Activists? Get Real, New Yorker!

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In the November 25, 2016 New Yorker, Christian N. Kerr’s article The Activists of Crimson Tide Country actually compared the 50 or so students who protested Trump’s election to the civil rights activists of the sixties. Kerr also attempted to make it seem that the anti-Trump protest after a football game was a continuation of the action by the #Bamasits students who sat during the national anthem at a few games.

After the Tide’s win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs, about fifty protesters assembled at the north entrance of Bryant-Denny Stadium before marching to the Tuscaloosa Federal Building and Courthouse, where they planned to hold a rally. Some held signs that read “#OurVoicesMatter” and “White Silence is Violence.” As the group trudged down University Boulevard, a popular postgame hangout for football fans, hecklers taunted them with Trump campaign colloquialisms like “Losers!” and the localized “Roll, Trump, Roll!”

When the group arrived at the courthouse, members gave themselves a round of applause for doing what was impossible in 1964. Standing under the building’s tall Athenian columns, they took to voicing fears about the hatred and racism in their community and across the country. Counter-protesters soon arrived, carrying Trump/Pence paraphernalia, before they were ushered away by police.

The anti-Trump protest at the Iron Bowl ( the match up of traditional football rivals, Auburn and the University of Alabama )  which will take place on November 26 will also doubtlessly provoke some fans. A few of the protestors who have  read the New Yorker may somehow conflate their activity with that of the the civil rights era activists who actually risked their lives. The police didn’t escort KKK affiliated  men away from the sixties civil rights demonstrators. Probably some who were in the police force were fellow Klansmen. The state National Guard was even nationalized by President John F. Kennedy when George Wallace made his “stand in  the school house door” to protect the two black  students who were enrolling.

The Iron Bowl anti-Trump protest will not likely be followed by another counter-productive appearance by the disgruntled Clinton supporters. There are certainly enough issues for students to pursue that involve injustice in our society. But chances are the thrill will soon be gone. About the only thing that a significant number of students at the University in recent years were involved in protesting concerned the sale of beer.

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