#GreenShirtGuy, a.k.a. Alex Kack, the Tucson resident who laughed at Trump supporters during a "sanctuary city" council meeting, says his five minutes of fame is a “weird privilege.”
On Tuesday, Kack, an activist and comedian, attended a city council meeting to discuss a grassroots initiative declaring Tucson a sanctuary city on the November ballot. Kack and his colleagues at the Peoples Defense Initiative organization had collected 18,000 signatures supporting the measure.
Kack, 28, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that a woman wearing shorts and a “Make America Great Again” shirt was being disrespectful. “During the Pledge of Allegiance, she was vlogging and kept inserting the phrase, ‘American citizens only,’” he says. “The irony of a person who identifies herself as a patriot, interrupting the Pledge. That was the first time I laughed out loud.”
Scene inside a Tucson City Council Meeting. Officials voted to put a "Sanctuary City" measure on the November ballot pic.twitter.com/mEh4PNj0Wo
— Nick VinZant (@NickVinZant) August 7, 2019
As videoed by KVOA reporter Nick VinZant, when it came time to discuss the measure, the woman yelled, "The city does not change or defy our immigration laws. It is Congress' job to change immigration laws,” while filming on her cell phone, amid boos.
Standing up, she revealed a sign reading, "Respect Our Laws or We Will Deport You! No Sanctuary For Criminals!" Her male friend, also wearing a pro-Trump hat held a sign that reportedly read, "Stop Rewarding, Start Deporting!"
"You're in direct violation of the oath you took to the United States Constitution. You're in direct violation of our laws," the woman yelled.
“You’re in direct violation of being a jacka**,” responded a man off-camera.
Kack, sitting one row ahead of the protestors and wearing a lime-green collared shirt, was recorded silently cracking up, even as a police officer escorted the protestors out of the venue.
our heroes are not big politicians. they are people who yell or literally laugh in the faces of insanity. please, everyone, do either.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 8, 2019
VinZant tweeted his video of the newly-minted #GreenShirtGuy, and Hollywood applauded. Chrissy Teigen wrote, “There is something about #GreenShirtGuy that completely nullifies any dumb sh*t that woman is saying. You forget about her completely. He consumes you. In any other context, without him laughing, it would make you sad. But this makes you happy. Yelling is fun. But this is better.”
Teigen added, “Our heroes are not big politicians. They are people who yell or literally laugh in the faces of insanity. Please, everyone, do either.”
Comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted, “I love him,” and Kathy Griffin shared, “Um, YES, we needed this. And thank you #GreenShirtGuy. Our new collective reaction! This reaction applies to whenever those fools chant and whenever Orange Dumba** appears.”
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 7, 2019
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 7, 2019
Kack’s laughter was momentous — people vowed to make green shirts the anti-MAGA hat, someone designed Kack merchandise, and Penguin, the shirt’s brand, tweeted at Kack, “Love the shirt! We’d love to send you some fresh ones for date night!”
The Tucson resident became the new #PlaidShirtGuy, whose real name is Tyler Linfesty. In 2018, during Trump’s Montana rally, Linfesty — wearing a plaid shirt — was filmed making disapproving faces toward Trump, whom he stood behind.
— Original Penguin (@OriginalPenguin) August 8, 2019
Oh my goddamn. Is this the beginning of a movement.The kind of movement that changes a culture.We all follow the lead of #greenshirtguy. We wear green shirts at events like this, we laugh our asses off at everyone wearing a red #MAGA hat and a chant. No words, just laughter.
— McCarty (@_JohnMcCarty) August 7, 2019
— Tommy Roxas jr. (@tjroxas) August 8, 2019
— Tobias Mussil (@damnTM) August 8, 2019
Yes, I love that #GreenShirtGuy (@Alex_Kack ) is trending.
But, Even more, I love the fact that the AZ Patriot Movement (@az_movement) is getting exposed as the lunatics that they are.
They've always been a laughingstock in AZ, but now nationwide? *Chef's Kiss* pic.twitter.com/dT6Vmil6Of
— Jay Barbuto (@JayBarbuto) August 7, 2019
— Rev. Travis Akers (@travisakers) August 7, 2019
— Hank Scorpio, CEO (@jasongiannaros) August 8, 2019
Conspiracy theories have surrounded Kack — he is a paid actor, he uses an alias, and his laugh was fake. “I am not sleeping or eating a lot,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “[Fame] is a weird privilege. People think I was intentionally taking a political stand but the reality is, I was watching this childish insanity only inches away from me.”
Kack says that as he and his coworkers left the meeting, the hecklers were standing outside “hooting and hollering.”
“They presented themselves aggressively,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We were taking a group photo and they kept photobombing it. We told them to back off and finally we gave up and took the photo with them in it.”
Kack purchased the Penguin shirt at Goodwill and will wear it publicly for now. “It’s completely unbelievable that something as insane and stupid as my belly laugh had this kind of impact on people,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But laughter is cathartic and at some point, you have to let out all this toxic sh*t.”
The comic says his five minutes of fame is less important than the issue of immigration. “We’re blanketing issues of morality — what level of human dignity do we assign to others?” Kack tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The city of Tucson takes care of its residents, and everyone deserves to feel safe in this community.”
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