My household gets its news from National Public Radio, but we can only stomach television news via The Daily Show. We also happen to think Stephen Colbert is perhaps the greatest luminary of our age. So when the Rally for Sanity / March to Keep Fear Alive was announced, we knew we had to go.
Yes, there was a CRUSH of a million people. Yes, it was hard to hear, hard to see, but as we were jam-packed amidst the very reasonable and surprisingly sane and entirely diverse throng, we all knew we were a part of a meaningful cultural event. We all knew that this event was, as Stewart indicated, beyond politics. It was about human beings, sanity and countering extremism on all sides. Because no one can hear if everyone is shouting. It was about looking critically at the fearful world we live in not because we don't have things to fear but that we cannot live in hysteria. We can only live as a community of human beings acknowledging that yes there is evil in the world but we can't let fears rule us or our choices. As Stewart so aptly said; "We live in Hard Times. Not End Times."
A girl in a head-scarf held the sign: "Don't jump to conclusions, just jump rope." She was part of an interactive group of young Muslim men and women who were jumping rope with participants beneath the sign that simply read: "Jump Rope with a Muslim". They were doing just that. Jump rope and you got a sticker. That was just one way in which the Rally crowd engaged in fun and thought-provoking ways to bond as human beings, fears and prejudices aside. It did my heart good. It did my soul good. And, because Stewart and Colbert were everything I expected them to be, clever and to-the-point, it made us all laugh.
But what was even better and even more clever than the Daily Show writers? The crowds themselves. And their signs. And so I give you: A sampling of Rally signs. Enjoy. I sure did.