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Tiki torch-toting white nationalists ignite online mockery

Tiki torches are more commonly seen at luaus and pool parties, but when they turned up Saturday at a white nationalist rally in Virginia, social media ... guffawed.
Tiki torches are more commonly seen at luaus and pool parties, but when they turned up Saturday at a white nationalist rally in Virginia, social media ... guffawed. The Sacramento Bee file

White nationalists turned up Saturday night at a Civil War monument in Virginia with Confederate flags, racist chants and blazing torches.

Blazing tiki torches, that is.

The internet was, well, not exactly impressed.

Self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer led a large group carrying torches and chanting “You will not replace us” Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., protesting plans to remove a Confederate monument that has played an outsize role in this year’s race for Virginia governor, reports The Washington Post

“What brings us together is that we are white, we are a people, we will not be replaced,” Spencer said at the first of two rallies he led in the college town where he once attended the University of Virginia.

At the second rally, dozens of torch-bearing protesters gathered in a city park in the evening and chanted “You will not replace us” and “Russia is our friend,” local television footage shows. Spencer was not shown addressing that gathering, but he tweeted a photo of himself standing in the crowd carrying what appeared to be a bamboo tiki torch, The Washington Post says.

The evening protest was short-lived. About 10 minutes into it, an altercation between Spencer’s group and counter-protesters drew police to the scene, and the crowd quickly dispersed, the Charlottesville Daily Progress reported.

Local and national leaders condemned the protest.

But it was the photos of grim-faced white nationalists carrying blazing tiki torches – more often seen as lawn ornaments at suburban luaus and pool parties – that cut Twitter to the bone. The funny bone.

The Washington Post contributed to this report.

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