The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan didn't run. They drove—hauled ass, in fact—away from confrontation, only screaming "white power" from the safety of their pickup trucks, tails between their legs, when it was completely safe to do so.
That's what happened Saturday, as a long-planned and much-discussed rally to celebrate the election of Donald Trump was derailed, twice, by well over a hundred counterprotesters who held banners with slogans like "John Brown Lives—Smash White Supremacy," a reference to the pre-Civil War abolitionist.
The rally's intended location—Pelham, in Caswell County, near the Virginia border—was only announced Friday evening, though what passed for the actual rally took place some thirty miles away, in Roxboro.
"They pushed it back till eleven [a.m.], and we were like, 'All right, cool, we'll wait,'" one protester told the INDY. "We did a march in Pelham, and then we heard they were going to Danville, and when we got there, someone hopped in their truck and took off. Once we headed home an hour later, they were in that other fuckin' town, Roxboro or whatever. So they literally waited until we were gone and then did it an hour away."
The reason? It was "too cold to march," Imperial Kommander Amanda Barker, wife of group founder Chris Barker, told the U.K.'s Daily Mail. (Another possible explanation for why the rally was so disorganized was that a planning meeting resulted in a stabbing at the Barkers' home that landed Chris Barker in jail.)
"They waited until everyone left town," the protester said, "and then fucking sped through Roxboro in a ten-car parade where they were going thirty-five miles an hour."
Meanwhile, a counterdemonstration in Raleigh's Moore Square, organized by the Triangle Unity May Day Coalition—an alliance of several Triangle social justice groups—drew close to a thousand people to hear artists and activists, including former Workers' World Party vice presidential candidate Lamont Lilly, speak against Trump, the Klan, and the system itself.
"Donald Trump isn't what scares us. That embarrassment of a man didn't vote himself into the White House," nineteen-year-old immigration activist Jorge Ramos said. "The American people did. His words are unifying, but in the worst way possible. We must be vigilant. All of the ugly things are no longer ugly."
"I do believe that if we come together, we can defeat white supremacy," Lilly said. "I do believe that we can defeat racism, if we stand back and fight back with everything we have, we can defeat sexism, capitalism, and poverty. We can defeat this entire fucked up system!"
This article appeared in print with the headline "Off-White Power."