Somewhere during my afternoon outings in Downtown Seattle, I come across the square nearby the monorail station to the Space Needle. Amidst the buskers, overseen by mounted police (not to be confused by our superior Royal Mounted Police), are Christian converters and overseers. Before venturing out into the open I decide to explore the mall inside and eventually I am rewarded for my curiosity.
To every city, despite where it is I happen to be coming from, a person will always be subject to the antics of the strange and fanatical. Moreso here in the United States, the media loves to conjure an image of zealous religious nutjobs preaching to everyone they come across; rubbing shoulders in the ranks of conspiracy theorists, scam artists, and other untrustworthy characters they do exist in every city across the world.
It comes to my attention as I leave at a small crowd gathering around a lone preacher, an African-American man in faded clothes, carrying a sign that read simply, “Obama is not a negro”. Immediately I feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck – half of the crowd is becoming increasingly incensed by his ravings about some Muslim conspiracy of sorts.
I have a question, I ask aloud. What is the relevance between his ethnicity to his efficiency as acting president? My question is met with mild approval from within the crowd. It does not amuse me that it goes ignored, instead reciprocated by loud chanting of the same slogan. I imagine somewhere in the world, some culture still believes that loud volumes of repeated phrases can sway a crowd to your favor; I do believe that classical anarchists and mob stirrers used this tactic.
Fearing for my own safety, I made my trip to Bruno’s, as mentioned in the previous entry. When I returned to the area, searching for batteries to my loaned digital camera, the crowd had seemingly increased in size. I heard the call of the preacher as he quickly gathered his belongings. Having experienced firsthand the Stanley Cup Riots of 2011, I was not privy to stand around should mayhem break out from the angry mob. Making my way to the street-station elevator, I stepped into the lift.
“Wait!” I looked up and saw the preacher, racing for the elevator doors. Behind him, several people were hot on his heels. For a moment, I thought about what he might have been trying to achieve with his constant screaming of slogans, his refusal to answer questions. I thought perhaps I should help this man in need.
The preacher yells as the doors close, pounding furiously at them, and I am at times amused by my own apathy to those who avoid providing rational answers to others. Maybe this was what He might have wanted after all.
Next Update: Goodbyes and Farewells, leaving Emerald City