Branson tourism, already suffering from the government restrictions and the Covid pandemic, is taking another blow from protests at the Dixie Outfitters store.
“I want to thank everyone that showed up today in support of Dixie Outfitters,” the owners wrote in a social media post. “And many thanks to Branson (Police Department). We especially appreciate the group prayer for our country These thugs don’t just hate us… they hate our country! They hate patriotism, faith and freedom! But God still reigns over Branson, MO!”
The post received more than 850 comments from both supporters of the store and those who support the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Thugs? They were peaceful. Your ‘supporters’ were the thugs,” one Facebook user wrote.
“Keep doing what you are doing,” another wrote. “You have the right to be there just like any other business!”
More than 65 people were there to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to protest the store. Nearly 50 people came to support the store and the Confederate flag. At times, heated shouting matches broke out, but Branson police officers stood between the two groups and the demonstrations ended peacefully.
Kathy Jenkins was there to support Dixie Outfitters and got into a confrontation with protesters. A video of the confrontation has since gone viral. At the scene, she told a reporter her last name was Bennett. She said, “I will teach my grandkids to hate you all.”
The woman has since apologized and said she was wrong.
Branson Mayor Edd Akers responded on the city’s Facebook page to the demonstration and the national attention focused on the tourist town.
“The City of Branson does not condone any type of hate speech,” he said. “We have seen approximately seven demonstrations since May 30, all of which have been peaceful with no significant issues. The majority of the people of Branson are welcoming, open and neighborly citizens. Many here have a strong moral background with servant’s hearts and a spirit of hospitality. We welcome all to come and experience our friendly town.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice