A small Tennessee town is confused why white nationalists chose their area to stage a rally, WZTV reports.
Police in Shelbyville, Tennessee said they were notified of a rally hosted by the League of the South and the Nationalist Front scheduled for October 28.
Residents were quick to insist that the groups’ decision to host a rally there does not reflect on the community as a whole.
“I’m not going to speculate on why they chose this community,” Shelbyville’s Allen Pitner, the CEO of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, told WZTV. “Could be a logistics thing or something, but again they are in no way reflective of anything about our community.”
“It’s actually really scary especially since we’re having a festival called the Boo and Brew the same day,” Shelbyville resident Reeni Dee told the news station. “We’re a little scared about it.”
The white nationalist groups are planning to march to protest refugees being resettled to Middle Tennessee, as well as to “draw attention” to a recent local church shooting they claim was “retaliation” for the Charleston massacre.
The group said in a statement they want to “draw attention to the recent Emanuel Samson church shooting in Antioch and the way this explosive story has been buried by the national media. The tragic events in Antioch, which was retaliation for the Dylann Roof shooting in Charleston, illustrated that the national media only cares about pushing its false narrative of White racism and black victimhood.”
“We also want to express our anger at the Trump administration which recently took Sudan off the travel ban list the day of the Antioch church shooting,” they wrote, complaining that the Trump administration will not say “a word when a Sudanese refugee who failed to assimilate goes on a rampage.”
“The Trump administration has also failed to build the border wall and is working with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to pass a new version of the DREAM Act amnesty,” they said.
The Shelbyville Police Department said they are “making preparations for this event” and have reached out to local, state, and federal authorities for assistance.”
“Shelbyville is a very diverse community. In accordance with the mission of the Shelbyville Police Department, members are sworn in an unbiased manner in which all people will be treated fairly,” the department said in a statement. “We ask for your cooperation in allowing these individuals to peacefully assemble and exercise their First Amendment Rights.”
The rally comes weeks after white nationalists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “Jews will not replace us” as they marched on the University of Virginia campus carrying tiki torches.
The following day, white nationalists held a rally they claimed was to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a park. The rally quickly turned violent and ended in the death of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester who was intentionally run over by a white nationalist.