Sunday, March 11, 2012

With Dignity, Please

Friday night my family and I attended a movie. The movie was about all that happened in the state of Wisconsin last year. The changes that Scott Walker and others made that affected unions and collective bargaining. The movie, or documentary, was well done. It followed six people through the days of the protests, the occupation of the Capitol and the marches.

I am generally a very positive person. It is the way I choose to be. And last year, when the protests were happening, I was so proud of the way people conducted themselves. There were people united in a cause that was for the good of many. We weren't violent. We didn't swear. We brought our children down to the Capitol to be part of history. The kind of history that can't be taught in a classroom. And some of us had our children record their thoughts so that they could look back and reflect on their past. So that they could say they were there when.

I had a total stranger contact me from out of state when I posted on Facebook that I was bringing Gracie with me to the protests. He, too, wanted his child to experience this time in history. But he was met with much resistance from people who were worried that it wouldn't be safe. I told him on the first day, I had my own worries. They were immediately diminished. The kindness of strangers was amazing. And that kindness was felt from all over the world. He thanked me for making him feel better about his decision.

So this brings me back to Friday night. The movie was truly well done. The set up not so much. The theater was riddled with hecklers. I don't mean to portray the entire crowd. But the few that did this were very vocal. People that sat right behind us yelled "liar" every time a picture of Scott Walker appeared on the screen. These same people hissed and swore. I was embarrassed. Not for me, but for them. They were doing the exact opposite of what I was so proud didn't happen last year. Last year we, as a collective group, handled ourselves well. We were not petty. Another thing that bothered me about the theater was the seating arrangement. I know that this is a theater that serves dinner. It is what they are known for. But on this night, for this movie, it felt wrong. These dinner tables had food and drink provided to a select few. Not the majority. The dichotomy of this was not lost on me or others I overheard. Very strange. I would have liked to have seen the tables removed and additional seating put up for viewers of this movie.

I am hoping that we, as a collective group, can fight this battle with dignity. It's not hard. And it doesn't have to turn ugly. We don't have to swear and heckle. We need to unite. And we need to be polite. Please.

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