Went down to the Occupy Detroit movement last night. There were tents pitched in a park area. Some were bona-fide Coleman, or REI tents, but others were makeshift out of blue plastic tarp, some rope, and duct tape.
My wife, Kathleen and I stood on the camp perimeter for a moment wondering how to gain ingress. A young blonde girl strolled to the barrier and asked, "Donations?" We responded "yes", and she directed us to go up the sidewalk until we met hay bales. It was there that the kitchen was sited. The blonde girl strolled back to her friends sitting cross-legged on the ground playing a guitar and bongos. Crafting songs of the coming revolution I'd gather.
Kathy and I carried our supplies to the "kitchen", bounded by blue tarps, rope, and some posts made from old snow shovel handles. We'd bought a sack of apples and two bunches of bananas that we passed across the card table to grateful hands.
I came out with it: "What do you need"?
She said food was great, blankets,....a home-made sign behind her was intended to answer my oft-asked question, and it listed their needs as Sterno, scrubbing sponges, buckets, folding chairs,....a lot of sundry needs whose obvious utility surprised me. I was also shocked by my own lack awareness and inability to anticipate their humble and basic wants. I felt uncomfortable because of my comfort.
She was in the process of making and handing out hot dogs to some of Detroit's homeless who have gathered in the area to be fed. The OD movement has taken it upon themselves to share their meager supplies with those less fortunate; those motivated by hunger and need; feeding those motivated by the same. A girl in a wheelchair brushed past me and flashed a toothless grin as she accepted a hot dog. I asked the girl if I could cook a pot of stew for them, and the girls said that would be great. I marveled at their faith and trust. How did they know I wasn't a right-winger trying to poison them?
On our way out a car load of people, their faces smiling, laughing and jeering; ran laps around the square as they pointed and mocked the OD people like one would deride caged monkeys in a zoo. People in the car were dressed in expensive fashions, probably had just come from the symphony, or ballet. The dad brought the family down to see the "freaks". I didn't see a "McCain/Palin" bumper sticker, but I didn't have to.
Three small children, perhaps 6 - 8 years old were in the back seat laughed and mocked; goaded and prompted by their parents. The next generation of haters was being groomed, cultivated, and taught. The father/driver tossed some garbage out the window at the encampment. I think he was imitating tossing a peanut at the monkeys. The children in the back seat erupted in laughter.
I watched this unfold last night in Detroit, and I watched long enough to ensure that the people in the car visited no harm on the protesters. I guess mocking was enough for them.
I'm going back tonight with even more supplies, and even more money tonight. Maybe they could use my Coleman stoves? Perhaps some of my lamb and Guinness stew. Lots of need.
Then I asked myself: "What does a Patriot need"? I will concern myself with filling that need for them today.