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Brandishing assault rifles, Confederate battle flags, and white nationalist banners, a group of so-called “White Lives Matter” activists protested outside of the office of the Houston branch of the NAACP on August 21.

In this latest incident of white nationalists attempting to physically intimidate Civil Rights groups, around twenty members of a group calling itself White Lives Matter showed up with guns in the historically black Houston neighborhood to shout against Black Lives Matter and the NAACP.

“We came out here specifically today to protest against the NAACP and their failure in speaking out against the atrocities that organizations like Black Lives Matter and other pro-black organizations have caused the attack and killing of white police officers, the burning down of cities and things of that nature,” organizer Ken Reed told the Houston Chronicle. “If they’re going to be a civil rights organization and defend their people, they also need to hold their people accountable.”

To drive home the ideological message of the day, one of the homemade sign in the crowd read, “14 Words”—a reference to the motto of David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terror group, The Order, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

The White Lives Matter protest in Houston follows an intensification of violence and threats of violence aimed at Black Lives Matter activists and other anti-racists.

Among recent events:

  • On August 16, a self-avowed white supremacist stabbed an interracial couple in Olympia, Washington and told police he planned on “attacking people at the Black Lives Matter protest.”
  • That same day, the chief officer for the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced that the group would be crashing a Black Lives Matter rally in Southhampton, New York.
  • In June 2015, a group of armed white nationalists attacked Black Lives Matter activists protesting an officer-involved shooting that put two young black men in the hospital.

This sequence of events, all aimed at creating a confrontation with anti-racist organizations and movements, presents a new danger for those seeking racial and social justice.  The trend line is escalating.  It has not yet reached the level of Klan and neo-Nazi groups in the late 1970s and 1980s, when Klan members shot into an SCLC march in Alabama and the United Racist Front shot and killed five and wounded more in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Nevertheless, the danger is growing and requires all anti-racists to educate themselves about these dangers and to act accordingly.

Devin Burghart

Author Devin Burghart

is vice president of IREHR. He coordinates our Seattle office, directs our research efforts, and manages our online communications. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by print, broadcast, and online media outlets. In 2007, he was awarded a Petra Foundation fellowship. more...

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