Alabama isn’t Delaware.


Taking his combined Nazi-Confederate flag burning demonstration to NASCAR country, Pennsylvania activist Gene Stilp continued his push for awareness by burning the two symbols, which he says represent similar ideals.

“I think we made our point in very good fashion,” Stilp said of his recent demonstration outside of the Dover International Speedway in Delaware, site of the NASCAR XFINITY Series “Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200.”[…]

At one point during the demonstration, Dover police approached Stilp to inform him that he didn’t have a permit to burn anything. Rather than stop the protest, police provided Stilp with the necessary paperwork, something Charles Facka, an organizer with Stilp, caught on camera.

“They watched our backs,” Facka said, noting that he was moved by how police and NASCAR officials helped ensure things ran smoothly. “They said, ‘We’re here to protect your First Amendment rights.’ That made me proud as an American.”

After burning the flag, Stilp kneeled to show solidarity with NFL players. Reflecting back on his own demonstration and the bigger political discussion, Stilp said he hopes the conversation moves away from the “unfortunate turn” it has taken focusing on the national anthem and U.S. flag. He pointed to the original ideas Colin Kaepernick sat and kneeled for in protest, while saying he still sees police brutality and other issues of race that need to be addressed.

Stilp noted that he plans to burn yet another homemade Nazi-Confederate flag at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama this weekend, and will continue demonstrations at county courthouses in Pennsylvania. He said he’s never been to Alabama, but is told the reception will be different than what was received in Dover. Still, Stilp says he is going with an open mind and hopes to influence some change in the South.

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