A Rising Surge of Zealotards – pt. 2


Driving to the rally gave Mike and I time for psychological motivation. Our interest in attending these dramas is to witness the great human clash, the artform society unfolds at these events, whether gripped with emotion, or banality. Mike has been doing photography around the U.S. and abroad, won awards for his work and can’t stop this addiction of his. I get to witness his dance when he passes through crowds for that one certain moment to capture, some little…something, that goes by in a blink.

My preparation typically includes getting notebook and camera ready, pens and additional pens and usually medicating myself with something before leaving. As avid a fan as I am covering events like these, crowds put me on edge. I’ve attended too many horror show rock concerts throughout my life that got out of hand; I’ll never forget a particular nasty two day concert in Sedalia, Missouri, where the crowd baked in the sun and bad acid made it’s round through thousands attending. We both know how ugly crowds can get, and how quick it can go down, so part of that prep Mike and I have is to make sure and have our sixth sense set to read the mood of any situation. You don’t want some asshole, jacked up on emotion and Red Bull, running up and smashing your camera, or to be swept up into a mob fistfight-should one break out.

We closed in on a parking spot and walked a few blocks to the event. The rally was to start at ten and by the time we got there it had been going for about twenty minutes. I could see a group of close to a hundred, if I tallied all sides represented at the Capitol building. The closer we got, the more clear an audio blast from a cheap hand held microphone became. It was being fed through a small amplifier with a cracked speaker; the speaker blistered on about the evils of Sharia law. The speaker faced one political group that held ground on the sidewalk at the corner of Washington and Capitol Ave., supporters of Donald Trump, while behind him stood those who would oppose the Crimson King, standing in defiance on the front lawn of the Capitol building. The Trump camp had people carrying flags; an American flag, a yellow flag with the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ snake and a couple flags with symbols I was unfamiliar with. The opposing crowd held no type flags or signs that were too memorable to me. Typical protesty things, but nothing gripping. They did harbor a few anti-protestors garbed in black, quasi-anarchist jackets and wearing scarfs to hide their faces, aiming for that Sandinista freedom fighter look. I went up and asked one of them the name of the group they represented (i.e. those in the black/scarfed outfits) and he became too evasive with an answer. He wasn’t going to commit to saying he was a part of any affiliated group that might wear black, blah blah. Mi hermano asked another black dressed face attendee and they said they just came dressed like this because it looked radical, or something equally as mundane. Mike gathered shots of the masked crowd but I became drawn to the group with folks wearing American flag bandanas over their head and decked out in military camo uniforms toting semi-automatic weapons. I wanted to find out about the two flags with unfamiliar icons on them. The icon was shaped like a triangle with lines leading into the middle from the points of the outside. One flag was white symbol on a blue back background and the other was blue symbol on a white background. I even asked Mike about it and he was unfamiliar with it as well.
“Why don’t you go over and ask them?” he suggested, and I did.
I went to the closest foreign symbol flag holder, a young man dressed like a potential Aryn Nation type or White Supremacist; black short sleeved shirt, Levis, shit stomping boots and a pair of dark shades. His hair was blonde and cropped short, his skin was pretty alabaster and I bet if those glasses came off, his eyes would be blue. Now, stereotyping is one thing and I don’t like to judge a book by it’s cover, but some times, a stereotype look on an individual helps prepare you for a situation. This guy definitely looked like the perfect male model for a White racist organization. I wanted to give him an opportunity to speak, regardless of how extreme he or his affiliated group might be. There were enough dicks there that morning trying to start fights, that wasn’t my purpose. I came to be educated.

I walked up, smiling, and asked about the symbol on his flag and who it represented. His stoic face turned to me and grinned. That grin was cold, hard steel…made me think the eyes behind those glasses might not be blue; maybe they were ebony black, like the eyes of a Great White shark.
“We’re the Dragons” he said.


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