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A group of far-right radicals and white supremacists gathered across from an 18-and-over drag brunch in Tennessee with a Nazi flag and accused patrons of being "groomers."
Wearing white masks and holding a sign popular with the group Patriot Front, about two dozen men stood across the street from Hix Farm Brewery, chanting homophobic slurs, Nashville’s public radio station WPLN reported.
While their numbers were few, the group did have several additional signs.
“Why do they want an audience of children?” read one.
A person associated with Upper Cumberland Pride, the group that hosted the brunch, said in a video they shot and posted on Facebook that the event was for adults only.
“We’re getting accused of being groomers, and yet, look at that. He has a Nazi flag, and he’s 16 years old,” the person is heard saying.
They added, “I see a lot of cowards with their face covered … You know what? We can handle anything thrown at us.”
The more than 30-minute-long video takes viewers inside the bar briefly, showing that not only were there no children present but that it was well attended and people were having a good time despite what was happening outside the establishment.
“We’ve got undercover [police officers] inside,” the person explained, adding that they weren’t worried about security.
Patriot Front members have shown up across the country to menace LGBTQ+ communities. The group goes to great lengths to obscure members’ identities.
Although not dressed completely identically in the signature hat, khaki pants, and blue tops with white masks and sunglasses, people assembled used Patriot Front rhetoric and held a sign that read, “Strong families make strong nations,” with a link to Patriot Front’s website at the bottom.
Some people online criticized Ralph’s, a donut shop located across from the drag brunch, for allowing the homophobic mob to assemble in front of its establishment.
Ralph’s, without condemning the protesters, distanced itself from the protest. The establishment made a statement on Instagram.
“We wanted to publicly release a statement that Ralph’s was closed today and in no way had any affiliation to the protests that occurred,” the statement read.
It continued, “The sidewalk outside of our building is public property, and there was nothing we could legally do to remove people. Thank you to our faithful customers and friends. We hope to continue to serve you.”
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