January 22, 2009

The Other Inauguration

I received this in an e-mail from a Ken Joseph Jr. (link is to home page; about page here). I have verified that it is from him (Update: Here is the post at his blog).

It is appropriate to post this on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. You’ll see why (the opinions and observations are Mr. Joseph’s; the bolds are mine):

The Other Inauguration
Washington DC

The much vaunted, post-racial, ‘come together’ campaign culmination was neither.

I for one waited and waited and then waited some more for someone to tell the truth.

After watching enough fawning to make me nauseous, I had to say something.

I was there from the very beginning in the middle of the National Mall, on the day before as well as the whole inauguration.

The crowd was overwhelmingly african american. That is a simple fact that anyone there knows and should be honest enough to say.

It was a mess. Extremely poorly organized crowds moved in different directions with no idea where they were going .

There was no ‘coming together.’ The atmosphere was extremely racist and if you didn’t look right, they let you know.

It took hours to get into the mall and in spite of being the ‘peoples inauguration’ was far from it.

All the ‘big people’ had special passes that they got in their special area while all of the  ‘regular people’ had to go under a nearly quarter mile tunnel under the mall, where it was difficult to breathe just to get into the National Mall.

The event itself though was far from what it was described.

I felt very, very uncomfortable. Regular glances and snide remarks sent the message very clearly ‘what are you doing here – this is our event’!

Further, the booing and dancing and hate filled comments when President Bush and Vice President Cheney came out were unacceptable.

The speech insulted President Bush over and over and honestly was neither profound nor well written.

The extremely racist ‘prayer’ by an out of date Joseph Lowry would have caused a major scandal. Instead, it brought loud guffaws from the crowd who didn’t seem to know or really care what a ‘prayer’ actually was. No heads were bowed during any of the prayers.

For whatever it(s) goal, the much vaunted group of people that filled the mall was a mean, hateful, rough crowd.

Not only the mall but all of Washington was taken over by this group. From hawking everything from t-shirts to all kinds of buttons bordering on ‘buy something or you don’t pass’, the atmosphere was a far cry from the disgusting descriptions that I have had to watch nonstop on TV and read in the paper.

Frankly, I was completely sickened by it all and exhausted entered the lobby of a hotel in on Capitol Hill bracing myself for another flood of the angry, mean crowd.

I came upon the strangest of situations. There were two distinct groups of people who were mobbing the hotel lobby, the restaurants and up the escalators.

One group was clearly leaving. This was the same mean, nasty group from the National Mall.

Another huge group was on their way in, lined up at the Check-In counter and the two groups were mingling going in their different directions.

The two groups though were dramatically different.

In contrast to the first group, the new group was dramatically different. They were bright, cheerful, smiling and brightened the otherwise mean atmosphere.

I was curious. Who could they be?

A quick question to a small group waiting in the lobby..

‘Oh, we’re here for The March of Life’.

Now it all made sense!

What a difference. One group with a leader promising one of his first acts would be to rescind the restrictions on abortion wholesale.

In contrast the leaders of the other group, dedicated to saving life.

‘Look over there’ the lady said ‘it is a baby that was saved from an abortion’.

There lay a little child in the arm of a nun.

Then I suddenly focused and there seemed to be Priests, Nuns and bright cheerful kids, seniors and just about everything in between.

What a contrast!

Somehow, I found the tears coming. It had been a tough and miserable two days with the ‘thugs’ having taken over the city.

How refreshing to have some brightness, faith and above all, hope – the real kind!



  1. What a bunch of lies.

    You had 1.8 million people, almost all of them from out of town and not familiar with DC, crammed into a few square blocks. There was not a single arrest, something that you can’t say about the all white crowd on the Ohio River for Riverfest. The crowd was not ‘mostly black’.

    You are a sad, bitter little man Tom.

    Comment by Anon123 — January 22, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

  2. #1, I didn’t write it. I said “the opinions and observations are Mr. Joseph’s.”

    What about that didn’t you understand?

    As to the crowd size:

    An ASU journalism professor using satellite images calculated that 800,000 people attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.”

    Why should I rely on your representations as to what happened more than Mr. Joseph’s, when you can’t even get the obvious things right?

    As to the level of interest:

    Final Update: The Obama inauguration was watched by 37.8 million, second only to Reagan’s 41.8 million in 1981.

    The US population is over one-third larger now than it was in 1981.

    About 18.5% of the population watched Reagan’s inauguration. Only 12.5% of the population watched Obama’s.

    Oh, and they left a horrible mess. Don’t remember Reagan’s crowd doing that. Hmmmm.

    The only bitterness I see is in your comment. Cheer up. :–>

    Comment by TBlumer — January 22, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

  3. You’e wrong again, Tom. The crowd size was estimated at between 1.2 million and 1.8 million by every credible analysis:




    Have you ever seen the ‘horrible mess’ that the crowd at Riverfest leaves behind? Anytime you have hundreds and thousands of people gathered in a crowd for hours they are going to leave ‘a mess’.

    And you may not have wrote it, but you happily posted it, didn’t you? You are still a sad little man Tom. Get a life. Don’t you allegedly have a business to run or something?

    Comment by Anon123 — January 22, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

  4. #3, well, you were at a solid 1.8 mil, and the consensus of people who didn’t just trust someone else who didn’t really do any work is just over 1 mil:

    - Split the diff between Doig and Jane’s looking at the same data — 800,000 vs. Jane’s average of 1.46 mil. That’s 1.13 mil at most.

    - Chicago Trib — half of 2 million = 1 million, maybe just over.

    - AP says “more than a million.”

    - Boston.com — NPS cops out to WaPo. Thus, irrelevant.

    Consensus: Barely over a million, or pushing 40% lower than your original claim.

    As to the trash, on a per-person basis, it leaves Riverfest in the dust, and you know it.

    I also note the silence on the Reagan v. Obama TV comparison.

    Again, I say cheerfully and with a big heart, why should I rely on your representations as to what happened more than Mr. Joseph’s, when you can’t even get the obvious things right? The only small thing I’m noticing is your credibility. :–>

    Comment by TBlumer — January 22, 2009 @ 10:32 pm

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