Where African Americans and Glen Beck fans intersect: McDonalds


On my way back from checking out the 828 “Restoring Honor” rally I popped into McDonalds. All day I’d been seeing groups on the national mall: Tea Partiers, Glen Beck groupies, Progressive counter protestors, and stray spectators like myself. These groups remained separate from each other. However, McDonalds is that odd demographic intersection. On my left – an African American family with two cute little girls gobbled up happy meals; on my right – a couple with American flag T-shirts and a hunkering for quarter pounders with cheese. They had stocked up on a few extra years and pounds, and probably had kids in college. For 15 minutes every group that walked in was either a local black family with kids or a red state family dodging the sun and heat.

The nation-in-a-microcosm parallel didn’t end there. Behind the counter, a group of young hard working foreigners quickly filled orders, speaking spanish to each other while barely managing to understand my english. I asked for a #6 meal and got a #5. (It was right, plus or minus one). As I thought more about McDonalds, I realized the group most absent were the blue-state hipsters and politicos – the sort who just moved to Columbia Heights and are ecstatic over the new Whole Foods. They don’t fit into the McDonalds vision yet – of families with little kids playing with their happy meal toys together and older couples enjoying good chunk-o-cow in silence under one inclusive roof.

Every Glen Beck supporter I talked to was friendly and easy going. No shouting or polical grandstanding here. They knew how to react appropriately to the gesture of eye-contact and a smile, unlike some blue-state big-city snobs. They answered questions like “where are you from?” and “how was the rally” without taking this as an opportunity to preach at me. I spoke for a good 15 minutes each with fellas from northern New York state and central Ohio. Both had ridden a bus overnight to be here, and neither seemed to treat 828 as the rally to end all rallies. One guy said, “I’m glad I saw Glen Beck. He’s a showman and had a few gaffes, but that’s Glen.”

I wish we had more of Glen Beck’s audience around here, to make DC friendlier and less messagey, but please no more Glen Becks.

Advertisements

One thought on “Where African Americans and Glen Beck fans intersect: McDonalds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s