Politics & Media
Sep 04, 2008, 06:54AM

Becoming part of the landscape

Here, the author recreates a scene outside the White House involving tourists, protestors, and a blurring of the two.

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Photo by NCinDC

Yes, day after day these protesters gain some visibility for their cause through pictures taken of them. But outside the white pillars, while feeding the birds and living in plastic tents, they are simply a part of the spectacle. That is not to say that this place has evaded mass social protest for the Iraq War and other causes or that these protesters aren’t doing something completely commendable day-in and day-out. People of all ages and experiences have come together in front of the White House to take a stand, but at this moment, the protesters were just part of the scene. Their shaggy beards and cardboard hats, painted signs and missing teeth, the plastic tarps with over-sized binder clips, the bright sun, the over-the top wig, the almost-circus like quality, perfect for photo-ops with friendly visitors and young families.

As I start to leave the show behind, I spot a large group of teenagers across the barricaded street. Finally! Yet they were all dressed in identical uniforms. Criss-crossing my way among them I stop one to ask who they are. They are some young leaders group, having to do with pre-med high school students. They might stop to get their pictures taken with the signs, taking note of what it is to take a stand, before going on their way to learn about making a different kind of difference.


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