This is when we lost our way. I was in DC the day the House approved the ACA. I went to celebrate at the mall. What did I find? <Thread>
Millions of immigrants rallying for immigration reform were on one end of the mall. I swear, other than one other white woman with pink hair, I was the only white woman in the huge peaceful, respectful, eerily quiet, reserved crowd.
I’ve been to many rallies and this one was attended by more families than I’ve ever seen. And was larger that any I had ever attended. I felt safe and included. The desperation in their eyes was something I’ll never forget.
I didn’t stay long, because I was looking to celebrate our big Healthcare win.
I made my way through the crowd and got to the Capitol area. There I found a few people and one woman holding a sign that said: “I’m a pharmacist and I support Universal Healthcare”.
I saw a group of older white guys with lots of red, white, blue shirts on so thought I’d join them. They were carrying American flags so that’s good, right?
I saw one of those “Don’t Tread On Me’ flags up close for the first time but the guy looked nice enough.
So I stood with this small group of 30 guys and a couple of what I assumed were their wives. I felt save and thought ok here’s the ACA celebration I was looking for.
Then Speaker Boehner came out. I knew for sure it was him when I saw the cigarette. Many others didn’t recognize him so the small crowd was quiet. At first I thought he was just out for a smoke break.
Then about 10 other Members if Congress came out. One was carrying a large sign.
I later recognized him as Steve King. He flipped over the large sign and it was a picture of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A portrait of our House of Representatives Speaker. He then started to slap the picture. The sign moved back and forth as he slapped at it. Majority Leader Boehner continued smoking...
And the small quiet friendly crowd went wild. Flags were waving. Men were laughing. Men were cheering.
I felt their hatred and I was ashamed of it all. I looked for a way out and ran. Ran away and found myself back in the part of the mall occupied by families begging to keep their families together.
I was so shocked at seeing a sitting Member of Congress slapping a picture of the Speaker I wanted to see how it was covered by the media. I went back to the hotel and flipped on the television to see the coverage.
And what was covered on every channel?
The white guys in red, white, blue shirts. Flags waving.
No coverage of a sitting Member of Congress slapping a photograph of the first Woman Speaker in History.
No coverage of millions of immigrants at the other end of the mall begging to keep their families together. It was mentioned but I did not see one image. Not one video.
You know what WAS covered? The 30 white guys. I didn’t know it at the time but I was standing with the Tea Party.
And for me, that was the moment I realized we had lost our way. <end>
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