How to Do and Not Do a Counter-Protest

A white supremacist group held an anti-immigration rally in Charlotte, North Carolina over the weekend and they were met by a delightful counter-protest by a bunch of people dressed in clown suits — a group much larger than the racist group, apparently.

Members of the National Socialist Movement joined the Ku Klux Klan for an anti-immigration rally at Old City Hall on West Trade Street, but the counter-protesters outnumbered them at least five to one.

Instead of shouting, the protesters used squeaky toys, whistles, and noisemakers to drown out the amplified speeches. Many dressed as clowns.

When the speakers talked about “White Power,” the protesters sprinkled white flour. Another held a sign reading “Wife Power.”

They said they wanted to make a point that racism is ridiculous.

“The message from us is, you look silly,” said Lacey Williams, the youth coordinator for Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition. “We’re dressed like clowns and you’re the ones that look funny.”

The only thing I don’t like about this is the attempt to drown out the protest with louder noise, though I assume that since the police didn’t do anything about it the noise must not have been very high. But I love the clown idea. It reminds me of the protest against the Fred Phelps cult by people at a comic book convention a while back. Pointing and laughing at them is more effective than anger, I think.

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