When the Westboro Baptist Church sent a grand total of 6 members to protest Virginia Delegate Danica Roem to the Virginia Capitol, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe came prepared. With kazoos.
“I couldn’t bring my band, so we brought kazoos instead,” Blythe said. Over 100 counter-protesters joined Blythe to drown out the chants of the group known as “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest Del. Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to state-level political office in the United States. Del. Roem saw an opportunity in their protest; she was able to raise over $36,000 for her re-election campaign through the #WestboroBackfire online protest. And backfire, that protest sure did.
Armed with kazoos, bucket drums, and noisemakers of all kinds, the counter-protesters were able to nearly completely drown out the speaker of WBC member Shirley Phelps-Roper. After just 30 minutes, the WBC protesters moved to a sidewalk near Virginia Commonwealth University to protest the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Students stopped, stared, and even vocally protested back.
After another 30 minutes, the WBC protesters were once again drowned out by the counter-protesters that now included VCU students, chanting “We’re here, we’re queer, nobody wants you here.”