Wednesday, September 26, 2012

White Flour: The Video

Five years ago, the city of Knoxville, Tennessee was the site of a most unusual demonstration. A group of white supremacists marched through the city, but (sadly) that wasn't what was unusual. The unusual part was the form of counter-protest staged in response.

Readers who have been following this blog for a while perhaps already know where this story is going, because I've shared about it before. Rather than fight anger with anger, the counter-protesters dressed up as clowns and used humor to deflate the hatred of the white supremacist message.

Having learned about the event, singer-songwriter David LaMotte wrote a poem, which he called White Flour, and started sharing it at concerts during what was understood at the time to be (in essence) his "farewell tour" before taking time off to study abroad. As it happened, LaMotte did return to his performing career a couple of years later, after earning a masters degree in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Only these days, it's not just about singing, as LaMotte has added speaking engagements and other projects on behalf of promoting the cause of peace. In this natural evolution of LaMotte's career, publishing the White Flour poem in book form was a natural next step.

To make this happen, a Kickstarter campaign was started. The idea was that, if LaMotte could raise $18,500 in a month's time, the book would be able to be published, with 2500 copies made. That goal was reached in only 12 days.

In light of such strong support for the book, it was determined to go ahead with a run of 10,000 books instead, and to launch a broader promotional campaign. This would cost a bit more, but even that revised goal was blown out of the water, as $37,805 (more than double the original goal) was ultimately raised by the end of the campaign. I'm very proud to have been one of nearly 600 donors who helped this book to become a reality.

Even though there is definitely hope for the book to sell well (and initial sales since the book came out in May are reportedly good), and readers are certainly encouraged to buy a copy (you can go ahead and buy it straight from the source through this link), the more important thing is that this message — that there are other ways to combat evil in the world that don't involve using anger and violence — gets out to as many people as possible. To that end, the White Flour book has been captured in video form, and David LaMotte is encouraging people to spread the video in every way they can.

Here's the video. Feel free to share!

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