Counter-protesting in DC during white supremacy rally

10 Ways People of Color and Allies Can Protest in DC

People are always protesting something in DC.

My kids have been stopped by a woman on the street who told them to thank me for not killing them. True story. My kids have been asked to sign petitions to legalize recreational marijuana – they were not voting age at the time.

Living in the land of the perpetual protest, AKA Washington, DC, is frustrating for parents who want their kids to stay kids just a little longer – whatever that means – and those who hate traffic on a Saturday. There should be at least one day in DC where you can just get where you need to get to without sitting in traffic.

Protesting is inconvenient, of course, because it is supposed to be. It is supposed to be uncomfortable. There are some hard truths that we as Americans are facing and we HAVE to fight back somehow. But what about those of us who aren’t for standing out in the heat with signs? I believe there is a role for everyone to play in the struggle. Not everybody is on the front lines in the war.

Have you ever had or seen a toddler having the ultimate meltdown, and you go on about your business?  They scream and cry and yell into the air – but you’ve left the room. They hate it. My mom said that I would follow her from room to room with my fit.  The last tantrum I had, I carefully placed myself on the floor (I’ve never been one for bumps or bruises) and proceeded to kick and cry. She stepped over me and went on about her business. I didn’t get what I wanted, whatever unreasonable thing that was, and the fit was over. White supremacists don’t want minorities and non Christian people to enjoy the same freedom and equality that they have. The law (for now) has afforded all of us the opportunity to be equal.

I propose that we just let them yell at themselves this weekend. They can march around spewing their messages of hate at one another, not us, because we don’t want to hear it. Where are all the counter protesters? Minding their good minority business, that’s where. They are out and about enjoying life and being unapologetically whatever they are.

So here we go, 10 things you can do this weekend to go on about your Black, Asian, Hispanic, Jewish, Muslim, White (or white adjacent), mixed race, multi-ethnic Christian, multi-cultural, immigrant, citizen etc… business on white supremacy weekend.

1. GO TO A PUBLIC POOL. It’s hot as all get out in DC right now. It has finally stopped raining and there’s nothing that white supremacists hate more than to see a black person enjoying a pool on a hot summer day.

2. GO TO THE LIBRARY. It is HOT. DC has a fantastic library system and the library has air conditioning and books. It literally has the knowledge ya’ll. White supremacists want you to stay ignorant – that’s why it was literally against the law for black people in America to learn to read at one point. Get in there, cool your heels, and enjoy a nice book about anything. Anything you love.

3. HIT UP SOME OPEN HOUSES. Before you go, look up “redlining” and the how people of color were blocked from moving into certain areas. Right now, you can live wherever you want. Go do some house hunting or do some aspirational home appreciation – also known as “just looking.” You can do that you know – anywhere you want.

4. SHOP AT A BLACK BOOKSTORE. This goes for everybody – I don’t care what race, ethnicity, or religion you are. Get to know black authors and black bookstore owners. They have something to teach you. They can literally sell you the dream. There are a couple in DC – Sankofa and Mahogany Books are the ones I know of.

5. GO TO A HOTEL FOR A STAYCATION. Now, for this one, especially if it is in the under $150 range, you may run into a few white supremacists who have chosen to make a real weekend of it. There was a time that black people couldn’t just walk into a hotel in DC and get a room. Do that. Oh, and see number 1 – definitely bring your swimsuits.

6. EAT AT THE BAR. We don’t really have lunch counters any more, but the closest thing we have to that in DC that is all over the place is the bar. We all know there was a time that you couldn’t eat in a restaurant. DC is famous for the CURRY OUT (Carry out for those not from the area) but this weekend? Eat in. Sit at the bar. Get a table. Enjoy the rights and privileges that are yours.

7. TASTE AN ETHNIC OR REGIONAL DISH YOU HAVE NEVER HAD. DC has some of the most diverse restaurants in America. There’s no shortage of types of food here. Mongolian BBQ, Ethiopian, Jamaican, Trinidadian… you can get Thai food, Kabob (one of my faves), all manner of AMAZING sushi… pretty much whatever you can think of, you can get. Try it out. Embrace the food of another culture – or your own if you haven’t had it in a while. Celebrate being you in a country where we are supposed to be allowed to do that. All cheap the burger chains, Subway, and Papa Johns will likely be packed with white supremacists anyway, so… there’s that.

8. ENJOY THE REST OF THE CITY. There’s so much to do and see in DC. I haven’t seen a whole lot of it, and I live here. While the white supremacists are yelling at each other, you can check out monuments you haven’t seen or park and walk the tidal basin. There are lots of great lookouts where you can park and just breathe off of George Washington Parkway. Step a little outside of the city and check out the National Harbor Ferris Wheel. Have the most fun you can this weekend… in protest of course.

9. CHECK OUT A MUSEUM. DC has the most amazing, mostly free museums anywhere. There are so many to check out. My favorite is the new National African American Museum of History and Culture. It is amazing. Check out my guide on Mommy Nearest here. There is also an wonderful African History museum, Native American History Museum (my favorite), and there’s the Holocaust museum as well. You and your family can learn about the past and get some truth in your eyes and ears. You likely won’t run into the white supremacists there – they don’t like the whole history thing too funny. The Newseum isn’t free, but it is fabulous. They hate that place too.

10. DO SOMETHING GOOD. Do you have a minority friend who has a business? Buy something. Like their facebook page. Tell them they are awesome. Did you see a water bottle on the ground in your neighborhood? Pick it up and put it in the recycling bin. This is your space and your country. Let’s keep it clean and nice. Give $5 to 3 homeless people. DC has plenty. This is their country too. Support a cause that you believe in. Share an inspiring message on your social media channels. See a kid selling water? Buy it. Walk down near the rally and give water to the counter protesters. Hug your kids. Call your friends. Not in or around DC? Do this where you live. Keep living, hoping, and loving.

There is no shame in choosing not to be out there with the crazies. People died in Charlottesville. Hate is dangerous and deadly. In this fight, we all have a role to play. Some on the front lines, and some actually using the freedom that people are fighting for.

As weird as it sounds, I hope you enjoy White Supremacy Weekend 2018. Love you guys. Peace.

Got ideas on what to do in DC this weekend? Share in the comments. (These are moderated, so before anyone writes a full paragraph of crazy, do so with the understanding that no one is gonna see it.)