At 4 p.m. yesterday, three white men cheered for Donald Trump outside the Hillary Clinton rally at Delevoe Memorial Park, near Sistrunk. They held signs calling Hillary a liar and stating that she belongs in prison. It was a demonstration organized by Shalom International, a Jewish group led by controversial activist Bob Kunst. Kunst, age 74, was wearing a "'Deplorables' for Trump" shirt and Star of David necklace. His sign read: "Trump vs Tramp."
"Throw the bitch in jail!" Kunst shouted. "Throw the tramp in jail!"
Though some passersby nodded in support, the majority of drivers turning in to park at the rally shot the finger or cursed the men. Women were most offended by Kunst's sign calling Hillary a "tramp." Many rolled down their windows, calling the men "deplorable."
"Vagina voter! Vagina voter! Vagina voter!" one of the protestors shouted at a woman in her car.
Kunst laughed dismissively. "Women can't get ahead because they can't get past their vaginas. And I thought men were bad for thinking with their penises."
Trump supporter calls Hillary supporter "vagina voter" at Hillary's rally tonight in Sistrunk pic.twitter.com/S6XFVa8OKD— Jess Swanson (@jesssswan) November 1, 2016
Before Kunst became president of Shalom International, he was the executive director of Cure AIDS Now, a gay rights organization on Miami Beach. He fought bigots like singer Anita Bryant and helped deliver Meals on Wheels to AIDs patients. He has always been skeptical of President Obama's and Hillary Clinton's positions on Israel. Though a registered Democrat, he says he voted against both. Almost every Tuesday since 2008, Kunst and his crew have held signs in support of Israel. In July, they shifted their campaign toward electing Donald Trump. Kunst reports that he has held the Trump vs Tramp sign outside 36 different election rallies this year.
Dennis Lamb, a soft-spoken middle-aged man sign-waving with Kunst, explained that his support had nothing to do with Clinton's gender. "I have no problem with a woman president," he said. "I just can't do Hillary — I can't trust her. She’s not looking out for country, she’s looking out for the Clintons."
A black man looked down as he strolled past on the sidewalk. "Trump is the tramp. He won't win, not in here."
Kunst shook his head. "Trump is making a statement and offering safety, security, and education to blacks," he said. "But it’s a self-sustained oppression — gays and women are like that too."
Finally, a fiery woman named Maryann Bomer grew frustrated with the Trump supporters. She had confronted them as she pulled in to park for the rally. After driving from Palm Beach County to see Clinton, she didn't walk toward the stands at the rally; she walked out toward Kunst carrying a "Women for Hillary" poster. Tensions flared.
“Look at you, you fat piece of shit!” Bomer said
“I wouldn't touch you with this dick,” Kunst replied.
“You look like a piece of shit, motherfucker!”
“You're the tramp!”
"You're not a lady, just a piece of shit. Dyke!"
Bomer stomped a few feet away and clutched her sign silently.
"I shouldn't have screamed the way I did, but it's disgraceful saying things like that," Bomer tells New Times as her voice cracks and her eyes well with tears behind her sunglasses. "I can't take it anymore. [Calling Clinton a tramp] was so horrible to read. I'm tired of all the sexist rhetoric."
A few minutes later, a fleet of women from the neighborhood, armed with posters and blue shirts, stood beside Bomer. Their signs called Trump a "womanizer," a "pervert," and a "bigot."
Tonya Walden, who organized their demonstration, was beaming. She explained that like Bomer, she was offended by Kunst's sign. Walden was with her two sisters and two nieces. Instead of going home, the family stopped by the nearest dollar store and picked up white posters and quickly scribbled their pro-Clinton messages. On the sidewalk, all six women shouted, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!" in an attempt to overshadow Kunst's offensive slogans.
"Learn how to say President Trump, ladies!" Kunst quipped derisively.
When Kunst would call women "dykes," "tramps," "vagina voters," "nasty,"and "bitches," Walden instructed her two nieces, ages 11 and 13, to stand farther away from Kunst and cover their ears. Each time, the girls had to put down their signs momentarily.
"This is unacceptable, especially for young girls," Walden says. "This is something that Trump would say."
Eleven-year-old Melody explained why she supports Clinton: "On her commercials, she is the only one making things good in the world for children... and adults too."
By 6:15 p.m., Kunst and the two other male Trump supporters headed home. Kunst explained that they had to wake up early and that they weren't intimidated by the women's counterprotest beside them. Kunst tried to talk to Walden and the women, but they kept shouting to drown out his voice. Kunst shook his head and walked toward his car.
The six women kept cheering for Clinton, unfazed.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.