A sign of things to come?
In Northern Virginia, about 100 to 150 White patriots assembled at an “open carry rally” (armed and loaded) at Gravelly Point Park, directly across the Potomac from the National Mall. In DC, about 2,000 gun rights supporters gathered across the river on the National Mall next to the Washington Monument at an unarmed rally sponsored by the NRA and Gun Owner’s of America.
The two groups were divided over tactics. At the last minute, the Oath Keepers pulled out of the “open carry rally” and warned that violence might ensue in Virginia. Rumors swirled around the internet in anticipation of the event. These small differences though were dwarfed by the much greater similarities. Both groups are united in their negative perception of an encroaching federal government and the threat it poses to the Constitution and the “Real America.” Both groups are overwhelmingly composed of angry White males. Both groups are using common anti-government symbols.
This is a stunning reversal from the post-9/11 Bush administration. Remember the Patriot Act and Freedom Fries? In two years, the “patriotards” we used to mock and pillor (at least a broad cross section of them) have evolved from militant nationalists waving Old Glory to fire breathing states’ rights advocates waving the Gadsden Flag. They don’t move in lock step with the GOP anymore either. In 2006 and 2008, millions of them stayed home. They preferred to let Congress and the Presidency fall to the Democrats rather than rubber stamp Republican rule. John McCain’s presidential campaign went down in flames.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A symbol is even better at communicating sentiment. At Knob Creek, the Tea Party Express, and Gravelly Point Park, I saw White Americans deliberately putting down Washington’s flag, and hoisting other banners. The message being sent is clear: for the first time since the Civil War, White Americans are reconsidering their loyalties. It recalls to mind the famous toast John C. Calhoun made at a Jefferson Day dinner in 1830: “the Union, next to our liberty, the most dear.” To which Andrew Jackson replied, “Our Federal Union, it must be preserved.” Within thirty years, the Union was dissolved, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America, and armies clashed at Bull Run.
A few years ago, this was inconceivable: armed White Americans – ordinary people – gathering on the opposite side of the Potomac and denouncing federal tyranny on the anniversary of Waco, Oklahoma City, and Lexington and Concord. Aside from utter contempt of the mainstream media and federal government, what does that say about the State of the Union?
80% of Americans now say they don’t trust Washington. Nearly half of Americans – overwhelmingly White males – say Washington has a negative impact on their lives. Obama has disappointed a growing non-White population who want a larger government and more social services. He has alienated White Americans who want a smaller government, less public services, and secure borders. The irresistible force meets the immovable object.
OD showed up at the “Restore the Constitution” rally in Gravelly Point Park. I wanted to see for myself what was going on. The media reports are fairly accurate: a crowd assembled in Fort Hunt, a convoy proceeded from there to Gravelly Point Park, about 100 to 150 heavily armed White men showed up, a leftist gun control protester harangued the crowd and called us “terrorists.” The speakers had dire warnings about the threat of a tyrannical federal government to the Constitution and individual liberty.
We interviewed a few people in the crowd. The results may surprise you:
(Edit: The YouTube video will be ready this evening. Check back later.)
Daryl Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project made a cameo appearance. He was obviously attempting to fly under the radar in a crowd of 100 or more heavily armed White males. In the Old Dominion, an “open carry” Southern state, hate doesn’t seem to have the same consequences it does elsewhere. Firearms are kryptonite to the self proclaimed “anti-fascist” groups that violently assault racialists in other cities. This is a powerful argument for racialists to get more involved in defending and expanding Second Amendment rights.
As we were leaving, I told the “Restore the Constitution” event security about Daryl Lamont Jenkins and One People’s Project. We had a gut busting laugh as three or four White guys with loaded AK-47’s descended on poor Daryl as we headed toward the parking lot.
I would like to end on a positive note. We weren’t the only White Nationalists in Washington yesterday. In the right historical conditions, we can and will take our country back.
Note: The photos we shot have been uploaded to Flickr. The video is on our YouTube channel.Follow Hunter Wallace on Gab, VK, Facebook and Twitter.