Battling Hate with Humor in Charlotte
Battling Hate with Humor in Charlotte, North Carolina: A Warning to NSM & KKK We Are Watching You
This Saturday, November 10th at 2:30pm, Immigrant Rights Advocates will march against the National Socialist Movement and The Klu Klux Klan, but dressed as clowns. Leading the Clown Convention is the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The NSM and the KKK are meeting in Charlotte for an anti-non-white immigrant rally. According to the latest FBI hate crimes statistics, hate crimes based on anti-Hispanic bias accounted for nearly 67 percent of all ethnically motivated crimes in 2010 and the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Pew Research Center have further documented the surge of anti-Latino hate crimes alongside the rise of active hate groups.
The National Socialist Movement is an organization that specializes in theatrical and provocative protests, it is one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups in the United States. The group is notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric, its racist views and its policy allowing members of other racist groups to join NSM while remaining members of other groups. Until 2007, NSM members protested in full Nazi uniforms, now traded in for black “Battle Dress Uniforms.” (The Southern Poverty Law Center http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/national-socialist-movement).
The NSM is now one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the country. The resurgence of the NSM began in 2004, in the wake of the deaths of the country’s two major neo-Nazi leaders, the National Alliance’s William Pierce (d. 2002) and the Aryan Nations’ Richard Butler (d. 2004). Also contributing to the vacuum in neo-Nazi leadership of the nation was the 2004 imprisonment of Matt Hale, the leader of the World Church of the Creator. Hale was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for soliciting the murder of a federal judge. (The Southern Poverty Law Center http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/national-socialist-movement).
The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous - and oldest - of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics. Over the years since it was formed in December 1865, the Klan has typically seen itself as a Christian organization, although in modern times Klan groups are motivated by a variety of theological and political ideologies.
So why are they marching dressed as clowns? “While racism and hate are serious business, hate groups coming to our city is just ridiculous. To quote a popular internet meme, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” So if they plan on bringing their clown convention to Charlotte and make a mockery out of civic discourse while there is real policy work to be done, then we plan to supply the clowns and extra-awesome mockery. Moreover, to hold a belief in white supremacy is to be worse than a clown. The type of rhetoric these groups espouse does not work to move our country forward. We reject such divisiveness.” Latin American Coalition.
We agree that Hate should never be left unchallenged, but we ask our partners and friends on the ground to be safe and to be vigilant. Know your rights, especially if you are a Dreamer or undocumented, and be safe. Please know that LatinoJustice PRLDEF is here to support your efforts and will be keeping a close eye on Charlotte. To the NSM and the KKK, you have been warned, the nation is watching you and we are watching you. Take your hate somewhere else, there’s no room for hate discourse in our community. To our community in Charlotte, we are here to support you and will be available to you via our social sites. Tweet us, message us, Facebook us, email us and let us know that you are ok or if anything happens to you.
The Latin American Coalition “Send in the Clowns” convention will start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 10th at the Children and Family Services Center in downtown Charlotte. They will walk over to Old City Hall at 3:00 p.m.
Visit their Facebook event page to RSVP and get more info.
Follow along and keep us updated and informed with #KKKlowns or @latinojustice