There’s lots to say about whats going down here in Charlotte at the DNC. There are scores of protests… key word ‘scores’. More people are up in arms and stomping the pavement then they were in Tampa Bay..
Yesterday alone, there was a huge protest and counter protest at Planned Parenthood. There was a big march bringing attention to the plight of prisoner Bradley Manning. While people were kicking up dust about this man who they consider a hero and ultimate whistle blower, my co-host Mark Bebawi was inside the Convention Center, talking to delegates about Manning’s plight and was astonished to see how oblivious folks inside were to him. many didn’t know who he was, others didn’t care. the few that did know him touted the party line that he should be locked away.
There was a big Occupy March against Capitalism.. There was a March against the War led by War Veterans. There is a separate conference featuring progressive Democrats where you’d see everyone from Jesse Jackson to Keith Ellison to former congressman Alan Grayson to Raul M. Grijalva. All this has been happening in the pouring rain
There was a march and demonstration around the plight of undocumented students…where people should note, that as the DNC celebrated the rise of Latino politicians like keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro who gave a rousing speech that led to folks giving a standing ovation, outside the doors of the convention in front of the entrance, 10 undocumented students were arrested. Actress Rosario Dawson stood with the crowd as this went down in support. She held up a big sign that said Undocumented. Will they be deported? We don’t know..
As all this was going down outside, many were getting into the speeches and there were some really good ones. Many liked what Newark mayor Cory Booker had to say.. Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick got people fired up.. But where people went absolutely nuts and where it was unbridled pandemonium was when First Lady Michele Obama hit the stage. Her speech was one for the ages.. People didn’t just hear her they felt her. They felt her in a big way..I heard over and over again that Michele’s speech took folks back to 2008 when folks were excited about the possibility of making history with the election of the country’s first Black president.
Michele Obama left folks feeling proud.. For women who have felt been under assault by weeks of rhetoric on the campaign trail about ‘legitimate rape’ policies of GOP, Michele was a welcome breath of fresh air. For Black women she was a source of pride, someone who erased all the nasty stereotypes and bad images constantly being hawked and elevated in the form of shows like Basketball Wives and other Reality shows on network TV.. In fact one sister a radio personality, SkyyHook tweeted ‘Ladies, this is what a REAL wife looks like.. No Fighting, No Throwing chairs or Jumping on tables… Class and humility’.. That tweet was generously passed around.
I don’t wanna go on too long about Michele Obama, but I must because her speech was a really big deal for the thousands here in Charlotte. She got people fired up and for the moment, she got folks forgetting the concerns and criticisms people have raised about her husband’s policies.
For the moment folks forgot about drone strikes, and the continuation of Bush war policies.. For the moment people forgot about record number foreclosures, mass deportations and the cozy relationship he has with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street entities…That’s how energetic and impactful that speech was.. People wanna feel good at the end of the day. People wanna believe at the end of the day.. Michele Obama made that happen last night.
There’s lots more to say about the DNC here in Charlotte including how diverse it is which is a good thing and a much welcome contrast to what we experienced in Tampa Bay. It’s also very disorganized and in many ways just straight up janky, but we’ll save that for another report. In the meantime the word of the day is Michele.. Will Barack Obama be able to move people in the same way?? We’ll see on Thursday..