cross-posted from Sum of Change
We have already posted several telling interviews from our filming at Glenn Beck's 828 Restoring Honor Rally, but we haven't yet posted our most emotional, interactive, and intense experiences. Towards the end of our day downtown, we stopped to chat with some folks from the crowd- as we did throughout the day. When we began our interview with Madonna from Indiana, we were in the exact center of a circular cement area that is the entrance way to the World War II Memorial. Our conversation started with Madonna, the only person in her group of 5 or so who decided to stop and chat with us. Quickly, however, not only did several of her friends decide to join our discussion, but several onlookers decided that they belonged in our conversation as well. Before we knew it, we were encircled by 30 or so rally goers who decided to engage us (verbally) in an effort to try and convert us to Glen Beck's White Christian Civil Rights Utopia. Below is the majority of the half hour experience in 6 parts and at the very bottom is all 30 minutes of our discussions unedited.
Now I must say, everyone was very respectful and a lot more informed than I had expected. As you will see in the first video, many of them watch the news, but they only watch and trust a single news source. That is always a bad idea, especially when that source is Fox News. Everyone who we spoke to (during this exchange and otherwise) very much wanted to address issues and has the best intentions to make concrete changes to improve America's future. They recognize and are feeling the stresses of the times, but want to revert to our old ways which led to this mess instead of finding new ways to lead us out of it. Many of their thoughts and ideas are skewed to fit within a narrow mindset, imagining we were living in a perfect world. For example, the fellow speaking with us in the second video somehow believes that all you need are clothes and shoes and the government will pay you $900 a week to sweep streets. Theoretically, clothes and the ability to work are the only prerequisites for getting a street sweeping job, but it doesn't mean that you will be able to get that job, especially at $900 a week.
The thing that was most distressing was the veiled racist and anti-Muslim beliefs. Again everyone was respectful - with the exception of a few crackpots who were summarily admonished by the crowd for their overt anti-Islamic statements, no one made any explicit or blatantly offensive comments. But almost every person seemed unable to think anything except that, in some way, every Muslim supports Sharia law and terrorism. They consciously say that they do not hold all Muslims responsible for the actions of the 911 terrorists, but they think that even peace-loving Muslims who have openly renounced terrorism and even worked with the US government to combat it actuality must secretly be supporting anti-American Islamic Fundamentalists.
The entire session, from the first interview with Madonna to being surrounded by a crowd, was really quite an experience in it's entirety and is well worth watching whole. For that reason and so that you can see that we took nothing out of context (a concern of many interviewees, silly teabaggers, Breitbart only does that to liberals) you can find the entire 30 minutes encounter over at Sum of Change.