When I heard the Rainbow PUSH Coalition along with other community organizations were staging a funeral for democracy, I thought it was a bit melodramatic. Of course, there are always challenges to voter rights, but to say democracy has crumbled and died was a bit much.
But after attending the “funeral” I got a better idea of the purpose of the event.
“There are a number of ways to protest something other than a press conference or a march. You can do it through the arts and sarcastic symbolism,” said Rev. Alexander Bullock, President of Rainbow PUSH Michigan and the NAACP Highland Park branch.
Sarcastic sybolism. That would explain the theatrical mourners, the coffin, the hearse, and the pamphelt comemorating democracy’s loving memory. Any type of creativity is welcome and after taking it in, I couldn’t help but find the dark humor of the affair. From african style drumming and dancing to props, songs and speaches, Demoracy went out in style. In terms of attendance, one would think democracy’s funeral would draw more than 50 people, but then again, maybe not. Maybe that’s why it’s “dead” in the first place. Apathy.
But Bullock says he’s still optimisitc:
“I thought it went well. It’s not how many people show up, it’s how many people you reach (through media). The message was clear enough so people could get it. The mock funeral was part of a series of events leading up to a major, major march in August. We seek to organize and inform.“