Monday, September 29, 2003

Careful Photography Makes The Story, or
Come See The Liberal Oppression! Come See The Liberal Oppression!

Back on Saturday, I blogged about the living wage movement coming to Memphis and the sudden, heavy Commercial Appeal coverage, including some comment on the groups involved. One was the Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice, a small but active group, part of a larger, more general movement of Liberals in the old Seventies "To the barricades!" and street-theater mode.

They are involved with the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a bit of theater trying to take on the aura of the old days of civil rights demonstrations. The Riders arrived in Memphis on Saturday, at the National Civil Rights Museum, and it made the news, sort of. The television story I saw this morning on Channel 5 (NBC) only showed the "crowd" from a ground-level angle, making it hard to tell how many folks were there. The CA story had a tightly focused shot of the crowd, also making it hard to judge numbers. But look closely at the people in that crowd and I'd bet money it was almost entirely folks from the Ride busses.

The paper said they "had plenty of support from Memphis civil rights activists and immigrant workers." But the CA put the attendance numbers at 200. Considering that the Riders are said to number around 100 this means that the NCRM and the unnamed (but you know who they are now) "activists" could only scare up another 100. Pretty lame support, I'd say.

And for those ninnies who are insisting that no one on the Left ever calls Bush or Republicans Fascists or Nazis, I leave you with this quote, from one of the Riders speaking to the crowd:
Shirley Smith, a home care worker in Los Angeles, also spoke about the buses being detained last week by the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas.

Though some are apparently illegal immigrants, all 100 riders were released after questioning and reboarded the buses for Dallas, then Memphis.

"We were lined up like they were in Germany when Hitler killed everybody," Smith said.
Interesting how she talks so well, for a dead woman. Note that they were questioned and released, unmolested, and no one was deported. Note, too, how again historical accuracy is missing ("Hitler killed everybody"), but emotionalism runs real high. For a dead woman, of course.

Sheesh, and they expect to be taken seriously by thoughtful people.

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