Never underestimate the power of “La Bamba.” Almost 60 years since Latino legend Ritchie Valens released his hit single “La Bamba,” the Mexican folk song that dates back to the early 1900s made another comeback this past weekend. On Saturday, two white nationalist rallies took place in Tennessee and counter-protestors knew exactly how to handle the situation.
“La Bamba” was played loudly over speakers to drown out chants by “White Lives Matter” supporters.
White nationalists scream across at the protesters, who have are having a dance party across the street. pic.twitter.com/ULCfgwZher
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) October 28, 2017
The first rally held on Saturday was in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and police report that they only made one arrest. Members of the “While Lives Matter” group were behind metal barriers on one side of the street while protestors were on the other. Police presence, which included some officers outfitted in riot gear, was pretty intense.
As white nationalist rally leader Michael Hall tried to speak, calling counter-protestors “degenerate whores,” you could hear “La Bamba” on full blast.
Counterprotesters play "La Bamba" while "White Lives Matter" rally leader Michael Hill speaks pic.twitter.com/8epfUVLzba
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 28, 2017
“All you people over there — your day is coming. Your day is coming,” said Hill. “You’re responsible for more damage in the past century than anybody else.” Hill added, “Our nation is our people. Our skin is our uniform.”
Counter-protestors also played songs by another folk hero, Bob Marley.
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) October 28, 2017
People on Twitter were loving the fact that “La Bamba” was played during a racist gathering. Here’s what they had to say:
I beg of you, world, to make La Bamba the official song of drowning out white supremacists, because it is sensationally funny to watch. https://t.co/cc1AlApmJm
— Elamin Abdelmahmoud (@elamin88) October 28, 2017
— Nancy W (@ncw413) October 28, 2017
The counter-protesters #shelbyville playlist is dope as hell. La Bamba blasted so loud rn that you can't hear the Nazis chanting.
— J. COOPS (@passthehooch) October 28, 2017
I’m not sure which I liked more.”La Bamba” or the guy that yelled “Shut the fuck up!” at the end. https://t.co/D8HjsPAHTw
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) October 28, 2017
The second rally held the same day in nearby Murfreesboro, Tenn., was canceled due to not enough white nationalists showed up.
Here’s the version of “La Bamba” made famous by Los Lobos, featuring a cameo by Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales.