The local White Lives Matter group is connected to the Aryan Renaissance Society, a neo-Nazi group.
By Sheryl Estrada
At the NAACP Houston headquarters on Monday, chapter members, community groups and civil rights groups spoke to the public condemning the White Lives Matter protest that took place on Sunday.
Dr. James Douglass, the chapter’s president, said the protesters had a right to free speech but affirmed their message is racist.
“While they criticize the NAACP for not denouncing a movement that has been productive in bringing awareness to the racial disparity in this country, they themselves espoused totally racist positions,” Douglass said.
About 20 White Lives Matter supporters stood in front of the NAACP’s office Sunday to protest against the organization because it has not denounced the Black Lives Matter movement. The group’s organizer said the movement is violent toward white civilians and white police officers.
Some of the protesters were armed with assault rifles and carried Confederate flags. The NAACP said they only found out about the protest the day it took place, and they made sure no one was at the headquarters.
According to KPRC-TV, The Anti-Defamation League said the organizers of the rally are tied to the Aryan Renaissance Society, a local white supremacist group.
One of the men with a connection, Scott Lacy, said on Sunday the NAACP is “one of the most racist groups in America.”
At the rally, a protester held a sign that read: “14 words.” It refers to the 14 words of the white supremacist creed, which calls for the protection of white people.
“White lives have mattered since Europeans first set foot in the Americas,” U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said. “White lives mattered during slavery. White lives mattered during discrimination, which was lawful. Even as discrimination continues today, white lives still matter. Can we say the same of Black lives?”
He also addressed criticism of Black Lives Matter.
“We don’t always support all of the things that happen in these movements but we do support the notion that Black lives matter … we want that taken to the four corners of the Earth,” he said.
Green said he will contact the Department of Justice to ensure it is aware of the protest.
Ashton P. Woods, an activist with BLM in Houston, commented that one of the White Lives Matter protesters was wearing a Trump campaign shirt, and he urged people to vote in the presidential election.
“That ought to tell you who to vote for in November,” Woods said.
The Story Behind White Lives Matter
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) White Lives Matter is “a small but virulent movement” and its “main activists, to put it plainly, are unvarnished white supremacists.” The Texas-based Aryan Renaissance Society has described itself as the leading force behind the White Lives Matter movement.
The group’s website describes the movement as “dedicated to promotion of the white race and taking positive action as a united voice against issues facing our race.” It writes that issues including homosexuality, mixed relationships and illegal immigration are unraveling the nation.
The SPLC finds that the agenda of the group should be of concern to all Americans:
“WLM activists are hard at work, doing their best to seed yet another racist concept into the consciousness of American whites as they seek to build a whites-only nation. Given the atmosphere in the United States today, that should worry all Americans.”
Two of the major issues White Lives Matter organizers said they have with the Black Lives Matter movement are perceived anti-white and anti-police sentiments.
In a statement on BLM’s website, “11 Major Misconceptions About the Black Lives Matter Movement,” those issues are debunked.
One misconception is that the movement hates white people:
“The statement ‘Black lives matter’ is not an anti-white proposition. Contained within the statement is an unspoken but implied ‘too,’ as in ‘Black lives matter, too,’ which suggests that the statement is one of inclusion rather than exclusion.
“However, those white people who continue to mischaracterize the affirmation of the value of Black life as being anti-white are suggesting that in order for white lives to matter, Black lives cannot. That is a foundational premise of white supremacy. It is antithetical to what the Black Lives Matter movement stands for, which is the simple proposition that ‘black lives also matter.’”
Another misconception is that the movement hates police officers:
“Police officers are people. Their lives have inherent value. This movement is not an anti-people movement; therefore it is not an anti-police-officer movement. Most police officers are just everyday people who want to do their jobs, make a living for their families, and come home safely at the end of their shift. This does not mean, however, that police are not implicated in a system that criminalizes Black people.”