As hundreds of thousands of Americans of all political stripes joined almost 750 marches yesterday to protest President Trump’s inhumane family separation policy at the southern border, one of the president’s most rabid supporters in Alabama decided that one of these “Keep Families Together” demonstrations provided the perfect venue to make a violent, intimidating statement.
“Huntsville police said Shane Ryan Sealy, 34, of Huntsville was taken into custody for possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of the protest,” AL.com reported late Saturday. Sealy “was charged with menacing and reckless endangerment.”
Rally organizer Ava Caldwell said, “He pulled out a gun. I saw him holding it out in front of him. We just started screaming for everybody to drop to the ground. We all dropped to the ground crying.”
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Thankfully, no shots were fired and no one was seriously hurt. Well, Sealy’s ego undoubtedly took a hit. He showed-up specifically to heckle the peaceful gathering and confront attendees. That’s when things took an unexpected turn. More from AL.com:
“Huntsville police said the incident started at around noon when Sealy, a counter-protester got into an altercation with another person at the rally. Lt. Michael Johnson said. Sealy is accused of picking a fight with a protester and pushing the protester. The protester pushed Sealy back, knocking him down. That’s when Sealy is accused of pulling out a gun.”
Saturday’s peaceful but massive marches sent a powerful message to the Trump administration and the racists and xenophobes they almost exclusively serve: Ripping children from the arms of their parents is not acceptable under any set of circumstances, and doing so as deterrent to literally strike fear into the hearts of refugees and others fleeing crime and political violence is unworthy of an American government, regardless of who’s in charge.
Sealy’s thwarted plan to disrupt and intimidate marchers in Alabama wasn’t the only such attempt. Small but hostile counter protests popped-up in several locations, including Jackson, Michigan, where ostensibly pro-family values Trump supporters decided they could not tolerate the notion that families should be kept together at the border.
Marchers there planned to hold a rally in the parking lot of Republican Congressman Tim Walberg’s office. Trump supporters, however, had different ideas. They got there first and occupied a large section of the lot, and then proceeded to disrupt the Keep Families Together demonstrators any way they could.
“The Trump supporters hoisted American flags and blasted music, while the immigration protesters shouted chants such as ‘Shame on You’ and ‘Love, not hate, makes America great,’ ” local Michigan Live news reported.
This debate over family separation has again shown Trump supporters true colors. Family Values, border security, the due process outlined in the Constitution, and vague defenses of sovereignty are nothing but empty platitudes to mask their racism.