PHOENIX (AP) – Alex Kack was not sure on Thursday how he became an internet sensation when he just laughed at a city council meeting in Arizona.
"Everyone else was doing something far more active than me. I just laughed, "Kack told The Associated Press. "You could have watched the same in a movie theater."
His amused reaction to an immigration opponent at a meeting of the Tucson City Council on Tuesday over a proposed "Sanctuary City" law has earned him the status of a folk hero social media. The video clip from KVOA-TV was viewed 9.5 million times. Twitter posters that failed to identify him called him "Green Shirt Guy" for his bright green polo.
"# GreenShirtGuy" remained the top Twitter trend theme in the US all day Wednesday. Celebrities such as model Chrissy Teigen and comedian Patton Oswalt praised "Green Shirt Guy" for literally laughing at their opponents.
The rapid rise to online fame was "surreal" for the 28-year-old field organizer.  "There is no other way to express it," Kack said. "Patton Oswalt said he loved me twice, once as a green shirt and once with my name.
He also plans never to part with the shirt.
"If there are too many holes, I have it I'll put it somewhere in a frame. "
Kack is working on a campaign to put an initiative for a" shelter city "on the November ballot of Tucson voters. He was sitting near a woman he said had made derogatory comments throughout the session. In the video, the woman wearing the hat "Make America Great Again" is blown up by a police officer and then reunited with another man.
A Twitter user listed as Jen by AZ Patriots identified himself as the protester. Social media messages and e-mails in which she and AZ Patriots asked for comment were not returned immediately on Thursday.
AZ Patriots is a conservative group known for protesting protests at immigration rallies. They are also defendants in an ongoing federal lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center for harassing churches that help migrant families.
Kack knows it is unlikely that the video would have been considered viral if he had been politically indicted in another environment. The meeting took place only three days after the death of 22 gunmen in El Paso, Texas. The authorities believe the shooter has posted an online message expressing hatred for Mexicans and immigrants.
"There is a side that is not funny, especially considering El Paso," he said. "But if you sit there and are confronted with a degree of absurdity and insanity, what else will you do?"
The newly discovered notoriety has also spawned online trolls. Since Tuesday, the campaign to make Tucson the nation's first "city of protection" has received more hate mail, Kack said. He was also personally the subject of some attacks, but shook off.
"The first thing I saw when I woke up this morning was that someone was doing a Twitter survey about whether someone's on & # 39; my smug face & # 39; should forgive. Yes, of course, in the poll, "said Kack. "If it's not funny, you have to deal with how sad and scary it really is."