Rally Against Racism in Burton Last Night Stayed Peaceful [PHOTOS, OPINION]
The rally took place during the rolling cruise for Back to the Bricks last night on Bristol and Saginaw.
We had a friend in town from Chicago, so we scoped out a spot at the rally (it was also a great spot to watch the rolling cruise). Let me be the first to tell you (and I would be absolutely honest with you if it wasn't) that it was 100% peaceful. In fact, most of the people there barely even spoke to each other.
There was a lot of support from cars driving by, which was met with a few (but significantly less) angry people. However, one guy in a pickup truck with American flags hitched to the back gave the "heil Hitler" salute. If you've never seen somebody do that in person, lemme tell you - it's scary. As was said in the VICE documentary about the protests: they're real people. They're more than an internet meme. They occupy physical space. And they definitely aren't wearing hoods anymore.
There were a few members of the group ANTIFA there, but I wasn't there to represent them. I was there to represent love, peace and unity in our state and our country. Again, the rally was completely peaceful, but I wanted to highlight the normal, everyday residents of Genesee County that came to speak up against hate and bigotry. I'm proud that I was there.
Some people viewed this as an anti-Trump rally. I didn't come for that. I came because racism isn't a political issue - it's a moral issue. A human issue. We can be on different sides of the political aisle and still think that racism is disgusting - the two are not mutually exclusive to each other.
My grandparents fought against the Nazis in WWII, and I refuse to explain to MY child, their great-grandson, why there are Nazis on our streets today. Not in 2017. That fight was fought long ago. They shouldn't be part of our American fabric anymore. In fact, they shouldn't have EVER been part of it - they originated in Germany. Interesting that you don't see Nazi pride rallies in Germany - you know why? Because it's something they're ashamed of, and they don't want to see past mistakes repeated. Why should we be any different?
One of my friends, who works for a local emergency service, got a call that said we had been "throwing fake blood on each other." I left at 8 PM - unless that happened after I left, it didn't happen. And it grinds my gears that somebody would make a false report like that. Again, this was peaceful. And I'm proud to say that I was there.