Montgomery, AL

At 4:00 PM they converge in the parking lot of the Jeff Davis Fishing Pier in Gulfport, Mississippi. The parking lot, which had been mostly empty a few minutes earlier, abruptly fills with an assortment of white people who obviously have no intention of fishing. They line up on the concrete divider that separates the lot from the slow traffic of Highway 90 and begin swaying, closing their eyes, and raising their hands to the sky in a gesture that is half fascist salute and half cheering teen at a hardcore show. A man paces in front of the group and starts speaking in the nauseatingly pious, self-adoring voice perfected by televangelests decades ago. They are staging a pray-in for victims of the oil spill, sweating and swaying so that fishermen don't starve, so that British Petroleum does not earn glory for stopping the leak. With much gesticulation and an earnestness that is as wonderful as it is contrived, the pastor whines at God to throw a little Old Testament wrath at the oil magnates.

Papa D sits off to the side of the main group of prayertestors. He is a large man in an immaculate white v-neck made of rough cotton that complements his immaculately slicked back white hair. He seems relatively disinterested in the prayer gathering, but thoroughly supportive of its goals. He points to a long-haired man adorned with a Hawaiian shirt and a gold whale-fin necklace: "we didn't know if this would turn into a protest, so we figured to bring the hippie along just in case."