About 200 white nationalists and neo-Nazis gathered for the White Lives Matter rallies in Tennessee. They were protesting against refugee resettlement and immigration. However, their rally was somewhat diminished due to the astonishing presence of counter-protesters who outnumbered the white nationalists.
Shelbyville was the first site of the rally. The rally developed mostly in calm despite the fears left by the deadly protests of August and the presence of counter-protesters who played Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech while the leaders of the National socialist movements were trying to give speeches, calling for closed borders and deportations.
“This right here is what it’s all about!” declared Scott Lacey, who has spoken at White Lives Matter rallies across the country. “It’s all about the color of our skin!”
White nationalists couldn’t even show up on time
The rally was set to start at 8 a.m. on Saturday in Shelbyville. Members of the counter-protest began arriving at the site thinking they were going to see a few Nazis. However, they were late. At 10:30 a.m., one of the organizers of the counter-protest grabbed the microphone and said the following:
“Some master race,” he snickered. “Can’t even show up on time.”
Once the rally and the protest against it started — about mid-morning — both remained apart as the law enforcement officers kept them on the sidewalks of the opposite sides of a four-lane road. Barricades were put to avoid any conflict between them.
White nationalists organized the rally to protest against the presence of refugees and immigrants in Middle Tennessee and claiming they wanted them to be deported from the United States. They noted that a lot of them were Somali and Sudanese people. Members of the League of the South — the group who helped organize the rally — carried signs that said “southern cultural genocide.” Most of the demonstrators of the “White Lives Matter” were men. Some carried shields, confederate flags and covered their faces with masks or bandanas.
While on the other side of the street protesters — who doubled the number of white nationalists — chanted “refugees are welcome here” and “this is what democracy looks like.” They also screamed to the white nationalists “Nazis go home” and “shame.” After the events were over, people dispersed within half an hour.
They feared a repeat of the events of Charlottesville in Shelbyville
Local leaders and residents were anxious about what could happen this Saturday in the rally and about the quantity of people that would travel towards Shelbyville to assist to the rally. It was planned for several national white supremacist groups including the National Socialist Movement (neo-nazi) the Traditionalist Worker Party (they claim for a separate white ethnostate), the Anti-Communist Action (far right group) and Vanguard America, (a white supremacist group who thinks the white race must be preserved in America).
The organizers of the “White Lives Matter” rally had expected about 175 people to assist. The liberal groups didn’t know how many counter-protesters they would have in Shelbyville. However, the response of the people was pleased them.
Officers and people feared that Saturday’s demonstrations could turn into another Charlottesville, where a clash between white nationalists and opposition produced violence, death, and fear last August. Luckily, there were only some minor problems, and the events turned out to be peaceful, though there was a lot of screaming and yelling.
According to police Lt. Brian Crews, one man was arrested for disorderly conduct and exhibiting a “threatening behavior.” The man’s identity was not disclosed. However, he was on the side of the white nationalists; though it is not clear if he was a member of the demonstration.
The so-called genocide of the white race
At one point of the rally, Brian Culpepper — who is part of the National Socialist Movement — took the microphone. However, the voices of the speakers were somewhat drowned by the voice of Martin Luther King Jr., Michael Jackson’s “Black and white” song, or by the chants of “Black Lives Matters”. The idea was that they addressed the crowd of white nationalist before their departure to Murfreesboro for another rally.
The message of the rally speakers focused on highlighting the genocide of the white race and the white southern culture. One of the speakers even complained about the fact that black people can say the n-word but it sounds offensive when he says it. Another one criticized the existence of a Black History Month.
“What about me? Me and my children have a right to exist,” screamed another speaker. “White lives matter!”
On the other hand, the counter-protesters said they reunited to show people they don’t stand for such a cause.
“We don’t want these people here, trying to recruit our neighbors to this disgusting cause,” said David Clark, who helped organize Shelbyville LOVES, the primary counterprotest group.
Source: USA TODAY