If your event has the word “patriot” or “freedom” in it, we already assume some “don’t tread on me” bullshit is going to be involved. Saturday’s Freedom Rally in Frankfort did not disappoint.
Around 600 rallied to oppose mask and vaccine mandates, according to WLKY. U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie was among them, showing up just days after comparing vaccine restrictions to the Holocaust on Twitter. Other speakers included Republican state politicians, Reps. Savannah Maddox, Felicia Rabourn and Josh Calloway.
Here are some of the wildest things that were seen and heard at the event:
1. State auditor Mike Harmon, must have torn a page from “History According To Massie,” because the Kentucky gubernatorial candidate seemingly compared businesses requiring vaccinations to segregation. Specifically, he referenced vaccine passports, or proof of vaccination that some businesses request from customers. He compared these passports to how, in the 1950s, “people had to be a certain way to be able to sit and eat at the diner.” Soon after, he added, “Now, we don’t want to return to that.”
2. Massie, meanwhile, turned the deaths of hundreds of millions around the world into a comedy routine, calling former Gov. Steve Beshear the “Beshear virus,” and Gov. Andy Beshear, the “Andy variant.” He also referred to masks as “face diapers.” But, COVID, he said is “serious.” Just not as important as throwing political barbs, apparently.
3. Signs abounded at the event. Here are some of the ones that gave us pause: A white child holding up a handmade sign with the words “I cant brethe [sic]” with a face mask glued to the bottom. A poster behind the speakers with the words “Andy,” “deceiver,” “tyrant” and “child abuser.” A pink poster saying, “Fuhrer Andy” “Kicked out of hell fo’ telling’ so many lies.” Oh, and there was at least one Confederate flag, too, which was allowed to stay at the rally even though organizers told participants not to bring them.
4. A musician named Tony, dressed in an American flag shirt, was one of the first to kick off the event, singing a song about how God is needed in American again. “Stop teaching Darwin and start teaching the word of God in schools,” he crooned at one point.
5. The rally was about the government’s COVID response, but other controversial subjects came up as well. Rally emcee Rev. Lee Watts, denounced critical race theory as “Nazi garbage.” Critical race theory is a lens through which to study race that focuses on racism in institutions rather than racist individuals. Watts also asked the crowd if they thought the last presidential election was stolen. “Who thinks Andy Beshear stole the election, too?” he added with his hand raised in the air.