Even though the protest happened right in the middle of a hotly contested presidential election, not a single mainstream candidate was mentioned -- except for Barack Obama. Apparently Hillary Clinton and John McCain are so far off the scale of acceptability as to not even merit contempt.
But even Obama fans were few and far between.
This guy caught my eye immediately. "Wright" is a reference to Obama's pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was on the very day of the protest caught in the middle of an imbroglio over his sermons attacking middle-class "white culture" and blaming America for everything from 9/11 to the AIDS virus.
While Obama himself tried to distance himself from Wright (despite a 20-year relationship), this protester was of the opinion that "Wright Is Right!"
(Photo courtesy of ProtestShooter)
One of Wright's most controversial statements was to tell his flock to say "God Damn America" instead of "God Bless America," and another Wright fan agreed with him wholeheartedly.
Lest you think this was an isolated opinion, the speakers on the main protest stage in front of City Hall repeated Wright's declaration. Here's a transcript of the video (inaudible portion [in brackets]):
Native American speaker: ...Obama, who has a hard time now, [signing with him but finding political ploy]. But Jeremiah Wright said, 'God damn you, America!' Thank you all my relations.
Chicano activist speaker: Wherever the drum beats, We shall a-liberate! Aztlan!
Elsewhere at the rally, support for Obama and comdemnation of the United States of America as a concept were a natural ideological pairing.
This mainstream Obama supporter watched but did not participate in the proceedings, and appeared to be slightly aghast at the antics of his fellow Obama voters.
Cynthia McKinney, trying run for president on the Green Party ticket, wanted to lay claim to some of that Obama magic, so wore a t-shirt featuring the Obama-esque slogan, "We Are Change" -- even though she is in theory runnning against Obama.
However, not everybody there was an Obama fan. This guy thought Obama was too closely allied with neocons like Lieberman, and so was nothing more than yet another "Warmonger Imperialist."
Mr. Wright Is Right cropped up again during the march at the end of the day. He was not too happy about having his face photographed with his sign, so getting a good shot of him was not easy. Anytime he saw someone trying to take his picture, he covered his face with the sign.
Shortly after I took this photo, Mr. Wright Is Right become angry at me for getting his face in the picture, and took a swat at me with his sign.