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'White Mullets Matter' banner flies over Stonington

Since the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, White Lives Matter has become a mantra among white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Renaissance Society, the Anti-Defamation League says.

In this summer of unrest, police around the world have responded to complaints about the use of the term as part of racist provocation and an attack on Black Lives Matter protests.

The use of the phrase All Lives Matter also has drawn fire as being insensitive to the protests against the treatment of Black people by police at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement.

So imagine my surprise to learn that versions of these loaded racial statements have been written on advertising-style banners and pulled behind a plane crossing over Stonington beaches the last two weekends.

Actually, the perpetrators of this scheme, which includes a GoFundMe campaign and YouTube videos of the banners flying over Sandy Point in Stonington, use a trying-to-be-cute cute twist on the provocative terms: White Mullets Matter and All Mullets Matter.

As far as I am concerned, the mullet banners are certainly meant to invoke the White Lives Matter messaging attack on the Black Lives Matter movement, and the racism and the message remain the same.

I don't know whether the slogans aired over Stonington are meant to also invoke mullet haircuts or white mullet fish, which are pictured on the GoFundMe page, but either way it is obviously a fig leaf draped over a mantra used by white nationalists.

And all the good people of Stonington are getting their noses rubbed in it, one beautiful summer weekend after another.

I reached out through the GoFundMe site to the organizer of the All Mullets Matter campaign, who identifies himself as a North Stonington resident, but never heard from him.

Another YouTube video, affiliated with the posted videos of the banners being flown over Sandy Point, shows a White Mullets Matter yard sign being staked in the ground. The sign, with a WMM logo that invokes the WLM used by White Lives Matter, also depicts two menacing figures in black capes.

"Respect the Mullet" is written on the middle of the sign.

I also reached out to the owner of a Stonington aviation company that flies advertising banners out of Westerly Airport, to see if he knows anything about the mullet banners.

He was surprisingly hostile, using a lot of profanity and telling me the media is a "horrible virus," worse than anything else that can happen to the country.

He said he has heard about the mullet banners but insisted he did not fly them, suggesting there are lots of out-of-state companies that fly banners here.

He added, though, that he sees nothing wrong with the message.

"Black Lives is a Marxist organization. Marxist groups decided to make this about race," he said. "Everyone's life is important."

Stonington police, it seems to me, need to look into the motives and manner in which someone is filling the skies over town with slogans that barely disguise a message of racism and hate.

All of us who respect the pain and the aspirations of the Black Lives Matter movement are being made a laughingstock.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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