The NAACP is firing back at the "White Lives Matter" protest.
“This is a righteous cause. We are standing on hallowed ground right here at the NAACP headquarters and we will not be moved,” U.S. Rep. Al Green said.
They're responding to a group of angry, white protesters who parked themselves in front of their headquarters Sunday, armed with assault rifles, and shouts of “White Lives Matter.”
But the NAACP is trying to drown out the protesters' speech with calm and peaceful voices.
“Yesterday was an exercise of white privilege. Point blank. Period," representative Ashton Wood of Houston’s Black Lives Matter.
“It’s okay to believe in what you believe — but it is not okay to come into someone else’s house and disrespect them because of what you believe in,” Cynthia Cole of the
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said.
“These misguided individuals do not represent the majority of white Houstonians. They do not represent our city, our people any more than a black American who murders a cop represents the Black Lives Matter movement or the NAACP,” Justin Gardner of the NAACP said.
Fortunately, the weekend's protest was small in scale and never escalated into violence, but it still caught the attention of the community.
“We're definitely glad that their numbers are small, but we don't want to give them a green light. We don't want them to think it's okay to come into our neighborhoods and try to intimidate people and put them in fear," Omar Afra of Free Press Houston said.
Racial tensions are strained across the nation and incidents like these can become the spark to something more.
“Don’t just get angry. Don’t just get offended. Get involved," State Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston said.
“If we stand together, they won’t define us and they won’t divide us, because together we are Houston. And together, we are one. So let’s choose unity.” Expressed Gardner as he walked away from the podium.
You can see Free Press Houston’s uncut protest coverage here.