I was sitting here watching the replays of Cindy Sheehan being arrested and felt that something was amiss. It was the smile. The smile and the passivity. It was out of place.
Not really, of course. Truly non-violent protests and arrests are more often cooperation between police and protester rather than confrontation. Sheehan should be commended for taking the truly non-violent approach.
It DOES, however, undercut most of the arguments Sheehan and her ilk have been making about Bush and the Republicans lately. Think about it. Would a person who truly believed, as Sheehan did, that soldiers in New Orleans would shoot her at the slightest provocation really be that calm, even smiling, as she was arrested by the same government she believes is fascist. I would think there would at least be some concern. But there was none. It felt more like an initiation than a protest. I can even hear the conversation:
"You know Cindy, your really not a true protester 'til you get cuffed. But if you get arrested in front of the White House you'll be a star."
"I'll DO it!"
The frivolity of the event was in stark contrast to the signs the anti-war types brought. If Bush and this country were truly as bad as this, you'd think it'd take a lot of gut wrenching courage to let them slap you in chains. It certainly wouldn't merit the smiles of Sheehan let alone everyone around her. There is a very good reason why you don't see a lot of people voluntarily getting arrested as a form of protest in places like China, Syria, Iran, and the old Iraq. They truly don't trust their governments, and with good reason. It takes a lot of trust to let someone arrest you. You need to believe that on some level you will be taken care of. To trust so easily, so easily you can smile about it tells me that you don't believe, as has been asserted for years, that the United States is the among the worst despot countries in the World. Your actions are speaking much louder than your words are.
Maybe a bit of advice is in order.
If you're going to accuse a group of people or the government of being "fascist", "racist", "a bunch of Nazis", etc., try to remember to play out the rest of the act. At least pretend that you're concerned about getting arrested, because if you WERE really getting arrested by real Nazis, I imagine your concern would shine through.