Organizers of the annual Bikes, Blues and BBQ rally in Fayetteville, despite pledges to work with vendors not to sell hate merch, have been unsuccessful getting their biker community to agree. Swastika pins, SS rings and Confederate flag decor is being offered for sale along Dickson Street. A group called the Boston Mountain ARA (antiracist action in the Arkansas Ozarks) has posted images on its Facebook page of some of the items for sale. The website urges people to call organizers at 479-527-9993 to protest. (We tried; the number going to an answering machine.) A commenter who did get through said the person who answered said the group doesn’t condone the sale of hate symbols and was “working on a solution.”
In a story Tuesday, The Fayetteville Flyer quoted Tommy Sisemore, identified as the director of Bikes, Blues and BBQ, as saying leaders of the rally would “enforce a ban on sales of Confederate flag merchandise” in response to University of Arkansas and Fayetteville police requests. Fayetteville police have implemented extra security for the rally, which drowns out all living things and sends the locals fleeing, this year. Not sure why Nazi tributes weren’t anticipated.
You’ve got to wonder. Didn’t these bikers grow up with parents and grandparents who risked life and limb, who experienced the horrors of war, to fight the Nazis? Who liberated Nazi death camps, sometimes delivering flowers along with freedom? Or did they just grow up from rot, like mushrooms?