Continuing the transcription of the Shenandoah Rally speeches here’s Part 1 of Daniel Smeriglio’s speech and my thoughts (in blue). Here’s the link to the video on You Tube.
Daniel Smeriglio: Ok folks now’s the time to suffer. Now’s the time to actually hear me speak longer. God help you all. I’m hard to handle.
It’s your words that are hard to handle – your rhetoric.
Alright. First thing. To all our veterans out there. To all the vets that have fought for our country – what is the price of freedom? (man yells “blood”) You all paid. You paid for our rights. You did your time for our country and we always will honor and cherish you. I want to thank you. (applause)
that’s good because there are many immigrants, including undocumented immigrants in the military
So, I was supposedly told by individuals running for elected office that at today’s event they would prefer if I wouldn’t wear their pin or bring their signs because of the risk of something bad happening and hampering an image. (crowd boos)
They understand this rally is inappropriate. It’s plain and simple. Most of us can understand that.
So I guess we didn’t make – we didn’t make any friends now and they’re busy fearing us, but I want to say this – for those who can see, I stand out because I’m large, for those who can see – see this right here? (points to American flag pin) This is the only pin that I wear. The American flag lapel pin because that is the only one that matters. (applause) That is the only pin to me that matters.
Since when has a lapel pin mattered? It’s a lapel pin for crying out loud and it has nothing to do with loving your country. Are your socks the American flag too?
I love my country. I love the rights that we have and I will continue to organize anywhere, anytime that our rights as American citizens are being hampered, are being infringed upon or anytime people are issuing and uttering anti-America rhetoric. (applause)
I’d say your anti-migrant rhetoric is quite anti-American considering we’re a nation of immigrant and that many immigrants are fighting for this country right now.
To the individuals that – I’ve said this and I will repeat this – to people who don’t agree with what we’re doing here today I respect their right, you know, and good for them. You know we all – that’s what makes this country great. We can agree to disagree. We can have different opinions and that’s fine. That’s fine. But for all of you here today I love each and every one of you because you overcame fear. (applause)
Nobody at that rally overcame fear. Somehow this groups is trying to make it as if the white people in town were the one’s attacked. There’s no fear in unveiling a town’s anger and it’s obvious from these videos that some in the crowd are more than happy that Ramirez was beaten to death. Well I disagree with the skinheads in the crowd, you and that guy that yelled “white power” at the camera. Fear of what? And what’s to fear?
You overcame condemnation. You are standing up for your town, for your state, for your country and for yourselves. God bless America. (applause)
Camera pans across the crowd which includes skinheads standing right in front. They’ll never call these guys out. Ok, ok, ok. I man points to the camera and says “white power.” (See minute 3:11 in the video) While this sickens me at least they left it in the video. How many in this crowd share this man’s view? At least the few around him were laughing and smirking.
God has nothing to do with anti-migrant rhetoric and celebrating a man’s death. This group stood on a baseball field and ranted about undocumented migrants while God invited others into his home to actually bring about a form of unity. While this group will point out less people attended the Unity Rally I’d say that’s an indication that work needs to be done in the community. The church was actually far too small to accommodate any more than attended and a dialogue could be started on that as well.
I’d like to thank all the law enforcement here today. God bless them — Thank you. You guys put your lives on the line to keep us safe, to secure our town and I thank you for this.
To the elected officials of Shenandoah – where are you? (crowd cheers) Where are you? Your constituents are asking of you and you failed to respond. (yeah) Do we reelect them or do we boot them out of office? (more cheering)
Ladies and gentleman, we need people that listen to us, pardon the pun, that listen to the voice of the people. We are their employers and they are the employees – not the other way around. (cheering) They seem to forget. They seem to forget that we the people matter. We the people have concerns. We are asking them to do what’s right for the community and they are failing to respond. (cheers) I say never be afraid.
What is “right” for the community here? Is holding an anti-“illegal” immigration rally after an undocumented migrant is beaten to death “right” for the community. And do the community concerns that need to be addressed include the “white power” statement, the “should have been more than one statement” and the “he got what he deserved statement?” What exactly is this community asking for? To me right means treating all people fairly, with dignity and respect. The town officials did not come to this rally because they understood how inappropriate and irresponsible it was. What gives me solace is the fact that the town officials didn’t show up. I bet even Lou Barletta would not have shown up under the circumstances. In Morristown Cresitello regretted speaking at the ProAmerica Rally last year.
See. Do you know, do you know how (can’t make out the word) — (even a lady in the audience asks ‘what?) Do you know how many people threaten violence against us? Lady and gentleman it’s the old adage of good versus evil. Unfortunately some people don’t know how to peacefully assemble and they wish us harm. And we will continue to confront them by doing what we’re doing here today. Gathering, showing pride in our country and not giving a damn about what they think about us. (cheering)
I don’t believe anyone threatens violence against them. This group has a lot of nerve going into a town where a minority was beaten to death and then claiming a large group of white people, who make up the majority of the town, are the ones that should be afraid.
We __ in this country ladies and gentleman. Let me give you a brief origin of what this group is all about. First off, we started by me writing letters last April to numerous newspapers and of course after they chopped and put in what they wanted to put in, in the newspapers, or course. Thank you media. I had an idea to have a rally for Lou Barletta. (cheering) At that rally, through a lot of hard work, dedication (shakes head) and time over 2,000 people showed up in front of city hall, in Hazleton, June 3, 2007. After that people tried to pull strings and make this group what they want it to be. We held numerous rallies combating, obviously, the tolerance of illegal immigration. We combat elected officials that infringe on our rights. We combat anything and everything that is anti-United States of America. (cheering)
Voice of the People USA is a true grass roots group. For that they get some respect and I’ve told Daniel many times that I recognize his ability to get people active – I just wish he’d use that ability to actually help people. They do go after other issues aside from undocumented migrants, but that is their main issue. Their loudest and most angry voice is against undocumented migrants. They claim to also be pro-“legal” immigration; yet, they do nothing to help those working to get hear legally. They don’t speak about the issues with USCIS or the low numbers of migrants allowed to legally come from South America. Many of these people rant and rave about migrants not speaking English without even recognizing the fact that any immigrant, legal or not, will have challenges speaking English unless they came from a wealthy family or an English speaking country. That aside, as I stated before, this rally in particular is irresponsible and most people can understand why.
So, hoorah. So we exist today. So we are here today. We continue to do what we do because of each and everyone one of you.
Which yes, includes the skinheads.
Ladies and gentleman, again. You reached out, we listened. We didn’t come riding in the town planting our flag, hanging our banner saying “bad Shenandoah”, bad people. We came into town with the concept that you are great people – we are great people. We can move on from anything. Any, we can stand up and overcome any and all adversity. We can surpass any of our challenges because we are citizens of the greatest country in the world. (cheering)
Why would VOPUSA call the people of Shenandoah bad people? They are essentially congratulating them for taking the “first step” to get undocumented migrants out of the town. If this town needs a savior I don’t think it’s Voice of the People USA. Shenandoah held the annual Heritage Day Festival with its Parade of Nations the weekend before this rally. Isn’t that a better way to show that you are a welcoming community? Not many towns can claim they have a wonderful celebration that promotes community while allowing citizens to celebrate their ancestry. Of course groups like VOPUSA don’t like anything except American flags, flag lapel pins and apple pie. Any mention of another country makes the blood of these groups boil. They just don’t understand unity.
Shenandoah does not need VOPUSA to stand up for them. This is a community that already celebrates diversity and no right thinking person believes everyone in that town is racist. That same rational mindset should have told VOPUSA that this rally was no appropriate under the circumstances. They essentially catered to the writings of one person who has spent a lot of time trying to prove that Ramirez deserved to die and that’s just sick.