The KKK was in my city today.There was a group of protesters(lots!). My question is,does an enmasse protest just make more publicity fro the klan,or does it show that most of the people disagree with their hate messages? p.s.there was no violence,yay!
Counterdemonstrations against groups like the Klan CAN be a good thing, but they have to be planned carefully.
In MANY cases, a much-publicized “rally” of Klansmen or neo-Nazis produces a pitiful turnout (at the famous Skokie rally, the Nazi parade was feeble and small indeed). In THOSE cases, a huge crowd of angry protestors yelling epithets might be counterproductive: they might make the Nazis feel a LOT more important than they really are (“Look at all them angry niggers, Zeke! We sure ticked them off good! Hey look, cameras! We’re on TV! Yuk yuk yuk!”)
If you want to stage a rally, it can work: but it helps if you treat the Klansmen NOT as dangerous villains (which will feed their already overinflated egos), but with derision.
Good example: a leading neo-Nazi named Hoff (a chunky bald dude) was leading racist activities in Queens. In turn, the opportunistic troublemaker Al Sharpton was planning an anti-Hoff rally in Queens. Some smart local whites made up a lot of satircal signs ridiculing Hoff. Signs included “The Klan is For Fat Bald Losers!” and “We Love Reverend Al” and “Hoff SuKKKs!”
By all means, let the Nazis know what idiots they are- just do it in a way that doesn’t feed their martyr complex.
The best response I’ve ever heard to a KKK rally (or the like) is called Project Lemonade. People go out and get pledges for a certain amount of money to be donated for every minute the rally goes on. Then that money is donated to groups the KKK hates (ADL, NAACP, whoever). They take a lemon, and make lemonade.
[[The best response I’ve ever heard to a KKK rally (or the like) is called Project Lemonade. People go out and get pledges for a certain amount of money to be donated for every minute the rally goes on. Then that money is donated to groups the KKK hates (ADL, NAACP, whoever). They take a lemon, and make lemonade.]]
At Planned Parenthood some years ago there were some anti-abortion picketers who harassed the clinic clients (even though they didn’t perform abortions there). So they had an “adopt-a-picketer” campaign where you could choose one particular person who stood in front of the clinic, and each time they appeared, the adopter was to donate a certain amount of money to Planned Parenthood. I like creative campaigns like that. A little different one; during the Vietnam war, a bunch of posters appeared around town of a cocker spaniel, with text that explained that on a certain afternoon in the main square there would be a demonstration in which the dog would be napalmed, to show what an awful thing it was. Of course there was a public outcry and official condemnation from the animal rights people. On the day of the supposed demonstration, the square was packed with angry people. A demonstrator stood up and announced that they never intended to kill the dog, but look what a response they got to that, when meanwhile villagers were being napalmed in SE Asia every day.
There was no Skokie rally. They held it in Chicago instead.
“Feeble” is sure the right word for it though.
Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.
During a rally, is it not the protestors that the paraders are trying to get to? If this is the case, why give them the satisfaction…just stay away and they will go away.
A few years ago, the Klan came to Pittsburgh and held a rally/protest outside the City/County building (I can’t remember why now). A counter-demonstration was held a few blocks away.
During the planning sessions for the counter-demonstration, there was talk of just staying away, and not acknowleging the Klan’s presence at all. However, it was finally decided that if there wasn’t some good, positive way to protest the Klan being there, people who wanted to protest would just go to where the Klan was rallying, and that would give them more publicity.
It worked out pretty well; the counter-rally got a lot of media coverage, and the atmosphere was positive. Some people did go over to where the Klan was protesting, and they reported that the mood was ugly and tense (although there wasn’t any violence). The counter-rally turned out to be more a celebration of anti-racism than a protest of the Klan’s protest, per se; I think that this was the key to its success.
The Cat In The Hat