Minneapolis has been the site of some of the most intense protesting America has seen in a long time. Video shot from amongst the protesters getting hit with tear gas and shock grenades recalls images more familiar in France or Russia than in the United States.
And Rage Against the Machine has done it’s part to incite its fans to protest, as well. They first tried to play an impromptu performance outside the RNC that was dispersed by police. And last night, their concert ended in another spontaneous protest in the streets of Minneapolis.
Take it for what it’s worth. But personally, I think change requires many levels of pressure to accomplish.
Spare yourself the trouble of watching the entire speech, I don’t suppose I’m really going to make it through 26 minutes of Rudy, myself. But check out in his opening remarks the wholly unenthusiastic response to Rudy’s call to arms:
Every four years, we are told that this presidential election is the most important one in our lifetime. This year, with what’s at stake, 2008 is the most important election in our lifetime, and we’d better get it right.
:: tepid, almost apologetic applause ::
MSNBC is reporting today that the RNC appears to be the whitest convention in forty years of record, with only 1.5% of the total delegates being non-honkey. They also note that the Republicans have not elected a black senator, governor or house member in six years.
In fairness to the RNC, I think its safe to say that the delegation reflects as much lack of enthusiasm for the ticket as it does lack of enthusiasm for non-whites. Only the most fervent supporters of the presumptive nominee generally attend the convention. Perhaps it says something about John McCain’s support than about the RNC in general. But either way, since support is generally down for the Republicans, it makes to me that minority attendence would trend down this year. I imagine the same might be true for Democrats in a bad year, though I don’t know for sure.
Then again, since the Republicans have a forty year history of being a somewhat staunchly white party – capitalizing on the Watts riots, deriding “welfare mothers,” purging voter roles in non-white counties, and such – it’s not surprising that there is a lack of minority support. That’s about as fair to the RNC as I can be.
Oh, yeah, and one more thing: they haven’t elected a senator, house member or governor of non-white background at least in part because they haven’t elected diddly shit in the last four years other than a misbegotten president they didn’t want at the convention. So, they’ve got that going for them. . . .
Of course, due to Gustav’s landfall in the Gulf Coast – and the unfortunate track record of Republican response to crisis – the RNC’s first day festivities have been cancelled. In the hall, at least.
And PBS needed to find something to fill in the time that would otherwise have been spent covering the convention. So, what did they pick? Something very similar: the Antiques Road Show.