Fundraiser shows ‘Nazis aren’t welcome’ in Lexington

Jasper Jones

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Kentucky Refugee Ministries are raising funds to fight against hate, using an anticipated white nationalist rally here in Lexington to help their cause.

KRM Community Engagement Coordinator Dana Lea said KRM did not actually come up with the idea. Instead, the organization was approached by the community about responding to possible neo-Nazi and white supremacist marches in Lexington, in response to the moving of Confederate statues.

“Ourselves and SPLC were chosen as recipients because of what we stand for, promoting diversity and welcoming,” Lea said.

Angela Baldridge, the executive director of The Plantory, explained how the idea was brought to her organization. The Plantory is a social service organization that hosts collaborative efforts among businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Baldridge said the Plantory was invited to share ideas for ways to protest the Nazis without giving them more attention.

She told a story about Wunsiedel, Germany, where Nazis hosted a march each year. The residents could not stop the march, so instead, they sponsored each Nazi step—essentially a walk-a-thon— with funds that went to anti-Nazi organizations.

“People here really liked the idea, so organizers selected a couple of organizations that support justice initiatives (the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Kentucky Refugee Ministries) to fundraise for,” Baldridge said. “When the nationalists’ threat to protest here fell short, organizers decided to fundraise anyway to make it clear that Nazis aren’t welcome.”

Posters about the fundraiser are posted around campus and the city. Donations can be made here or here. Select Lexington and write “Wunsiedel Project” in the comments section.