On Saturday, Dayton, Ohio, was inundated by a massive, belligerent mob hosting a Klu Klux Klan rally—and by “inundated” I mean inconvenienced. And by “a massive, belligerent mob” I mean only nine Klan members actually showed up.
According to Time, the would-be shit-starters were actually drowned out by as many as 600 counter-protesters, who politely told them to get the fuck on with their bullshit.
And “politely” isn’t an exaggeration as police reported no arrests, no use of force and no citations.
“I’m proud of the city,” Mayor Nan Whaley said.
But what was the cost of keeping the peace? About $650,000.
In order to keep the sea of counter-protesters from swallowing up and spitting out the Klan like fish bones, the city assembled more than 350 police officers, erected barriers, and was on the hook for other materials necessary to keep everyone safe. But of particular note, since Ohio is an open-carry state, the city had to be ready for whatever in case shit went left.
Thankfully, it didn’t.
“I think it is frustrating on how expensive it is today to keep people safe,” Whaley said. “The number of assault rifles was troubling to me. This place we live in now [is] where we have to really prepare for really bad scenarios, and that’s really expensive.”
Dayton residents are appreciative of the lengths the city went to preserve the community’s safety, but many of them aren’t feeling the price tag either.
“The way that the city did it was really awesome, but as a taxpayer of the city, I’m extremely aggravated and irritated [at] the fact that our city spent $650,000 on this,” Dayton resident Jesse Seiber told Time.
Dayton is in talks with Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office to try to recoup some of the costs associated with the rally, but some residents believe $650,000 is a small price to pay for everyone’s safety.
“I’d much rather spend money than human lives,” Dayton bar owner Gus Stathes said. “It could have gotten real ugly real fast.”
Mayor Whaley might want to take a cue from Clarksdale, Miss., Mayor Chuck Espy and offer the scourge of his city $10,000 to take their bigotry elsewhere—preferably to a volcano somewhere. Or to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.