It was May 22, 2016 where a group of Nazi White Supremacists who call themselves “White Lives Matter” appeared to protest at a Mosque located in downtown Houston attempting to intimidate the Muslim community. Of course Muslim supporters in Houston out numbered the Nazi group by far. This same group attended the action with automatic weapons, bullet proof vests, white laced boots, shoots with red laces, a “White Lives Matter” banner, Confederate flags, and a lot of ignorance, spewing bile about Muslims that mirrored the same narrative led by Fox News.
What stood out most was their “14 Words” banner which many are unaware. The “14 Words” refers to the most popular white supremacist slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for WHITE children.” The slogan was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order. Lane died in prison in 2007.
Fast forward to August 21, 2016 where the same Skinhead Nazi’s who call themselves White Lives Matter II decided to host a protest in front of the NAACP building off of Wheeler St. Take note: Instead of the II to be assumed as #2, it is actually an alliance to the two strike lightning bolts, commonly used among the white supremacist groups all over the world. White Lives Matter II was founded by Kevin Harris and Rebecca Barnette who fill their social media’s with hate for anything non-white. They also tend to push support for other WLM groups around the country to step up and protest against black people, not just Black Lives Matter alone. Rebecca, who is from Surgoinsville, Tenn, proudly displays pages that are riddled with tons of hate propaganda. Rebecca is also affiliated with the “Loyal White Knights” and the “Aryan Nation” commonly referred to “AN” on social media.
Further from that comes a group of White Lives Matter zombies in Houston who protested on August 21, 2016, a Sunday afternoon when the NAACP building was closed. The group was led by Ken Reed, another white supremacist who was surrounded by 12 individuals and less than a handful of Houston Police officers. This time, as they did back in May, the very same individuals brought automatic weapons, bullet proof vest, the WLM banner, their 14 Words banner, Confederate Flags, boots, laces, bottled water, and a lot of stupidity once again.
Many found their action to be cowardice. Protesting an empty building on Sunday was almost comical. What wasn’t so funny is that their action was held in Houston’s 3rd Ward area, which is a heavily populated black community. The WLM action was utterly disrespectful to black individuals living in the community. WLM shouted their hate speech across the street from a church and a school. It’s worth noting that although individuals with WLM showed up with weapons and hate propaganda, Houston police did not show up as an army as they do any Black Lives Matter Houston actions. The protest was held one block from 288 South, Houston police did not block the feeder road. There were barely any Houston cops on the scene. There were no barricades, no helicopters, initially no horses, no riot gear and no armor trucks close by. July 14, 2016 Black Lives Matter Houston held a protest at Southmore and Dowling, south of downtown Houston. The location was one block from 288. Black Lives Matter protested against Houston Police who had just murdered Alva Braziel on July 10, 2016 after claiming that Braziel pointed a gun at police. He was flagging down police to get assistance when Houston police shot Braziel 10 times (could be more). Nikki Braziel, widow of Alva Braziel, also claimed that the Houston officer came back and shot him a 2nd and 3rd time when Braziel was begging for his life. Police released a video that looked doctored. Body cams on police were magically turned on only after the shooting occurred. Black Lives Matter Houston decided to host an action in response to the lack of accountability and the continued police attitude of “shoot first, ask questions later”. Though the Southmore protest started out slow with 15 participants, long before the protest even began, Houston police had partially closed off the 288 feeder near Southmore, a helicopter was seen flying constantly, armored police trucks, horses, several police cars throughout the area and 300+ police on standby with more than 30 cops surrounding the protest along with CID tagging along. Not one participant had any kind of weapon. Not one sign echoed racial hate speech. Not one chant cited violence of any kind. Houston protests have generally been passionate yet laid back. Several arrests that have occurred have done so due to aggravated police officers who already have issues with Black Lives Matter so at times, a few cops will attempt to incite a confrontation. It comes with the territory of calling out police violence however none of the above mentioned dealing with BLM was presented to the White Lives Matter protest. In fact, Houston cops were seen chatting, laughing, obtaining bottles of water from the WLM group, even offering extra protection for the terrorist group. Shortly after WLM started, members of the 3rd Ward community began showing up, questioning the motive for WLM to be at the NAACP office. More and more counter participants showed up when Houston police began to put up barricades, even fencing in the WLM group for that added protection. Horses arrived and several police officers showed up. It is obvious that Houston police was sending a clear message to counter protesters.
The most interesting piece of the WLM protest is that Ken Reed and his followers assumed a connection between Black Lives Matter Houston and the NAACP Houston chapter. Had any of the individuals done proper research or even Googled the connection, they would find that there is no correlation between the two groups. Through the murder of Sandra Bland, Alfred Wright, Jordan Baker, Symone Marshall and Alva Braziel the NAACP remained completely silent. When Robbie Tolan was shot on his own driveway by a Bellaire police officer, the NAACP remained completely silent. When Jesse Valez was manhandled and falsely accused by police in Harris County, the NAACP remained completely silent. When Black Lives Matter Houston, The People’s New Black Panther Party, NBPP, National Black United Front, Truth2Power and a slew of independent activists/activist groups banned together to fight back against police oppression and violence, the NAACP remained completely silent. Harris County Officer Darren Goforth was murdered back in August 2015, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman came forward in a press conference blaming Black Lives Matter on the murder of officer Goforth. It was later learned that Goforth was having an affair with a well known badge bunny who happened to be servicing several Harris County officers and investigators for quite some time and that BLM had nothing to do with the officers death. Nonetheless, the rhetoric spread by Anderson and Hickman had already done its damage as several activists within Black Lives Matter Houston began receiving threatening messages, full on harassment, even death threats. Personal and private information was posted publicly. Again, the NAACP stood by in silence, never uttering disappointment in such a highly sensitive matter.
Instead, the NAACP awarded Devon Anderson the ALEX Award on February 11, 2016. Anderson built her career by the high incarceration of the black community (along with the brown community) while overlooking criminal acts led by whites. Statistics show that Anderson has a high incarceration rate of African Americans and Latinos over whites. Black men and women are incarcerated 5 times the rate of a white person. In Texas alone, there are more incarcerated black men in jail/prison than there are in the education system. Partly because Anderson has pushed harsher prosecution against the black community throughout her career. Recently Anderson attempted to enact the Southlawn Gang Injunction that would have permanently banned black men from their homes for life. Thankfully due to a massive blowback by the Southlawn community and Houston activists, especially Truth2Power, the suit was dropped which was a blow to Anderson. That didn’t stop the NAACP from brown nosing Harris County’s top attorney. Most likely there were some incentives and kickbacks for the NAACP and Anderson… a few special favors… the typical under the table hush, hush corruption.
To date the NAACP has yet to lend their support to Black Lives Matter. After the White Lives Matter protest went national via media outlets all over the U.S., the NAACP decided to host a press conference in front of their building the following day addressing media. NAACP Houston President James Douglas stated that the Houston Police contacted them in regards to the protest being held in front of their building prior to WLM showing up. Douglas’ response was “let them do it”. Though the sidewalk in front of the building is public space and protected by the First Amendment, it was disturbing that Mr. Douglas was so passive of this event. Douglas went on to denounce racial hatred of any groups combined with the typical speech you’d see coming from a person who isn’t being sincere. Next stood Rodney Ellis who took the opportunity to tell media that people who want to offer support for the NAACP should do so by sending a check. He went on to cite that the NAACP office was old and needed repairs. In reality, it allowed the NAACP the ability to capitalize from White Lives Matter. Later in the press conference, a reporter with the Houston Press questioned Douglas on his support for Houston’s Black Lives Matter. Douglas offered a blanketed statement indicating that the NAACP supports black lives, going into detail how the civil rights movement in the 60’s were comprised of people of many nationalities and the same goes with Black Lives Matter but on his ending statement, Douglas never sounded any level of support for Black Lives Matter/Houston.
Black Lives Matter Houston took a stance on Sunday, choosing to not counter protest the WLM protest. A statement issued by the BLM Houston chapter:
RE: “White Lives Matter” Protest
It came to our attention earlier this week that there would be a “White Lives Matter” protest today. While it is always tempting to go and challenge those White people who come out and attack our movement, it is more important that we teach Black people that #BlackLivesMatter. People like these White supremacists are a waste of space and time, their minds are already made up and so are ours, What would we need to discuss with them?
The hard truth is that the Houston Police Department has been waiting to pounce on us. The situation would have endangered us in a way that dishonors why one would die for the liberation of Black bodies. The moment we would have arrived, they would have protected those white folks who came to a Black community to protest not just BLM but all Black people and perpetuate the racism that has always been part of their ideology.
Hate is a powerful thing, but only IF you give it power and narrative.
The lasting impression: We have a white supremacist terrorist group protesting at the NAACP when the NAACP has zero ties or collaboration with Black Lives Matter Houston. Epic failure. WLM gains national attention for being cowards at best. Various social media’s were trending the protest as many laughed off their efforts protesting on a Sunday in front of an empty building. The NAACP will now get a little money from sympathizers who truly have no idea that the WLM protest was about Black Lives Matter which the NAACP doesn’t support so essentially, White Lives Matter did the NAACP a favor by thrusting them into the spotlight. Their own protest backfired on them. The best that the WLM group has so far is making sure that they spell words correctly on their signs. It’s almost like watching the Republican Debate all over again. At the end of the day we can proudly hold our heads high with knowledge that BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER in Houston, Ferguson, Baltimore, everywhere!