My conservative friend Nancy French went to a rally with her family in Nashville, Tennessee and began noticing something “off.” In The Dispatch, she wrote about why she decided to take her 12 year old black daughter and 19 year old son to the rally and what she saw once she got there.

At first, everything was peaceful:

The rally in Legislative Plaza was a peaceful family event. I was relieved as we walked to the event to see other moms and dads bringing their children to the rally; some were even younger than Naomi. Even though we were late, we ended up—Forrest Gump-style—right next to the speakers, who wore masks and spoke into a megaphone. They included Nashville Mayor John Cooper, state Sen. Brenda Gilmore, state Rep. Vincent Dixie, state Rep. Mike Stewart, and state Rep. Harold Love (all Democrats). When Mayor Cooper was interrupted, event organizers demanded the crowd hear him out. They did. A minor scuffle occurred a distance away from us, but the crowd began to chant—“We want peace!”—until passions cooled moments later. More than 4,000 people attended the well—ordered event, and it was simultaneously filled with goodwill, disappointment, and genuine grief. 

But then, it turned:

The “family event vibe” lessened with every step of the march. Along the way, I heard a loud sound behind me—not loud enough for a gunshot, but the protesters, already on alert, scurried. A person had thrown a brick at one of the Nashville downtown buildings. Then another. The glass held. 

When the protesters came to a complete stop in front of the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Central Precinct, I got worried. My late uncle Gary Moss, the first Metro police officer to have a canine partner, had worked at that very station.

People pulled out brought huge cement blocks, bricks, and gallons of whole milk (to neutralize pepper spray). Bricks flew through the air, hitting the windows.

The protesters near me wondered why we stopped. “Aren’t we marching?” they asked. We weren’t. In a flash, our peaceful march turned into the beginnings of the riot that would later run rampant through historic Music City. 

Though Nancy didn’t stay for all of the ensuing chaos and destruction, she did note that “white allies” were valuable at the protests.

When the police came through in riot gear, understandably worried black protesters asked white allies to make a barrier between the cops and the African American crowd, worried that Nashville cops would lash out at black protestors. Some white people volunteered, others refused. 

Though no violence had broken out at that point, it was gratifying to see some white people offer to help at least in a small way. Other whites in attendance were unfortunately unhinged. Without question, the most hysterical and fury-filled people I witnessed were white. (This was an observation echoed around the nation.)

I saw one white guy push an officer with all his might. He stumbled a few feet before catching himself. White people threw bricks. One white person picked up the excrement from police horses and put it on a police car with smashed windows. Another white person cheered as the car was damaged.

When they returned to the street, a black man admonished them. He explained that black people couldn’t act that way without getting punished. Also, he said that people would see the damage to the police cars and blame blacks. “I couldn’t do that s–T,” he said, pointing out their privilege. “Then you walk the f— away. Y’all ain’t f—ing grown.”

The video of that moment is at the bottom of the post.

Nancy writes, “It was absurd that a black man had to step up to white people ruining a civil rights rally… His indignation was inspirational, and I’m glad we witnessed it before we left. I wish it could be injected into every American’s veins.”

I’m sure many of you, like me, have seen videos of black rioters and looters as well as white ones.  All of this should be condemned.

However, as you watch the protests breaking out all around the world, it’s important to note that America has always allowed, promoted, and thrived on peaceful protests.  However, there are infiltrators trying to divide us.  Some speculate they are antifa.  Others say that are white supremacists. 

We can’t let them divide us.  We must stand together as a nation now.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.