Robert Knight

If Woodstock in 1969 presaged the free-wheeling ’70s, then Saturday’s massive TEA party rally at the Capitol against Big Government may be the Constitutionalists’ equivalent and harbinger of hope for the next decade.

Or it’s a tsunami of incivility, depending on where you fit into Obama Nation.

The mood was remarkably upbeat as thousands of people peacefully marched from near the White House to the Capitol. Crowd estimates varied widely, with some as low as 100,000 to as high as 1.8 million.

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Upon arriving at the Mall, the marchers swirled around large tents in the middle of the green that housed a different gathering, the 24th Annual Black Family Reunion. There was little doubt that the tent people heavily support President Obama, yet there was no confrontation, no hostility from either side. People said hello to each other and moved on. While some marchers probably were uneasy about the separatism implicit in the title, most probably felt a benign solidarity. At least the event celebrated the idea of family. And the black family has borne the brunt of the liberal welfare state’s experimental horrors. 

This peaceful coexistence didn’t stop the Washington Post from trying to paint a completely different picture. The Post had done a creditable job on Sunday covering the big event on the front page, complete with a color photo of the huge crowd. But the paper’s left knee jerked strongly on Monday.  Here’s the Metro Page One headline:  “Seeking Healing, Seeing Hostility.” And the subhead: “Some at Black Family Reunion Criticize Protests Against Obama.”

Post reporter Yamiche Alcindor dug out some people who reliably equated the protest to outright racism. Vera Hope, a D.C. teacher who reportedly had just “left a booth promoting health prevention (sic),” opined of the rally:  “It’s not conducive to the coalitions we need to build in this country. I’m disgusted and upset by the hostility. Let’s call it was (sic) it is – it’s just a disguise for right-wing racists. They are fomenting a climate of violence to provoke people.”

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.