A normally quiet bookstore in Washington, D.C., was the site of a White Nationalist protest Saturday as author Jonathan Metzl was welcomed for an event where he read from his new book on the politics of racial resentment.
Ten white male protesters stormed into the book reading with a megaphone chanting “this is our land” in a video taken by a witness, says The Daily Mail.
Metzl’s book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland, discusses how racism impacts and influences lower- and middle-class white Americans in particular. The protesters, who identified themselves as “nationalists and identitarians” marched into the Connecticut Avenue bookstore, not far from the White House, shortly after the professor started reading from his book.
The man with the megaphone, who did not share his name, had a speech prepared as they interrupted Metzl’s reading.
“You would have the white working class trade their homeland for handouts. But we, as nationalists and identitarians, can offer the workers of this country a homeland, their birthright, in addition to health care, good jobs and so forth.”
The crowd that was gathered to hear the professor speak and have their books signed booed the men who interrupted the event. The entire altercation lasted five minutes and ended peacefully.
Professor Metzl.— Dave Straw (@StrawDave) April 28, 2019
I thought you might like to see the image I took with my cell phone at this afternoon's event at Politics and Prose. Good luck on future events, may they be quiet and contemplative ! Dave Straw; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/WZotWI9XQQ
Dr. Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist and the director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University, said that the group was obviously organized and came with their own videographer in an effort to disrupt the book reading.
Dr. Metzl said he was surprised by the interruption.
“It was pretty intense. I think everyone was really surprised. I get lots of threats on voice mail, but this was the first time in person,” he said.
The author said it was ironic that he had just recognized a man in the audience, attending the reading who had helped his father and grandparents escape the Nazis in Austria.
“I was saying how much stronger America is when we think about our responsibility to people in need. At that point, the Nazis walked into the talk,” Dr. Metzl explained.
Metzl continued, saying how symbolic it was to have those men walk in to perfectly illustrate the point he writes about in the book.
The protest took place at approximately the same time as the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California, where one woman was killed, and three injured, including the rabbi, as services took place. According to The Inquisitr, the suspect in the case had posted an anti-semitic treatise on social media before storming the temple.