Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tax day Tea Party rally in Columbia (PHOTOS)

The Tea Party came to Columbia on April 15 for a tax day rally outside the State House.
There are a couple interesting things about this photo. First, the Associated Press claimed over 1,000 people attended the rally. This picture was taken about 15 minutes before the rally was supposed to begin -- problems with the sound system caused a half-hour delay until former mayoral candidate Joe Azar came to the rescue. As you can see, there are only about 200 people in the photo at most. Even at the height of the rally, there were no more than twice as many people as in the photo. Midlands blogger Wes Wolfe estimated only about 250 people in attendance. Perhaps the AP used the Fox News method of counting.

Another interesting thing: Out of the hundreds of people in that photo, there is exactly one black person. She's standing at the far left under the red and white umbrella. You can click through to a hi-res version to see for yourself. Now let me be clear: I did not see a single instance of overt or insinuated racism at the event. Still, it's interesting how in a city that's 46% African-American, the tea partiers were almost exclusively white. For most of the rally, the most "ethnic" person I could see was Nikki Haley.
Like I said, I didn't see any racism at the rally. But there was a whole bunch of good old-fashioned stupidity. The above photo is of a "Liberalism is a mental disorder" sign being held by a woman with purple hair and son carrying a "Germany thought the Nazis were great" sign. As far as irony goes, it was one in a series of amusing occurrences. Before the rally they played "We Will Rock You," sung by a gay man who died of AIDS. At least they're tolerant of his music? Then they played the Love Shack. Right outside Mark Sanford's office. How is that no one caught that?
It wouldn't be South Carolina without at least one poster advocating secession.

"If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport" pretty much sums up the entire event.
Tell you what -- I'll drive on roads paved by the government, and you can drive on roads paved by Jesus.
These anarchists, like most everyone else I encountered at the rally, had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

Uh, what?
Gov. Mark Sanford speaks while former WIS anchor Susan Aude', who emceed the rally, looks on. Sanford received a mostly positive reaction from the crowd, getting loud cheers and applause and only one shout of "Traitor!"
...From this guy, Edward Quick of Sumter. Here a state trooper warns Quick about heckling the governor.

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