Rod Bliss, a white filmmaker from Los Angeles, recently traveled to Harrison, Arkansas — home to the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan — to hold up a “Black Lives Matter” sign.
The results were shocking yet somehow unsurprising and, above all, deeply disturbing.
At the start of his viral video posted this week, Bliss is shown holding the Black Lives Matter sign in front of a “White Pride Radio” billboard in what he calls “America’s most racist town.” Bliss’ video has been viewed more than 1 million times on Twitter and YouTube alone.
“Have a little pride in your race, brother!” one motorist yells at Bliss from the window of a minivan. “White pride worldwide!”
“I wouldn’t stay after dark, man,” a pedestrian tells Bliss.
“About 10 minutes, I’m going to be back,” another motorist says. “You better be f—king gone.”
Passing motorists also make obscene hand gestures and call bliss the n-word, a “kike,” a “mother—ker,” a “dumbass,” a “Marxist,” a “communist” and a “domestic terrorist.”
“Explain to me why a coon’s life matters,” one man yells.
“Fuck black lives! And I have black friends,” one woman says.
Bliss’ video also shows reactions to the sign in front of a local Walmart. One shopper calls the Black Lives Matter movement “the biggest hoax that ever was.”
“It’s the next thing to ISIS,” another man says.
Bliss is eventually asked to leave, despite showing a store employee a statement from Walmart corporate in support of Black Lives Matter. Walmart later issued a statement about the incident saying, “The individual represented in this video was asked to leave the premises because we have a policy prohibiting solicitation and demonstrations on Walmart property for both individuals and organizations.”
Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson and Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Largent also issued a statement: “The video does not represent Boone County nor the City of Harrison. While we cannot excuse the reprehensible behavior and words of individuals recorded in the video, we know for certain that they do not reflect the views of the majority of the good people of our communities. It is obvious there is still work to be done in our area and across the nation. We must constantly strive to do better, and we pledge our continued efforts in that regard.”
In a hopeful scene at the end of the video, a young white person walks over and hands Bliss a note. “Ignore the haters,” the note said, according to Bliss’ video. “You’re being peaceful. What you’re doing is good. Just a friendly reminder. Don’t give up hope.”
Bliss said he’s received legal threats over the video and launched a GoFundMe page seeking donations to retain an attorney to defend it.
Watch it below.
Get Towleroad Headlines Daily.
News daily from one of the most trusted, independent, lgbtq owned and operated media outlets. Covering news, entertainment, science, media, art and more for almost 17 years.