[I]t was people who are not local protesting an issue that is not of local importance. You feel like they are coming to Little Rock because people will shove cameras in their face and maybe national news will pick it up if there is an incident.The station didn't ignore it altogether — the fact that the rally was going to happen was mentioned briefly a week and half before the event, at which point the station announced it wouldn't be covered further unless something newsworthy happen. The station directed viewers to a letter from Kellerman online about its reasoning behind the decision. On the day of the event, the station sent a reporter and two photographers, but didn't put any coverage on the air.
... What if nobody covered them and nothing happened and it didn’t make national news and no one cared?
Nazis coming to town? You may be wondering why you haven’t heard much about it on the news.
Well, here’s why…
The group occasionally holds rallies across the country with one goal in mind: attention.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group is “notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric, its racist views and its policy allowing members of other racist groups to join NSM while remaining members of other groups. Until 2007, NSM members protested in full Nazi uniforms.”
In short: they’re a hate group.
In most cases, the people involved in the protest likely won’t be from here. They’ll be coming in to town hoping local cameras capture their demonstration that’s then shared across the country.
With everything that just happened in Pittsburgh, this is the last thing we need in our country – let alone our state.
Quite frankly, I’m not willing to give them our attention. There are far too many important issues in our communities that need to be covered.
This doesn’t deserve our time.
I was assigned by an out-of-state news organization to monitor the proceedings, and to not file a story in the absence of conflict, rather in line with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s standard.
No violence having presented, I would have focused, as now, on the people on the other side of the police line, the men and women, young and old, black and white and Asian and Latino, Protestant and Catholic and Jew, who came to the Capitol representing other values.
For instance, Janna, a 34 year-old who, fearful of retribution, asked that her last name not be printed. “I’m not going to let Nazis come to my state and not show up to tell them they’re not welcome,” she said. “To be silent is to take a side.” The wrong one, she made clear.
And here was Walter Riddick, 62, attorney and veteran of almost three decades in uniform, whose forebears include a governor of Arkansas (Henry Rector) who supported “states’ rights” in 1860, and an assistant U.S. Attorney (his namesake father) who, a century later, represented federal supremacy during the Central High desegregation crisis.
Neuropathy has Walter Riddick in a wheelchair these days but he came anyway, blanketed against the cold, because “these people” — pointing to the Black Shirts — “represent a significant part of what I spent a lifetime working against.”
Riddick’s “chauffeur” was Alan Malcolm, 64, who brought not only his friend but a sepia portrait of his father, in his World War II Army uniform. “He fought those b———-,” Malcolm said. Thus he came “on my father’s behalf and my own.”
On behalf of her grandchildren came the decidedly feisty Robin Wilson, 65, who said she grew up with a segregationist father in a house in the shadow of Central High, National Guardsmen patrolling her street in the toxic days of 1957.
“These people have no clue or they wouldn’t preach the rhetoric of hatred they do,” she said of the NSM. Her children’s children were being raised to love people, she added, no matter who those people loved, how they worshipped, from where they came or the color of their skin.