Ever since Glenn Beck announced his plans to defile the memory of MLK with his brand of hate I’ve been announcing my intention to stand outside his corporate edifice in Los Angeles and protest the genesis of hate in this country his organization Newscorp/Fox/Rupert Murdoch.
All week long it’s been hotter than July in Los Angeles. Those days were trying very hard to give me an excuse to duck out. No one would be there but me and those I brought, It wont do anything, and why should I put peoples health at risk by standing them in the middle of a 105 degree day. So I wake up this morning and it’s overcast lovely and not even 75 degrees. So we got our behinds up and got ready to go.
I’ve always kind of treasured the tradition of protest I can trace in my family. I like to think I’m a worthy inheritor of the tradition and as one I want to make sure it goes down the line. To that end I called 3 of the sweetest smartest young ladies I have in my family to represent the next generation and down we went.
I know the area of the Fox Television Studios in Los Angeles fairly well, but even so I looked up the neighborhood one more time as reconnaissance before we headed down, so we knew what to expect. Our target was a fairly nice looking modern building on the west side of Bundy with a street making it the fulcrum of a T facing the building. Really cool because that means that the building itself had 2 corners of attention plus it’s frontage as a billboard. I’m thinking oh boy if we can get a few folks to show up we can look like we’re doing something.
I was stressing like mad because we were running a little late. We didn’t actually get in front of Fox until 10:15 and I had announced the jump off time of the festivities as 10:00. If anyone showed up and didn’t hang out for us 15 minutes sorry I missed you, but it was just our crew at 10:15 and although I could feel many people with us in spirit it was just us 5 in body.
It is not my nature to be shy. I make my living in being not shy, so I grabbed my sign and started marching up and down. Sweetie and the ladies jumped in like Trojans and we held up what we came to tell them.
I made an attempt to catch the eye of every driver who went by us to notice the double takes and reactions. It wasn’t long until I noticed a few thumbs up a couple of head bobs, and then it started to happen, people would blow their horns in solidarity. Not long after that we began to wonder how many people would honk at us, and the count began.
We went over 25 within the first 15 minutes, and I decided to see if we could make it a game. We decided we would try and hang out until we amassed 200 honks.
Not long after we hit the 30 mark we got our first visitor in the form of a security agent. I had semi expected this to happen from my experience in yelling at the men from mouse at Disney. Sweetie was already talking to him by the time I came down the line with my Fox Sells Hate sign, so I was late to the conversation. He was discussing how active he was in his local chapter of the SEIU, he said I’m off duty now and they know they wrong what group are you guys with you need to hook up with some other groups because they need people who aren’t afraid to protest. He shared his e-mail and promised to put us in contact with one of the groups that has filled in for ACORN.
We went from 30 to 50 in what seemed like an hour. I was starting to think 200 honks might have been overly optimistic. Sweetie rallied us to persevere for as she told us who knows when a string of honkers would come through. It was also at this time I noticed a guy drive into the Fox front door and mouth “oh fuck” you can tell when that happens you don’t need be a mouth reader.
About 15 minutes later we get our next visit from Fox Security and unlike our first visitor he wasn’t wearing a uniform, but he had a fantastic Black lady named Keisha along with him to give him credibility I guess. He asked who we represented and why we were there. I told him as our signs said we were trying to speak out against his corporation’s usage of hate as a weapon to divide the country I love. He tried to point out that where I was standing was not Fox News, and I let him know that if Rupert Murdoch owned a Chuck E. Cheese’s franchise I’d picket that too. There are no happy face companies and I don’t buy the corporate fiction of independent organizations. He told me that I had the right to walk up and down the public sidewalk and that he would appreciate it if I didn’t block their driveway. Fair enough, but for some reason I felt like torturing their security for a bit so I went to their mobile camera and grabbed my sig line sign and hoped they’d send an e-mail to Rupert.
Of all the eyes I caught outside of indifference I only saw two negative reactions. One lady in a very tight Jaguar looked me right in the eyes shook her finger in a tsk tsk and shook her head no no at my Fox Sells Hate sign. I smiled as sweetly and as nicely as I could and said yes they do and shook my head yes and she drove on very nicely. The second was an old man that looked like Willie Nelson who refused to wash his hair, but he was riding in a very nice Mercedes. He rolled down his window yelled “fuck you” at the same time showing me one of his digits in a most unfriendly way. I answered back “thank you sir” pointed at my Hate sign and said “I love you” and he answered “FAGGOT”. He then rolled down about 20 feet and gave the same treatment to a 12 year old girl. So do people who defend Fox exhibit the very thing we had come to speak against? Why yes, yes they do.
The honks are actually coming pretty fast and furious and I’m actually thinking we might make our number of 200. I should have looked in the eyes of my fellow protestors. We’d been out about an hour and a half and arms were getting tired. After we went over 100 we changed the goal. 25 more for Dr. King!
The strip of Bundy that the Fox studios are on is just south of some very rich real estate. All through the day as I was looking at the faces against the quality of car I’d say hey isn’t that, or hmm I think she might have been someone, but honk 117 was special. Black escalade large brother who sweetie and the girls now swear was Terrell Owens.
People are tired. I don’t think we’re going to make it to 150 let alone 200 so I make one more attempt. Can we get 25 more honks for Mrs. King? Mrs. King it seems was only good for 10 more. As if in concurrence the sun started to come out and the lovely Southern California protest weather began to break. Mrs. King’s were the fastest honks we got all day,
I love to think of the concept that a the beat of the wing of a singly butterfly might be the genesis of a hurricane. My little crew and I beat ours speaking out against hate and for unity. I hope I showed my little cousins a good enough time so that they will always know that even if their voice is alone it is theirs to use. A great day was had by all I sprung for some chicken and we had a great picnic afterwards. The greatest President this country has ever elected Barack Obama has echoed Gandhi, heck I even heard Beck said about the same thing today. Be the change you want to see in the world.