The modern day incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan decided to kick off the “festivities” early in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. Already slated for a rally today, they showed up last night on the campus of the University of Virginia carrying torches. Tiki torches, weirdly. Their chants were…terrifying.
— Shay Horse (@HuntedHorse) August 12, 2017
They’re chanting “blood and soil.” Okay, as long as it’s your blood, you fascist POS. They were also chatting “you will not replace us” and “white lives matter.”
White nationalists chanting "you will not replace us" and "white lives matter" at counter-protestors here at UVA. pic.twitter.com/rDbig1bRK4— Joshua Eaton (@joshua_eaton) August 12, 2017
I’m of two minds here. It’s obviously a horrifying thing to watch and the sight of a mob carrying torches must cause enormous anxiety and fear on the part of any non-white students on campus and in the Charlottesville community. It’s not like this is happening in a vacuum, there’s a history to this kind of thing and it often ended with the burning not only of crosses but of black people. That is legitimately appalling and terrifying.
On the other hand, they’re carrying tiki torches and that makes me want to just point and laugh at them. Tiki torches, really? I mean, the good news is that the citronella wiped out the mosquitoes for miles around. Will their pitchforks turn out to be KFC sporks instead? Mockery can be as powerful a weapon against people like this as outrage, maybe more powerful. When it reaches the point where everyone just laughs at them, they’re done. But that won’t make it any less frightening for black students and local residents.