Dumb and dumber came together on Saturday for the “One Nation Working Together” march on Washington, D.C. The liberal group of union members, migrant farm workers, NAACP members and gay rights advocates seemingly had no one agenda, other than, well protesting.
The sign-carrying, T-shirt wearing crowd support the Democratic House and Senate leadership and President Obama, so they couldn’t answer a simple question, “Who are you protesting against?”
A young woman was standing on the Lincoln Memorial in a red T-shirt for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). She would only give her first name, Meridiana, but said quite proudly on video that she’s “undocumented.”
Unabashed at giving away her illegal immigration status, she said she came to D.C. to ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) to move on the DREAM Act.
“I was brought here at the age of seven, and I’m currently waiting on the legislation from the DREAM Act to pass so I can continue my education and going to school,” she told me.
Sitting across the grass from Meridiana, Meryl Johnson was holding a hand-made sign that read, “THANK GOD for Teachers Unions.” Johnson is the director of Community Engagement for the Cleveland Teachers Union.
Asked if she had seen Waiting for Superman, the new documentary about the failure of U.S. public schools, Johnson said, “Haven’t seen it, but I was on a panel Thursday responding to it.”
Uh-huh. So what’s her opinion of a documentary that she hadn’t seen, but discussed on a panel?
“I think the message is insulting and deplorable. The fact that some people think charter schools are going to be the silver bullet to save education,” she said. “The movie does not address any good public schools at all. And I just find that, stupid.”
Johnson said the problem with public schools is that there are not enough teachers. Johnson teaches ninth grade at John F. Kennedy High School. “I cannot possibly do what I should be doing for 37 students; what I could be doing for 20,” she said.
“I cannot give them the attention they need. I do the best I can. I love them all, but it’s really, really challenging to try to give all of them what they deserve,” Johnson said.
Nearby, a man wearing an “I voted for Senator Franken” pin and a jaunty red sweater tied around his shoulders like a preppy, said that he came to D.C. to get “volume” in the crowd. The man, who did not give his name, said that “the main thing I’m here for is to bring my 200 pounds to Washington.”
His protest sign was an 8×11 white paper against a manila folder, which read: “Ministry Of Propaganda Fox News.”
Asked if he was in Washington to protest against Fox News, he replied that “the right-wing propaganda machine that has more power than any force in the history of the world. I think they are worse than the Nazis. They haven’t completed the work yet, but that’s what they’re doing. I think we’re headed toward fascism.”
Did he just associate Fox News with the murderous Nazi regime?
“Fox News is dangerous. They have no conscience,” he said. “They’re the ministry of propaganda for the Republican Party, that’s what they are.”
He is also in D.C. to protest that “we have more troops abroad than any country in the history of the world.” He asserted that “when we occupy a land, we stay there. We’re still in Germany. We’re still in Japan. They’re in Korea. They’re in Spain.”
Yet, he doesn’t blame Commander in Chief Obama for the military occupations. “The President can’t do any of this stuff himself. He goes into the White House and the riot act is read to him by the military,” he explained.
“It came out last week,” he stated firmly.
What came out last week?
“Uh, somebody’s book,” he said, looking off in the distance. “A national release of a book that described Obama’s desperation that he couldn’t bring the troops home as quickly as he would like to.”
Across the grass, the FLOC must have given Rosa Squire a script that only: “If asked, say ‘Jobs.'”
“We are here for jobs. We are in need of jobs. There are no jobs in our area. And we do need jobs,” she said.
“We need all kind of jobs,” she continued. “Retail. We need teachers. We need doctors. We need nurses.”
Squire, who came to D.C. from Gaston, N.C., said she supports President Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Leader Reid.
So, I asked Squire, who are you protesting against?
“We need jobs,” she repeated.
Asked who she is trying to reach with her message, Squire said, “everybody who is without healthcare and jobs.”
How do you think being here today will get more jobs?
“With the outpouring of people here who are without jobs,” she said, smiling broadly.