So I just found out about this whole “stop the parade” thing, and frankly, I am disgusted.
First of all, speaking from the standpoint of someone who has been a performer and an event organizer at one point in my life, I can understand how much time and effort go into organizing, preparing, and practicing for an event this huge. The people who construct the floats spend weeks to months getting them ready. The bands who are chosen to march consider it a huge privilege to be picked for the most well-known parade in the country. They raise money on their own to be able to travel to New York. The dancers, the singers, the Broadway performers, even the people who march with the balloons. There are thousands of people who come together to make this parade what it is, and millions who watch every year. And you want to ruin that for them. Children look forward to this parade every year. Children participate in this parade every year. Children of all races.
But more importantly, what does this accomplish? Awareness? Because you’ve got awareness. There has been Ferguson all over the news for weeks. Tumblr has been talking about it incessantly for months. Everyone knows what’s going on, and if they didn’t, they certainly know now after the Grand Jury announcement. All you are going to accomplish is interrupting a traditional part of a holiday that is supposed to be about family and togetherness. Doesn’t this country need something good right now? Can we just have the holiday to sit down and be thankful for our own families? Or does the world have to stop for this tragedy? Surprisingly enough, people are allowed to be happy despite a tragedy. Are you going to stop the football games, too? Maybe storm the fields? Or how about the dog show?
You have the world’s attention. Stopping the parade (which has nothing to do with Ferguson; it’s just a big event that you feel like you can hijack for more awareness) is just an extension of this weird mentality I’ve noticed recently that no one is allowed to do anything they enjoy while a tragedy is happening. Not wanting to talk about Ferguson does not make you a horrible person. Wanting to take a day to watch the parade and appreciate being with your family does not make you a horrible person. A holiday is not going to change the amount of awareness that has already been raised. No one is going to forget about Mike Brown because they’re watching the parade.
So calm down, think for two seconds, and let people have something good in the middle of these shitty times.