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On Saturday, October 19, 2019, Trump supporters viciously attacked a group of nonviolent protesters at the Santa Monica Pier. I was at that rally and I helped to defend people from the attack. At that rally, I wore my red Che Guevera style shirt bearing the silhouette of Barack Obama.

When Trump Supporters Attack

My Obama shirt symbolizes at least in part what all of this is about. The White Supremacists, who make up the hardcore of Trump’s base, are still angry that a Black man was elected President. They fear a nation ruled by people different from them because they believe other people are just as bigoted, unjust, and sadistic as they.

They participate vicariously in the beating and murder of black and brown people by the police. They enjoy abusing and beating up people who are different or weaker than they. It makes them feel powerful, secure and brave when what they really are is weak, insecure and afraid.

We saw this on display when a 55-year-old man was able to drive two young men, one armed with a can of bear repellant, into the hands of the police. For a moment it was me, a 55-year-old white man wearing his Obama shirt against a young man armed with a can of bear repellant and wearing a “Make American Great Again” cap. As I ran after him the idea came to me that I should charge at him like an angry parent.

An angry parent charges after her child to stop the child from doing something wrong or stupid. The parent is angry because her child is doing something shameful and harmful. The angry parent intervenes not only to protect others but also out of love to protect her child from himself.

So I charged at him like an angry parent, with a look in my eyes that said: “You better stop or I’m going to whip your hide as you’ve never been whipped before!” I think I confused and scared them.

So I charged at him like an angry parent, with a look in my eyes that said: “You better stop or I’m going to whip your hide as you’ve never been whipped before!” I think I confused and scared them.

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When I had them cornered, two police officers on one side and me on the other, one of them started to move toward me but I gave him a mean and angry look. Then the other one ran right through the police officer pushing the officer aside and then the other followed right after. They ran the other way right through the police officers!

Because of what happened that Saturday, I will now call my red shirt bearing the silhouette of Barack Obama my “Super Obama” shirt. Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s “Super Obama!”

I got my “Super Obama” shirt back in 2008 when our dreams of a first Black President came true and hopes of reconciliation and progress drenched the air we breathed. People eventually became disenchanted with President Obama but I never did, because I was never enchanted with him. We often worship our leaders and see more in them than they are.

Whatever you say about Obama, Obamacare has helped millions of people. I’m a Social Security disability attorney and before Obamacare, when people became disabled and could no longer work they often lost everything, their health insurance, their car, their house, and sometimes even their spouse and family. Now they only lose their car, their house, and for some, their spouse, but they don’t have to be disabled to get medical coverage.

So I wore my Obama shirt for eight years and I still wear it today. What my red “Super Obama” shirt means to me is unity. It means solidarity with those who are different from me.

It means solidarity between those of different races and ethnicities, and it also symbolizes solidarity between those of different ideologies and political parties. It gives me hope for unity over those things that divide us most: race, ideology, and religion. It represents hope for a unified Left in solidarity with one another whether we are white or black, socialist or liberal, or Christian or atheist.

Today, we are unified around one thing: President Trump is unfit and must be impeached, convicted and removed from office. President Trump is a threat to our democracy, our domestic tranquility, and our national security. Every day Trump remains in office is a danger to this nation. His self-dealing, incompetence, and abuses of power threaten all of us. That’s why I stand today in solidarity with Americans everywhere to say that this corrupt, white-nationalist, fascist Trump regime must go!

the election

Rich Procida