Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tax Day Rallies, VI

Hartford, CT

The Capital Police Force estimated the Hartford crowd at 1,200. That seems a bit generous to me. I pegged it at more like 900, but I can't claim any special training in crowd estimation. Most of the speakers for over two hours spent part of their time defending against anticipated criticism of, "the movement," as radical, racist, extremist, or stupid. They dislike all of these categorizations, except perhaps "radical" which some at least seem to be adopting as a badge of honor. But one strong-voiced middle-aged man, waving his hand broadly over the crowd, declared "look at this diversity!"

I was stunned. I'd been looking for non-white faces. I'd seen fewer than a dozen. Three black people including the young man above, twice that many of Asian heritage. The final speaker was a local businessman who told his story of coming from Puerto Rico with nothing, to make a success at the American dream. He emphatically identified himself as not an Hispanic-American, but as an American of Hispanic ancestry.

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