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Glenn Beck’s Whitestock: Boring and - Yep – White

Reported by Alex - August 29, 2010 -

The verdict is in: Glenn Beck’s “Restore Honor” rally yesterday in Washington, D.C, was one big snooze fest, so dull that even some of the cops left early. And the event, dubbed “Whitestock” in an early Tweet yesterday, was – you guessed it – 99.99% white. Fortunately for us, our regular New Hounds commenter and local resident, Jim, was part of the other .01%. Jim was in the area on completely different business when he and his wife got stuck in re-routed traffic and ended up circling the rally for over an hour, allowing him to get an eye-and-earful . Here is his report:

First, don't believe the media. There were not "tens of thousands" of people there actually attending the event. The area was not much busier than it is on any sunny weekend. I would say there were certainly thousands - I think there were around ten thousand people - but I'm no expert. Clearly the police were expecting many more people. While I was there, I saw a number of police pack up and leave as there really wasn't much need for crowd control.

Many of the people appeared to be tourists who watched the spectacle, then moved on. The people I saw actually filing into the event were all white, mostly in their '40s. I didn't see many families with children, so hopefully that means they aren't reproducing.

We got to hear Beck do his act even though we were more than a block away from the stage. In a sense, if you were anywhere within a few blocks of this thing you were "at" the rally because you could hear the speakers quite clearly. It was the usual act, full of piss, vinegar, and big dollop of stupid on the side. Oddly, we really didn't hear any of the thunderous applause or excited screaming you would expect. Anyway, we finally managed to get away, so I didn't get to hear Caribou Barbie deliver whatever message someone wrote on her hand for her.

I think it was pretty much a non-event, which no doubt means it will be trumpeted as the “million white man march”. Expect to see numbers in the hundreds of thousands as apparently white people are easier to count than black people when they hold a rally on the mall. The Million Man March had FAR more people in attendance.

One more thing: my wife and I were the only black people I saw the whole time. I guess the diversity of the Tea Party Movement refers to hair color, although most of the women were blond...at least the drapes were. (H/T Jim-Pa.)
So what was the attendence like? CBS says the rally drew 87,000, (with a stated margin of error of 9,000 either way). Attendees were tweeting 300,000, which was - coincidentally? - the number on the rally permit. Glenn Beck claimed 450,000, which will, no doubt, quickly become “up to half a million”, followed by “some say close to a million people." ...Oops! It’s already happened! The NY Times reports that “event organizers put the number of attendees at 500,000." And from the Washington Post we get this nugget of nuttiness, straight from the mouth of the Queen of Crazy herself:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking soon after the Beck rally at her own impromptu event nearby, said: "We're not going to let anyone get away with saying there were less than a million here today.”
The numbers may fluctuate wildly depending on the sanity of the source, but the crowd composition doesn’t: observers unanimously report that the crowd was overwhelmingly white and mostly over 40, though some of the speakers and performers were black. Among the latter was Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, who told the crowd that if Dr. King were alive he would approve of the gathering and “would encourage us to lay aside the vicious lies that cause us to think we are members of separate races.” This and other remarks emphasizing the oneness of humanity drew smatterings of applause, but nothing compared to the applause for her anti-abortion and pro-prayer-in-public-places rhetoric. (You can see the video of Ms. King’s speech here.)

Lotsa white people. Lotsa star-spangled clothing. Lotsa middle-aged white people sprawled in the grass or collapsed, snoozing, in lawn chairs at the edge of the action, which seems to have consisted mostly of christo-patriotic rhetoric and platitudes. YAWN.



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