Of course, a pro-police rally in Vermont attracted another “Karen” who has gone viral for spewing hate about #BlackLivesMatter.
According to VTDigger.org, the rally in support of Vermont law enforcement was held on the Statehouse steps on Saturday morning. Eventually, counter-protestors joined the crowd and by mid-day #BlackLivesMatter supporters increased to 150 people, according to VTDigger.org. The event began with a few hundred pro-police supporters gathering to hear stories in support of cops but within an hour, the two opposing demonstrators clashed.
Counter-protestors took over the left side of the Statehouse steps, playing music out of a loudspeaker and chanting words like “Black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace; defund police.” They nearly drowned out the pro-cop rally’s speakers.
In a video that went viral, one white woman is caught on camera interrupting a man by yelling, “Black lives don’t matter at all to me. White lives matter. You’ve had everything. Free f*cking everything. Blacks have been coddled for years.”
The woman continues, “free college, free everything. Your test scores are higher. Everything! Free college, free everything and it’s still not enough and never will be. Never will be.”
The woman then holds up a sign that reads “God Bless Our Police Force” and then she turns it around with writing on the back that appears to read “BLM = Terrorist.” Meanwhile, someone yells in the background, “So you’re saying you’re a white supremacist? That’s what I’m hearing.” The woman responds, “Black lives don’t f*cking matter to me.” When the person yelling in the background asks for the white woman’s name, she walks away with her sign.
Pro-BLM demonstrators also told VTDigger.org of other racist incidents during the protests. Zanevia Wilcox, a racial justice advocate who has spoken at other Black Lives Matter demonstrations, said she was called a “f*cking ni**er” in the middle of the confrontation.
“The reason why we came here today was really to show that we’re not afraid — and we see you, and we’ve been seeing you,” she said. “If you go far enough in Vermont, you’ll see it without a rally. You’ll see it without the signs and the yelling.”
Noel Riby-Williams, who helped organize the Black Lives Matter protest told VTDigger.org, “I’m not shocked, because I know Vermont has its really racist undertones. And the racism here is probably even scarier than in other places — it’s hidden, and you don’t know when it’s going to come, and it will shock you at any moment.”
“I just hope and pray that these people really realize what they’re standing for,” Riby-Williams continued. “By standing for police brutality, you’re allowing people to be killed.” Protests against police violence have ignited across the world after George Floyd died at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
Despite the heated confrontation at the Vermont state capital, things eventually cooled down after the rally ended. Some conversation even occurred between BLM supporters and pro-police demonstrators. Riby-Williams explained that although she thought “even them being out here today is racist behavior,” there were productive conversations during the day.
“It’s definitely a reminder that we need to keep showing up for Black lives, and showing the importance of Black lives,” she said. “I really think that although this day has had a lot of shouting and yelling, there’s been lots of conversations. I’ve seen people on both sides talking and just trying to understand both sides. Conversations is where it starts, and if we don’t have conversations, nothing will change.”
Montpelier Police Chief Brian Peete said Saturday evening that no arrests were made during the demonstrations.