In my rather compromised memory, there was a time when about the only time I heard the National Anthem was at the beginning of a rodeo. Then of course, I was exposed to other sporting events, like high school, college, and pro football. And of course the anthem is prevalent at the international competition of the Olympic Games.
The Anthem has the ability to move me to tears. I confess that I bought into the old-school notion that Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem to honor the bravery of our young armed services in their battle for independence from England. In addition to the imagery of the flag waving amid smoldering ramparts, the song also takes me back to that time in my youth when my pony and I tried valiantly to keep up with the big horses as they snaked expertly around the dusty arena to the rousing Stars…
This week Alamo Square Park played host to a different sort of event:
“Counter-protesters converged on San Francisco’s Alamo Square Saturday afternoon even after local officials had called off a planned and permit-granted protest by right-wing group Patriot Prayer the day before.”
Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do what you can to combat the result. Good. Do that.
But don’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense. Your intentions are not a tangible shield. If you don’t make a plan, you will get yourself or the person you are trying to defend very killed.
Let’s avoid that.
So make a plan.
Some of you can stop reading now. You have, or know how to make a plan and you don’t need…