Being from New England, I know that there are educated people and not so smuckin fart people inhabiting states like Maine and New Hampshire. I was up in Maine for the holidays and it looks like I just missed a parade of ignorant mouth breathers. As you read this, remember, it’s 2022 in America, or is it 1950s ‘Merika?
A hate group marched from Kittery and gave Nazi salutes in Portsmouth’s downtown.
Yep, that was the title that came across my news feed as I settled back into my home in Florida. Before I read any more, I said to myself, “On no, what happened at The Rep.”
The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (The Rep) has always been a place where all were welcome. Well, all are welcome if they are respectful of others and there to be entertained and to give back to the community. Unfortunately, The Rep had to deal with some human shit stains vocalizing their inability to function in a modern society.
The Rep was not having any live performances so these “men” that decided to march down to show their ignorance were picketing who? what? Once COVID set in in the spring of 2020, The Rep kept performing live streaming shows in an empty theatre. No one was in line to buy tickets. They were not hindering the entrance the theater, and the theater is far from on any main street in Portsmouth so they had little visibility. I think those rocks in their heads were frozen from the walk over the bridge from Maine to New Hampshire.
One of their first COVID productions was “Honey Punch & Pals.” The show features Honey Punch — dressed like a stereotypical 50s TV homemaker — accompanied by several puppet characters. During the performances, streamed on YouTube, Honey Punch reads stories and sings songs to the puppets and audience.
“It is for everyone,” theater co-director Brandon James said. “It really is for everyone. It is for kids. It is family-friendly. It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s puppets.”
The only discernable difference between “Honey Punch & Pals” and an average production at another local theater: Honey Punch is in drag.
That distinction was all it took for a hate group — recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League — to march across the Memorial Bridge from Kittery, Maine to Bow Street in broad daylight on Dec. 18, 2021. – newscentermaine.com
The Rep sits a few blocks from some of Portsmouth’s most popular restaurants on the waterfront, but it’s over a hill and not visible at all.
But the theater has always been a great place to see great performances in a small theater. From professional performances to children’s theater to … well I think I saw Coco Peru there. It’s a great place for the community to enjoy community theater and then some.
Apparently the protesting men all dressed in black with masks on are members of a regional chapter of the Nationalist Social Club (NSC-131). I do applaud that their small brains were able to create a banner reading, “Drag Queens are Pedophiles” without any spelling errors. I mean, those were big words!
James filmed the men as he walked into work for the day and one man yelled, “[Expletive] around and find out!” Not to be outclassed by words or their ability to hide their faces, at least three men gave a Nazi salute into the air as James went inside.
These men cannot be religious as, well, if they were up on their religious politics, it was Pope Benedict XVI himself, in a mid-air news conference with reporters en route to his first trip to the United States in 2008, that remarked that he considered the two (homosexuality and pedophilia) separate matters.
Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont fluctuate as numbers 1, 2, and 3 as the whitest states in the country. With that lack of diversity, you know it lacks in diversity in other areas. In the mid to late 1900s, Maine was known to have some of the largest KKK ‘clans’ in the nation as they were not against racial differences, but agains the Irish and the French Catholics that were coming in and taking jobs.
“I stood inside our lobby in our theater and watched these men hurling hate outside the theater,” James said. “And I had to ask myself and look inside: ‘What are we going to do? What are we, as humans, going to do? What are we, as an organization, going to do?’ The answer is not [to] stay silent. We’re not going to close up our shutters, and we’re not going to roll over and let these men repeat history.”
And, so, Honey Punch is set to carry on, despite James saying the actor who plays the character has received death threats since the incident.
Since word spread of the hate group’s protest, the directors said the nonprofit theatre had received tens of thousands of dollars in donations, as well as messages of support from around the world.
Bravo Portsmouth, bravo Rep, and bravo NewsCenterMaine. We need to spotlight these great attributes in our community like The Rep and we need to put the Nationalists Social Club on call that your ideas are backwards, stop hiding behind your masks if you believe so strongly in this, and unfortunately for most of them, stop hiding in the closet as we know most homophobes are just hiding who they are.
For a great report on this, head over to newscentermaine.com. We tried to embed the video but the player they use does not allow for correct viewing, but you can view their video on their website.