A Virginia man has been trying to secure a permit so a group of accordion-playing clowns can serenade white supremacist Scott Rhodes near Sandpoint, Idaho.
Rhodes is affiliated with The Road To Power, a racist podcasting site that took credit for a bunch of robocalls in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month that referred to black people in deeply offensive terms and called for their deportation to Africa, according to The Spokesman-Review.
Charlottesville, the site of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally, has become a target of white supremacists since they descended on the city last year. So Justin Beights, a 43-year-old Charlottesville resident and entrepreneur, decided it was time for some creative revenge.
Beights is planning to hire the clowns to play accordions in front of Rhodes’ home ― and to show he isn’t kidding around, his song of choice is Carly Rae Jepsen’s earworm “Call Me Maybe,” according to Idaho station KHQ.
“He targeted my hometown, so I said OK, if he wants to use his First Amendment rights to spread his ridiculousness, then I’ll use my First Amendment rights to spread my own ridiculousness,” Beights told the Spokesman-Review
“And you know what, why not do it in front of his house for as long as possible?” he added.
Sandpoint officials said they couldn’t approve Beights’ permit because Rhodes’ house is in an unincorporated part of Bonner County, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee. However, Beights said officials told him he wouldn’t need a permit if there are fewer than 400 people at the demonstration, the Spokesman-Review reported.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has connected Rhodes to hate literature distribution in Idaho and Virginia, anti-Semitic robocalls targeting Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other hate messages in Spokane, Washington.
Beights had hoped to exact his accordion revenge on Oct. 9, until the permit issues got in the way. Now he’s looking to do it in the spring ― or when Rhodes least expects it, he said.
Of course, that also gives him time to learn to play the instrument a little better.
“I’m an accordion owner, and so I know how to press the buttons and things like that. But I just think it’s a classically hilarious instrument,” he told the Spokesman-Review.
“And I can’t think of a better instrument to play across from Scott Rhodes’ house to show him how it feels when the phone starts ringing and there’s a robot on the other end.”