Apparently Nick Sheridan and his friends thought they could wrap themselves in American right-wing populism and his racism would get a pass.
The event that Sheridan and others have been organizing is called the Make America Great Again Convoy, taking place on July 30th and 31st in Foxboro, MA. The convoy is put together by groups of motorcycle riders in support of Donald Trump, all meeting to begin at “Moms,” which is the Moms motorcycle shop in Foxboro.
The biker support of Donald Trump was not surprising given that certain elements in the “1%” motorcycle club community have had their ties to white power organizations and subcultures. In 1992, a large section of motorcycle riders came out to publicly support Pat Buchanan’s reactionary Republican primary bid. Today, groups like Bikers for Trump have been organized as a working-class show of support for the candidate, often coming across as more militant and brash than the average Donald Trump supporter. Many of these bikers have had crossover with groups like the Soldiers of Odin or the Lion’s Guard, who use Mussolini quotes to organize a paramilitary support to attack Trump counter-protesters. It should be noted while there is some biker support, that is certainly not uniform, and many motorcycle groups have come out as explicitly anti-racist and anti-fascist.
While this event is not motorcycle only, it will be heavy on both those and large trucks, and people have been posting on the Facebook event page with Confederate flags attached to their vehicle of choice. Though they are attempting to code the language, there is “white pride” posts throughout the page, all of which go uncontested and receive many “Likes.” It should be noted, however, that several of the organizers have tried to make this more “inclusive” by posting that it will be LGBT friendly, but the rhetoric is directly in line with attempts to use the Orlando tragedy as a way of creating a larger anti-Muslim block in support of Donald Trump.
Nick Sheridan, one of the key organizers, has been known for his racist behavior online. Whether it is using the n-word or accusing people of color of being lazy, his Trump politics are a thin veil to cover racialist behavior that goes unchallenged in his “patriot” echo chamber.
While this event is one of many that is happening over the summer before people head to the polls, it is one that would be good to confront as they are bringing back coded racialist language and symbolism into a public space. It is critical to continue sending the message that any show of reactionary behavior is going to be challenged by a growing anti-racist movement.
MOMS is a chain that also has locations in Boston and Manchester. Give them a call to let them know that this is not the kind of event they should support, and urging that they ask the organizers to go elsewhere.
1000 Washington Street
Foxboro, MA 02035