Looking for Hate in All the Wrong Places

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I’m somewhat sorry to admit that I’ve never actually been to a Tea Party protest. In fact, I’ve never been to any protest at all; they’re just not my style. Oh, I admit that in my younger days, I was somewhat intoxicated by the allure of hippie-dom, but it was all superficial. My first year of college coincided with then-President Clinton wagging the dog in the mid-east, and the ensuing rumors of potential war led to many fantasies of growing my hair long and sitting around burning (my male friends’) draft cards while singing songs from Hair. But then 9/11 came along, and I started answering the few pitiful attempts at anti-war protests with snide comments about whether we should wear our burkas on the way or just change when we got there.

So, especially today, when I wear suits every day and have a professional haircut and a distinguished-sounding pair of letters following my name, I just can’t see myself standing in a crowd waving a clever sign at a protest, even for a cause in which I deeply believe. I’m just plain more of the strongly worded blog post or pointless arguments with my friends sort of gal. But, I do want to join the numbers who are showing their support for this cause, and I do want to be able to say that I took part in something that may prove vital to my children’s and grandchildren’s futures. More importantly, I need to know what it’s like. Friendly reports have made Tea Parties out to be as many wishes and sunshine as the Obama Presidency was supposed to be. The pure pathetic-ness of reports that aim to contradict tends to back this up. But there are contradictory reports as well (although unsubstantiated or just plain wrong), and I can’t say for sure unless I”ve been, with my eyes open.

So, this Thursday, I’ll be tea partying with the best of them. I won’t carry a sign. I never was any good at coming up with clever slogans, anyway (witness the name of my blog), and my handwriting is atrocious. Most importantly, though, I want to ensure that my hands are free for working my camera and a smart phone. I want to document every part of this event. I will be particularly on the lookout for anything that so much as hints at the bad behavior of so many accusations, and I promise to document it to the teeth. I’m not the most outgoing person, but if I see anything that so much as hints at racism or calls for violence, I will make an attempt to speak to the person and find out his or her thoughts. There have been allegations that the not so loyal opposition will be attempting to libel and discredit; this too I will attempt to suss out.

I live in the south, in a truly red district. We are exactly the unenlightened rubes in flyover country that liberals love to loath and scorn. If there’s anything to see, I can’t imagine that I won’t see it. If. I don’t expect to see anything like this, or this, or this, but if I do, you have my word that it will get documented here. Check back for results.

Lyssa Reinders is a recent law school graduate and freelance writer. New Jersey born, she is now quite happily a Tennessee resident, where she works as a law clerk, assisting and advising local judges in preparation for her law career. She has a longstanding passion for debates, politics, good food, and freedom. Reach her at Lyssalovelyredhead.wordpress.com or at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @LyssaLR