BOSTON — It was an event for children meant to raise awareness of gender diversity, to promote self-acceptance and build empathy through an enjoyable literary experience.
That is how the organizers of the Drag Queen Story Hour described Saturday’s program in Jamaica Plain.
“There’s nothing about promoting an agenda other than let’s just share all our whole humanity with each other,” said Jamaica Plain resident Julie Boss.
The event went on as planned, but some uninvited guests showed up – members of a white supremacist group called the Nationalist Social Club, or NSC 131.
That group, founded in Massachusetts by Christopher Hood three years ago, is classified by the Anti-Defamation League as a Neo-Nazi organization that believes in a Jewish conspiracy to exterminate whites. Their apparent target Saturday: the LGBTQ community.
“It’s a good reminder that we’re not immune to hate,” said Boss. “We think that we’re so safe in Massachusetts. And nobody’s safe from that kind of hate and that kind of ignorance.”
Boston Police wound up arresting three people, including Hood. Charges among the three included affray, disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. The accused will appear in West Roxbury District Court.
Conrad Hock, who grew up in Jamaica Plain, saw the white supremacists protesting – and the counter-demonstration that popped up across the street.
“It made me realize that there are these people everywhere,” he said. “It’s scary how insidious a lot of this hate has become – in Boston and even Jamaica Plain, which I thought was kind of shielded from that a little.”
The NSC 131 demonstration happened just weeks after Patriot Front conducted a flash demonstration over July 4th weekend.
“I can’t begin to understand what’s going on in their heads, but I would love to,” said Boss. What they’re really concerned about and what they’re really afraid of. The event they were protesting was nothing but beautiful for the people who participated. The most traumatic thing that happened to those children was being accosted by this hate group when they left.”
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