An armed White Lives Matter group carried a Confederate flag during a protest outside the NAACP’s Houston headquarters Sunday.
Some members were carrying assault rifles, reports The Washington Post. Protesters carried signs reading, “White Lives Matter” and “14 Words,” a reference to a white supremacist slogan.
“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,” Ken Reed, the organizer of the protest, told the Houston Chronicle.
Reed said members were defending their Second Amendment rights by carrying rifles.
“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,” Reed said.
The protest took place in Houston’s Third Ward; police arrived and barricaded the White Lives Matter group.
“The Confederate flag throws me off,” Quintana Richardson told the Houston Chronicle. “You’re saying Black Lives Matter is a racist organization but when you’re throwing the Confederate flag up and you’re saying White Lives Matter, are you saying you’re racist as well?”
Reed said that the Confederate flag was about pride, not racism.
“It has nothing to do with racism on our part. We’re proud to be Southern. It has all to do about heritage, nothing to do with hate,” Reed said.
Reed also said that white people are being told it’s bad to be white; he said that other races are allowed to promote their heritage, but when whites do it, it’s racist.
Police started to clear out the crowd of protesters around 3:30 p.m. The last people to leave were a group of white and black people praying together.
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