When members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front marched on Washington, D.C., on Sunday, they were met by a single, acerbic counterprotester on a bike.
Joe Flood, a Washington-based writer, was out having coffee Sunday morning when he saw on Twitter that Patriot Front was having a rally on the National Mall. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Patriot Front as a “white nationalist hate group” that formed after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
Since he wasn’t far away, Flood hopped on a Capital Bikeshare bicycle and pedaled over to the Mall, where he found the rally of about 100 people in front of the Washington Monument.
“They snuck into D.C. a couple times before, and they would march around and do photo shoots and stuff, and I didn’t want them to get away this time without someone counterprotesting them and confronting them,” Flood told The New Republic.
What happened next is possibly the greatest string of insults known to man.
“I wanted them to know that they’re racists and fascists, and D.C. doesn’t like fascists,” Flood said. He called them “losers,” “incels,” “cosplayers,” and “a joke.”
The group leader was wearing a fitted blue jacket with brass buttons, cowboy boots, and a “cavalry-style hat,” so Flood shouted that he looked like “General Custer’s illegitimate son.”
“He just stopped and looked at his shoes,” Flood said, laughing. “I’d really got him with that one.”
When Flood said the group was wearing “Walmart khakis,” even the police officers deployed to the rally laughed.
The Patriot Front members then marched from the Mall to Judiciary Square, flanked by about 50 police officers on bicycles. Flood rode alongside them, leapfrogging ahead to continue shouting at the group. A few other counterprotesters joined him as they reached the end of the Mall. Once they reached Judiciary Square, the Patriot Front members put their signs into two U-Haul trucks and then got on the metro to leave.
He has now gone viral for his heckling skills, but Flood said it’s important to remember: “America is not for one group, it’s for everyone. And that’s what makes this country great. And then the fact that there are white supremacists who think that this country belongs to only one group of people, I just find completely offensive.”
Patriot Front “were a joke, basically, but they’re an evil joke,” Flood told TNR. “As a friend of mine said, ‘It’s funny till it isn’t.’ So that’s why I wanted them to know that what they were doing was not OK, and that people in D.C. hated them.”