In late August 2016, a group of about 20 people held a “White Lives Matter” protest in front of the Houston, Texas, NAACP building — with Confederate flags on display and assault rifles at the ready.
A protestor explained:
We came out here 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. If they’re going to be a civil rights organization and defend their people, they also need to hold their people accountable…
We’re not out here to instigate or start any problems. Obviously we’re exercising our Second Amendment rights but that’s because we have to defend ourselves. Their organizations and their people are shooting people based on the color of their skin. We’re not. We definitely will defend ourselves, but we’re not out here to start any problems.
And of course, he said they brought the Confederate flags to show Southern pride.
There are so many things wrong in this confection of inanity it is difficult to decide where to begin.
First, let’s go with the notion that the NAACP needs to “hold their people accountable.” What the f*ck are you talking about? The NAACP is not responsible for the actions of all black people (and neither is Black Lives Matter). A civil rights organization is in no way responsible for African Americans who riot against or seek murderous revenge over police misconduct, any more than Greenpeace is responsible for your carbon footprint. Only in a mind clouded by juvenile white delusions would it be the duty of the NAACP to corral and “get under control” all the “troublesome,” “criminal” black people.
And of course, saying that “their organizations,” black organizations like the NAACP, are “shooting people based on the color of their skin” is just thoughtless slander. Just because a black person participates in a riot or targets police officers does not mean the NAACP is behind it.
Second, what in the world does protesting killings of police officers (such as the tragic shooting in Dallas that killed 5 police officers, a revenge attack by a black veteran after police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile) have to do with “Southern pride”? Whites who use this term like to pretend (at least publicly) that the Confederate flag represents all Southern culture, tradition, and history besides slavery, insurrection and secession, Jim Crow laws, white terrorism, lynching, etc. — that it has nothing to do with racism or America’s barbaric racial history. If that’s the case, why bring it to a “White Lives Matter” rally? Your explicit aim is to stop black people from killing whites; what does that have to do with Southern pride, unless Southern pride is just a misnomer for “white pride”?
Could it be that the flag is actually a symbol of racial divisions? That it was birthed and popularized by pure, unadulterated race hatred? Can we stop playing make-believe? It originated as a battle flag for traitorous states that sought to preserve black slavery, and was popularized by a white terrorist group, the Ku Klux Klan, after the war. According to Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, the Confederacy’s
…foundations are laid…upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…
The creator of the flag (which originally had the stars and bars in the corner, the rest white) was quoted in the Daily Morning News on April 23, 1863, as saying:
As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.
The Confederate flag has never been about something noble. It was and is used as a symbol of anti-black sentiment; not in all cases, as discussed elsewhere, but at “White Lives Matter” rallies like this, held outside a civil rights organization that had nothing whatsoever to do with the deaths of police officers? There is no question. The protesters operate under a simple premise: black people are out of control. Under this premise, inextricable from white denial, unarmed, nonviolent black people aren’t killed by police way out of proportion to their low population, aren’t drastically more likely than whites to be stopped and searched for no reason, aren’t more likely to be physically abused by police than whites exhibiting the same behaviors, and many other well-documented injustices. Without the understanding that such things lead to race riots and anti-police hatred and violence, the problem is simply that blacks are hateful and violent for no reason — no matter how far below 1% the number of African Americans who actually commit such acts is. To these whites, the problem is black people, their “nature,” their “criminal tendencies.”
Such a view is racism by definition. Whether conservative whites simply don’t know about the mountain of research concerning anti-black discrimination and mistreatment or know of such things and ignore them, the result is the same: racist views about how our black brothers and sisters think and behave.
Third, perhaps these poor, misinformed souls should pay closer attention to the news — or better yet, actually follow Black Lives Matter or the NAACP on social media. Then perhaps they’d see headlines like “NAACP President Condemns Violence After Michael Brown’s Death” and “NAACP Condemns Senseless Killing of NYPD Police Officers” and “NAACP Condemns Looting and Violence in Baltimore After Freddie Gray Funeral” and “Black Lives Matter Activists, Civil Rights Leaders Condemn Dallas Ambush” and “After Shooting Targeting Police, NAACP Denounces Violence From All Sides” and “Black Lives Matter Leader Condemns Violence at St. Paul Protest.”
Enter “NAACP condemns” or “NAACP denounces” into Google and you could spend days reading the NAACP’s rejection of violence and hate crimes against whites, police, and private or public property. Is this what the protestor meant by “failure in speaking out”? You can find similar condemnations from Black Lives Matter leaders, who believe in peaceful protest as the means for positive change.
There is so much more that could be said about this protest. How marching around with guns and the Confederate flag in the black neighborhood where the NAACP building rests is not going to ease American race relations. How the protestor wore a “Donald Trump ’16” hat and a shirt “with white supremacist symbols” (Washington Post). How he whined about how “We’re being told it’s bad to be white” and insisted Black Lives Matter should be labeled a “hate group or domestic terrorist group” — when there is zero evidence the organization itself called for any sort of violence, and its platform, if one bothered to actually read it, talks of ending mistreatment, violence, and discrimination against blacks, not, for Christ’s sake, mistreating, hurting, or discriminating against white people. In short, they want safety and equality.
After this protest, the term “white delusions” simply cannot do present conditions justice — a more appropriate term is surely “white lunacy.”