West Palm Beach, Fla. | We switched from anti-Trump to anti-circumcision protests in Palm Beach this past weekend.
It was a refreshing change of pace.
With President Donald Trump taking a rare weekend away from Mar-a-Lago – he’s scheduled to be back again this weekend – the usual protesters had the weekend off.
And it made room for Bloodstained Men, a national group that goes around the country raising the alarm about male circumcision. The group’s protest on Palm Beach was part of a 19-day tour through Florida.
About a dozen of them walked down Worth Avenue dressed in all white with fake red blood stains on their crotches while holding signs that said such things as “I Did Not Consent” and “Foreskin is Not a Birth Defect.”
“What we found in Palm Beach is that the police are so used to protesters there, so they were very good to us,” marcher Jason Fairfield, 58, said. “They thought we were easier to deal with than the protesters they usually get.”
I can’t decide whether Bloodstained Men is just an elaborate performance art project or an earnest group of Americans who have looked very hard to discover an available grievance.
“We’re just letting people know that there’s an issue,” Fairfield said. “I don’t want there to be one person in America who can say I’ve never heard of anybody complaining about circumcision.”
I’ve fallen for this sort of thing before. I once wrote about a protest by people wearing “Ban Breast-feeding Now” T-shirts.
“Breast-feeding is an immoral act,” the leader of the group told me. “It leaves people with an oral fixation. And the worst part of it is, the child doesn’t have a choice.”
By this weekend, we'll be back to normal, which means that the complaints about choice will take the form of “Not My President” signs and gripes about unpalatable health-care options.
I suspect we’re going to miss the circumcision marchers.
“Our point is that if we’re going to have a meaningful discussion on this, it has to come out of the shadows,” Fairfield said. “I want to cut off funding. Thirty-five states pay for it under Medicaid.”
Whoa. This is starting to sound familiar.
On second thought, the Trump and circumcision protests have more in common that I had imagined.
Coming out of the shadows? That could apply to Trump’s yet-to-be-disclosed tax returns. And whether or not something should be paid for by Medicaid seems to be a hot topic these days among Trump protesters too.
It just might be that there are some parallels between this past weekend’s protest about circumcision and this weekend’s new round of Trump protests.
Here’s how they measure up:
Bright clothing accents
Anti-Trump: pink hats with cat ears
Anti-circumcision: fake blood stains on white pants
Slogans that focus on cuts
Anti-Trump: “How Dare You Cut My Obamacare”
Anti-circumcision: “How Dare You Cut His Penis”
Anti-Trump: must be covered
Anti-circumcision: must be left alone
Anti-Trump: post-Twitter abrasions
Anti-circumcision: preputial adhesions
Anti-Trump: necessarily anonymous
Anti-circumcision: unnecessarily threatened
Misleading the public
Anti-Trump: Breitbart News
Anti-circumcision: The American Academy of Pediatrics
Cause for alarm
The columnist is a writer for The Palm Beach Post.