say bashfully.

Here’s a word of advice for future reference; a protest is not a place you go to ‘not speak.’

When they have a sudden surge of courage in an angry crowd which is easy to do but don’t have the courage to make their point known to the public that almost always means one of two things:

A) They know they don’t know what they are talking about.

B) They know that they are full of it and they don’t want others to discover that they are full of it.

These Tea Tax gatherings were the biggest display of misled frustration and ignorance I’ve ever seen.

If they focused on taxes, they would have had credibility, and my respect, but calling the president a ‘socialist fascist’ was not the way to get a point across.

History teacher Edward Dziedzic made a good point in the Chicago Newspaper:

‘History lesson. As a U.S. history teacher, I feel I must remind the current-day ‘tea party’ protesters that the Boston Tea Party was not a protest against a tea tax. The 1773 Tea Act gave the British East India Co. (and only that company) a tax break other colonial tea traders could not enjoy. The original Boston Tea Party was a protest against a cozy relationship between a large company and the government. The current protests would have been more appropriate during the last Bush administration.’

The protesters should have looked into that and learned a bit of their own country’s history before they went out on a rampage against the president.

Come on America, we have got to do better.

Nicole Robinson may be reached at

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