Supporters of a so-called "white pride" group are expected to gather Saturday at 2 p.m. at an undisclosed location in Hudson to stage what is being billed as an annual "Close the Border" demonstration.
If it is anything like the group's event two years ago at Library Park, participants will meet to drum up support from passing motorists while holding signs containing messages like "Keep NH safe, deport illegals."
North East White Pride has a soft spot in its heart for Hudson because it was one of the New Hampshire communities that received national attention in 2005 – New Ipswich was the other – for charging suspected illegal immigrants with criminal trespass under state law.
A Jaffrey-Peterborough District Court judge ultimately dismissed the charges on the grounds that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over immigration law in this country.
In fact, group member Rob O'Donovan of Haverhill, Mass., made that very point when posting the announcement of the demonstration on the organization's Web site, www.newp.org.
(You won't have any trouble figuring out if you've found the correct site – it's the one with the Web address plastered over a black-and-white photo of Nazi soldiers.)
For his part, O'Donovan rejects descriptions of his organization as a home for racists and white supremacists and claims "we don't hate anyone."
But one look at the group's Web site suggests otherwise, particularly the online comments and the images that accompany them.
If it's true, as the saying goes, you are known by the company you keep, O'Donovan's protestations ring pretty hollow.
Meet some of the members:
• "KKK4Life," who identifies himself as a 21-year-old male from Somerville, Mass., includes in his posting links to the official Web sites of the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party and – not surprisingly – an anti-Barack Obama site that carries the heading: "Defeat Obama '08 / An Obama Nation is an Abomination."
• "Ulfar1-4/88," an 18-year-old male from the Clinton-Worcester area of Massachusetts, refers to Nashua and other sections of the country as being "infested" – and he's not talking about mosquitoes.
• Then there is "jezabell," who identifies herself only as a woman and uses a photograph of a noose as her identifying icon. She also uses the tag line of her posting to share her attempt at humor:
Q: How do you smile and wink at a (n-word) at the same time?
A: Through the scope.
And, yes, the word in parentheses is ours, not hers.
The fact that O'Donovan himself once tried to organize a Martin Luther King Day protest in 2006 in front of the Museum of African American History in Boston also suggests that illegal immigration is just a convenient front for an organization with much broader tentacles.
Frankly, while we would prefer they find somewhere else to preach their message of hate, it would be hypocritical for us to suggest they don't have the right to do it here. The First Amendment says that they can, and that's certainly as it should be.
But perhaps they wouldn't be quite so anxious to return next year if they sensed they weren't welcome here in Hudson – or anywhere else in the state, for that matter.
So if you happen to see them on Saturday afternoon, please don't be fooled by their "immigration reform" ruse. This is a hate group, pure and simple, and perhaps the best message we could send them is our silence.
No honking horns. No waves. No shouts of support.
That would speak volumes to what we think about bigotry and intolerance in our community.
Source: Nashua Telegraph