Walker Library display remembers White supremacist rally, counter-protest

A long view of the Oct. 28, 2017, counter-demonstration exhibit created by Murfreesboro Loves and the Albert Gore Research Center on the first floor of the James E. Walker Library. (photo by Albert Gore Research Center)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — As the anniversary of the 2017 White supremacist rally in Middle Tennessee approaches, the James E. Walker Library displays items from the counter-demonstrtion it inspired.

Signs, informational posters and other paraphernalia are exhibited on the library’s first floor in cooperation with the nonprofit group Murfreesboro Loves and MTSU’s Albert Gore Research Center. The exhibit will remain in place through Monday, Sept. 24.

The posters explain what happened on Oct. 28, 2017, as White supremacists demonstrated in Shelbyville, Tennessee, about 30 miles southeast of Murfreesboro. Another rally was anticipated in Murfreesboro, but it did not materialize because supremacists changed their plans at the last minute.

A close-up view of a glass case housing photos, buttons and other paraphernalia from the Oct. 28, 2017, counter-demonstration exhibit created by Murfreesboro Loves and the Albert Gore Research Center on the first floor of the James E. Walker Library. (photo by Albert Gore Research Center)

Counter-protesters were on hand in both locations with signs that said ‘Veterans against Racism,’ ‘Immigrants are welcome—bigots are not’ and ‘In a world full of mishegas (Yiddish for ‘craziness’), be a mensch (Yiddish for ‘human being’).’

Photos and copies of the counter-demonstration agenda are part of the exhibit. Also, promotional materials for the Nov. 6, 2017, ‘Hands across MTSU’ event, an act of devotion to the True Blue Pledge, are on display.

The Murfreesboro Loves initiative was created to provide a counterargument to the rhetoric of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. A white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally Aug. 11 and 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, received national attention when a demonstrator drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others were injured in that incident. The Oct. 28 events in Middle Tennessee were peaceful and included a heavy presence of law enforcement.

The display is free and open to the public during regular library hours. For more information, contact Walker Library at 615-898-2817.