Student Activism: The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

8 Nov
By: Anastasia

Which side are you on?!

I never thought I’d take a road trip to Washington D.C with my senior seminar class on Halloween weekend. It was so out of the ordinary, spontaneous, and exciting! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join my classmates in what I felt would be a historical moment for media students. Our class is a special topic in communications at UIC titled “Fake News.” This course looks at the blend between media, news, and entertainment in comedy shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. These shows are a relatively new genre because they offer political commentary with a comedic twist. Also, they are quick to point out inconsistencies in the media and the hypocrisy of the government. After many exaggerated new reports and disappointing actions made by political leaders, Stewart and Colbert hosted the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30th at the National Square Mall in Washington D.C.

Jon Stewart explains the significance behind the rally in an interview with Larry King on CNN:

Our communications class had observed Stewart and Colbert’s criticism of the media and politicians over the course of the semester, and we were eager to show support for an event that was asking for more quality reporting and an outlet for moderate political views.

Many people who attended had signs and costumes to express their opinion on different issues.

Our class at the Westin Hotel in D.C.

Seven-hundred miles and fourteen hours later, we finally arrived at the nation’s capital; ready to take a stand against extremism, and fight for reasonableness! Thousands of people gathered at the National Mall on Saturday to engage in intellectual conversation, respectfully disagree with political media, or simply because they were die-hard Stewart/Colbert fans and were looking to have a good time. The atmosphere at the rally was positive, and everyone was either cheering for sanity or marching to keep fear alive!

Here is a clip with footage from the event:

The crowd at the rally!

The rally was packed with performances by The Roots, Ozzie Osbourne, Tony Bennett, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow. My favorite part of the Rally is when Stewart and Colbert gave medallions to people who they felt should be rewarded for reasonableness or courage to withstand fear. Of those that I talked to who attended, they were not sure what to expect out of the rally. Some people thought that the gathering had to the power to change peoples’ perspectives on politics and the media, while others felt it didn’t have much significance at all. In my opinion, Stewart and Colbert have a lot of political influence, but they hide their power behind humor. In addition, I feel their reporting has made them into American Icons, and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear has the power to make an impact on popular culture.

College students are becoming increasingly active in politics, and now more than ever is the time to take a stand in what you believe in. For me, like many people who attended the rally, I feel like we’re living in a time where we have to choose sides. Politics are polarized and the media creates drastic reports about the current state of our economy as if our days are nearing an end. Take a stand and volunteer or join a local organization of your choice. YOU can make a difference at your school or in your community. Get started by checking out the student organizations at your urban university:





One Response to “Student Activism: The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear”


  1. Let Your Spirit Guide You « Chicago College Life - November 12, 2010

    […] and community groups and organizations for college students to take part in. For Example: Student Activism: The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Meet Saba, That’s Pretty Good Stuff , Want to get involved? A Student Shares Her […]

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