As has been widely reported, members of the Westboro Baptist Church will be spewing their nonsense at American University at 4pm today. Most reports make mention of the group’s brand of speed-protesting and how they’ll be in and out in under an hour. This generates a lot of head scratching in the public and the media because everyone wonders why someone who wants to get their message out wouldn’t do it longer and allow more people to see it.
Simple: because their mission isn’t to communicate or convince anyone, it’s to incite someone into doing something that they can turn into profit. If they can’t manage that almost immediately then there’s no reason to stick around. They’re grifters. Con artists. Profiteering litigants.
Phelps intentionally targets people that are being victimized, or good people doing their jobs to create more outrage. He kicks people when they’re down. He does that so someone will come up and defend them. Then he will sue you.
You can be sure that there’s nothing these bozos love more than the counter-protests because it gathers larger groups and increases the odds someone will do something stupid. Don’t engage, don’t get mad. Our legal system has enough to do without being a profit center for folks who peddle hate… even if they just use it as a tool to indirectly make money.
Update at 3:35p: Note this tweet from TBD’s Amanda Hess at the WBC’s Islamic center protest: “protesters and counterprotesters now filming each other. counterpro taps protester on shoulder with scripture. protester accuses assault.”