Yesterday I attended the whitest #BlackLivesMatter rally that I’ve ever seen in downtown Seattle. I have things to say about the whiteness of the Seattle BLM crowd or the seemingly opportunistic white socialist/communist/anarchist/lefty/etc. groups promoting themselves at BLM rallies, but that’s not the topic for this post.
As I arrived at the Westlake Park where the rally was held, I immediately realized that I could not hear anything speakers were saying because of the loud Christmas songs blasted through the sound system in the park. But this being the Black Friday for the rest of the community, I thought the music was something that just came with it in a busy shopping area like the Westlake Center area. But it wasn’t.
The sound was blasting from the “Pine Street Holiday Stage” set up in the park, but the stage was not in use at the time.
And the music was not endless looping track: there was a hired DJ in the audio booth set up for this stage, along with at least a dozen police officers inside the fence protecting the booth. The man in the top right of the next photo is the DJ. I looked at his computer screen and verified that the music was coming from the computer.
Of course there were cops everywhere—several dozens of them, including some on the second floor balcony looking over the park. Curiously, they were almost all on one side of the park facing Macy’s and Nordstrom.
After a while, the march began, leaving the park almost empty. At that moment, the music also stopped. And it started blasting again from the sound system about fifteen minutes later when the march that went around a few blocks came back to the park.
I understand that police officers were “just doing their job” surveilling the rally and protecting fancy department stores. But intentionally drowning the rally by blasting Christmas songs near the rally (perhaps the DJ was hired by the business association or something, but he was clearly collaborating with the police) seems more than a little pathetic and mean-spirited.
Dear the white BLM participant holding a sign demanding more “trainings” for police officers, do you really think that’s the solution?
(Also posted on Tumblr)