South Carolina has long been a crucible of racial friction, a truth tragically brought to light last month when 21-year-old Dylann Roof murdered nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. In the weeks since, these muted tensions have amplified, with a number of Confederate apologists loudly and defiantly standing by a heritage marred if not defined by prejudice.
The great thing about America, though, is that for every pack of cringeworthy contrarians, you have someone able and eager to call their bluff. In this case, the contrarians are members of a contemporary incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan, and their most vocal opponent is a sousaphone-playing young man named Matt Buck.
Last week, as the Klan revival group waved their Confederate flags through Columbia, South Carolina, Buck marched alongside them, huffing into his sousaphone (a version of the tuba modified for the marching band).
“I didn’t really know how to show my opposition, so that was my way of doing it,” he told the Charleston City Paper. “My goal was to embarrass them, and I think I did a little bit.”