Neo-Nazi supremacist rally on Gettysburg field sparks protest
White supremacists have used the historic Gettysburg battlefield in the US as a stage to voice their racist agenda. Those who oppose them say the group committed violent acts and has connections in government.
The Gettysburg battlefield is a place where tourists come to remember the US Civil War, and even reenact that chapter in US history. This time, however, several people were there dressed in uniform in an attempt to make history themselves.
“This speech is going to be short, sweet and to the point – revolution!” A rallying cry like that to fight has not been heard there since perhaps the war itself.
“I’d like to welcome everyone to this Gettysburg national battlefield and especially these true white warriors,” declared "Colonel" Gordon Young from neo-Nazi organization Aryan Nations.
“Aryan Nations is in a new day and a new era, and we are here to make a difference,” said Paul Mullet, Aryan Nations national director.
Meanwhile, protesters against Aryan Nations showed up in much greater number than the supporters.
And with a field separating Aryan Nations from their audience, it could be argued that their controversial views were falling on deaf ears.
“Honestly, I can’t hear a thing thanks to their distance,” one of protesters said.
So why should people worry when Aryan Nations make racist remarks or worry when they call for action in the name of “white rights”?
Daryle Lamont Jenkins, who has been following Aryan Nations group for years, alleges it is because they have been known to commit violence in the past and believes the threat goes further.
“Views like this have caused damage in the past especially when they are brought into the mainstream, and that is the concern,” said Jenkins from anti-racist group One People Project.
Jenkins says an example of this is a Pennsylvania lawmaker trying to push through immigration reform similar to Arizona’s, which critics say leads to racial profiling.
So while in Gettysburg this Aryan Nations appears more like an Aryan island, they may bring part of the battlefield out into the world.
It remains to be seen how far the group will take this fight and how far it has already gone.