An interfaith counter-protest to a white supremacy rally took place in Shellbyville, Tennessee this past weekend. The gathering gave more than 400 individuals a unique opportunity to celebrate Halloween - by saying “Boo” to hate. Both demonstrations were peaceful. Organizations like the Nationalist Front, the League of the South and the Traditionalist Worker Party chose Shelbyville for their “White Lives Matter” march hoping to rile up racial resentment in this diverse and working class town - where a number of immigrants are moving because of the work available at a chicken factory. Little did they know that their event would be so vastly outnumbered. 170 Tennessee faith leaders came together to support the counter message of love and solidarity. And yet, it was a young man in the eighth grade, son of Latino immigrants, who organized the “Honk - To Say “Boo To Hate” protest, enabling even passersby to participate!!
Margaret Ernst, a UCC seminary intern working in neighboring Brokmeade commented, “As a northerner, born in Connecticut and now living in the South, (this event) has taught me that at an historical moment when white supremacy is looking for new recruits, the North and liberal cities on the coasts have much to learn from courageous, rural and working class Southerners who are showing the rest of us how to face our history and carve out a new future with humility and togetherness.”
Way to go, Margaret!!