- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

D.C. marching bands are refusing to participate in President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural parade.

However, last month, students in D.C. area schools were all to eager to participate in protests of Mr. Trump’s election. They skipped classes and marched to Mr. Trump’s Washington hotel and then to the Capitol, chanting slogans including, “Love trumps hate,” “Black lives matter” and “Build bridges, not walls.”

“At least one D.C. public school marching band has participated in the past five inaugural parades, but none have applied for consideration this year,” NBC4, a local television station reported.

When asked why, the schools were mostly silent — or gave bologna excuses.

Ballou High School’s Majestic Marching Knights “decided to take a break in January” the school’s principal told NBC4. They performed Destiny’s Child’s “Lose My Breath” at former President George W. Bush’s second inaugural parade in 2005, and stepped along Pennsylvania Avenue as they played James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” at President Obama’s second inaugural parade eight years later, the station said.

Eastern High School officials declined to comment on why the school chose to sit out Mr. Trump’s parade.

Howard University officials said they were under “budgetary constraints” this year and that’s the reason the D.C. university chose not to march.

Like it costs so much to walk a few blocks.

The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, which included the D.C. group Different Drummers, also opted to skip Mr. Trump’s inaugural parade because of “safety concerns,” — you know, because Mr. Trump and his supporters are a bunch of deplorables.

“While the parade route itself should be a safe zone, we cannot hope to guarantee our safety while traveling, while rehearsing in public or while out and about in the D.C. area during the weekend,” the band’s board of directors said in a statement. “All minorities are at risk and any opportunity we give the new administration to co-opt a minority organization will likely be exploited to our detriment.”

Not to fear — some bands from the south and from Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Indiana are eager to showcase their talents on the national scale.


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