Like most Americans, George Kerr was horrified watching news reports documenting the deaths of two African American men this summer after altercations with white law enforcement officers. In May, he watched live television coverage of Minneapolis erupting in protests and riots following George Floyd’s death.
Again in June, another African American man, Rayshard Brooks, died after Atlanta police shot and killed him in a failed arrest attempt. But another news report led Kerr to the streets practicing his First Amendment rights. On Aug. 28, Kerr watched the aftermath of President Trump’s Republican presidential nomination acceptance speech. He remembers protestors yelling obscenities and shoving cell phones at Trump supporters exiting the White House. “I thought this was crazy. This is America, and we ought to be able to say and stand up for what we believe,” he said.
So earlier this month, Kerr and a group of like-minded friends began holding handmade placards promoting traditional conservative American values. On Sept. 14, Kerr’s group held its third event from 9 to 10 a.m. at the intersection of Townsend Avenue and Route 96 in Boothbay Harbor. Kerr often holds a sign stating “All Lives Matter.” Each event draws both supportive and divisive reactions from motorists.
“There’s a lot of thumbs up and honking showing their support. We also get some obscene gestures, too,” Kerr said. “The sign means no disrespect to African Americans. I have another sign ‘All Unborn Lives Matter.’ I really believe that all lives matter, and don’t understand the negative reactions.”
On Sept. 14, the Robertson family joined the event. Jock and Yesenia Robertson and their four children all held signs supporting conservative principles. The Robertsons are from Falls Church, Virginia and have visited Boothbay Harbor 15 times over the years. They met Kerr several years ago at a church event. Jock Robertson participated in the event to support his deeply held beliefs. He described the 2020 presidential election as a stark choice between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“It’s not just a choice between capitalism and socialism. It’s also a choice between good and evil,” Jock Robertson said. “I’m for Trump. He leads in the direction of freedom as opposed to someone telling me what to do, how to think or act.”
Kerr also supports Trump. He believes the president supports policies that will move America forward in troubling times. “He often says things that upset people, but I’m 100% behind his pro-life stance. He’s probably the most pro-life president we’ve had in years. I also appreciate his stance on veterans’ issues, bringing down pharmaceutical prices, and I believe his heart is in the right place, even though his words rub some the wrong way,” Kerr said.
Kerr plans on conducting events supporting conservative principles twice a week for the foreseeable future.