The body of the late poet, performer, speaker, activist, actress, writer, and certified national treasure Maya Angelou will be interred after both public and private services this week. And, as with most solemn and high-profile post-tragedy events, the prescription strength assholes of the Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest.
You might recall the Westboro Baptist Church protesters from their utterly tasteless dickery at the following events: Matthew Shepherd's funeral, military funerals, the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Green who was killed during the mass shooting that nearly killed Congresswoman Gaby Giffords, funerals of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings, the National Holocaust Museum, various concerts, the NBA, probably your mom, etc etc etc etc etc. Once, the KKK stopped the Church for protesting a soldier's funeral, because we live in a weird fucking country.
Unfortunately for the GOD HATES FAGS-sign toting church members, Angelou's funeral procession and memorial events will be protected by a burly motorcycle gang. The group 2 Million Bikers announced plans to form a "wall" between Angelou's mourners and the pencil dick Westboro mourners despite the fact that the group's leadership claims it doesn't endorse Angelou's views. In fact, perusing the group's Facebook page is a little painful, like reading all the forwards from your arch conservative uncle that automatically get sent to your spam folder at once while Rush Limbaugh gargles talking points in the background. But at least these self-proclaimed lovers of freedom believe in promoting it for everyone, even those with whom they disagree. From the group's Facebook page:
[2 Million Bikers] are not riding in support of Angelou's beliefs. "We are riding to protect her funeral from WBC," [a spokeswoman] said. "If we allow WBC to protest her funeral what will stop them from protesting one of our funerals?"
Bee continued to say that even though her organization does not agree with Angelou, they will fight for the rights of all people to speak freely.
She passionately said,
"No we do not agree with her beliefs, but we agree with her freedom to have & voice those beliefs. That is what freedom is about! If we attempt to shut up all those who disagree with us are we not doing the same thing as them?"
Good on 2 Million Bikers for meeting bare minimum standards of human decency, I guess. What's truly distressing isn't that Westboro Baptist wants to have its own wee little protest at the funeral of an American icon. It's how much manpower is required to silence but a few persistent dipshits.