Neo-Nazi Rally in Knoxville

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Picture by 6 News reporter, Josh Ault

On Saturday in downtown Knoxville a neo-Nazi group in conjunction with the Ku Klux Klan marched in support of "white power" and against mixing races (illegal immigration).  The group is from Detroit but they chose Knoxville as a place to exercise their right to free speech.  Why?  Did they think they would have a sympathetic audience?

Yes, there are still instances of extreme racism in the South (and all over the world).  No, there's not as much diversity in this part of the country as others.  But why disrupt the peace here?

Hoards of police officers lined the streets, helicopters circled overhead and the National Socialist Movement (as they call themselves) marched holding swastika flags along side Confederate flags. The leader of the group, a young white man with a shaved head, said during a 6 News interview with reporter Josh Ault (you can read it here) the swastika is not a symbol of hate and his is a while civil rights group.

They were protesting illegal immigration and calling for the white race to be "preserved." A tea party group scheduled a rally on the Arizona border at the same time with 400 supporters.  The two may or may not be related but they demonstrated for the same cause, on the same day, at the same time.

The surprising news? There were so many protesters against the group in Knoxville that their speech and chants were not easily heard. However, it seems there are sympathizers who allow their opinions to come out "anonymously." Just read the comments on online stories regarding the event.

I find it funny that some United States citizens believe "we" are the first ones to inhabit this country and everyone should assimilate to our culture and our language, period.  Imagine if Native Americans held a protest calling for all white people to assimilate to their culture and language since, let's not forget, they were already here when Christopher Columbus arrived.

Ours is a country of Scots, Irishmen, French, English... all immigrants.  My husband is going to immigrate to the US and probably "take a job" from an American. Yes, he'll do it legally and pay taxes but he's also a white guy. What would happen if he was Hispanic? He'd be looked at with disdain from many people, I'm sure.

I'm proud of Knoxville citizens who felt strongly enough to protest the National Socialist Movement.  Way to use that freedom of speech since we all have it as a cherished right. Now, let's hope education about this type of close-minded group continues.

1 comment

Ted Stryk said...

This has always existed toward one group or another. For example, Benjamin Franklin, writing about Germans, wrote "Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation…and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain…Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it…I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties...In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious...Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion." Sub in Mexicans or Muslims and you have today's tea party platform.