This is what white supremacy looks like.
La’Shadion Shemwell is the only Black Councilman in McKinney’s city council. Not only has he been the target of vile and racist online threats and attacks, but the Mayor and some community members have also been trying to recall him for speaking up for black lives.
It all started last October, after a string of police shootings when Councilman Shemwell called for the Black State of Emergency. You have to remember, this is before George Floyd and the current civil uprising in this country.
Many people have just woken up these last few months and realized that there is a crisis in America, where Black and Brown men and women are being murdered by police at an alarming rate. However, these incidents, like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, are far from new. They have been going on for well over a century.
When La’Shadion Shemwell called for the Black State of Emergency, he was right to do so.
Shemwell’s emergency proclamation triggered a petition.
The petition was signed by the white mayor, George Fuller, two other council members, and about 3,000 citizens. The petition essentially called Councilman Shemwell a liar for stating it was false that police kill Black people.
Then, this petition triggered far-right blogs, like Texas Scorecard, to also put their focus on Shemwell. The publications include denial that institutional racism exists. One article even quoted a resident saying that La’Shadion Shemwell was dealing a crushing blow to the community. Yes, a crushing blow for standing up for Black Lives.
Since that time, Councilman Shemwell has been a target online of racism and white supremacy. And as all white supremacists do, when trying to justify hatred, they have constantly used his past mistakes as ammunition against him.
Just as they did with George Floyd, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin.
It is racist to use the past of a Black man as justification for attacking his character. La’Shadion Shemwell has owned up to his mistakes, said he was a changed man and has proven to the community the man he is today. That is most evident by talking to the community in his District and seeing how much he is loved and respected.
There is no difference from using his past to attack him, then there is by saying Trayvon Martin once got suspended from school, so he deserved to be murdered.
If you don’t understand how this is racist, then you are part of the problem.
Fast Forward to Allen West getting elected as Texas GOP Chair.
A few days ago Councilman Shemwell called Allen West a “coon,” and a bunch of white people has lost their minds over this.
Now, they are targeting Shemwell, a Black Live Matter activist, a leader in the Black community, and accusing him of being racist towards Black people.
Does this shit hurt your head? Because it sure hurts mine. Holy hell, these people are stupid. Councilman Shemwell made a video addressing this and spoke with a realness that his attackers would likely not understand.
“Today I pissed off a lot of people, with that word, coons. I guess I’m not allowed to use that word,” Shemwell said. “Or some people feel like I’m not allowed to use that word. Some people feel like I’m not allowed to use any words. I wasn’t allowed to use the Black State of Emergency proclamation, even though that’s what council members do. Whenever I use my words I am critiqued and criticized. Whenever I use my first amendment right, I’m critiqued, I’m criticized. And whenever I use my second amendment right, I’m critiqued, I’m criticized.”
He goes on, “Some of these pissed off people, who are not black, say OMG if I called you a coon, you would say I was a racist. Your damn right. I would say you are a racist. So, what are you mad at? Are you mad you can’t use the word? It’s like when white people say, OMG, why can Black people cay the n-word while they’re rapping, but if I say the n-word it’s racist.”
He has a point.
Words are powerful, context matters, as well as the one using the words. When a Black person calls another Black person one of those words, it is not in the same context as it would be if a white person called a Black person one of those words. A lot of white people understand that. But, unfortunately, many white people still don’t get it.
Councilman Shemwell’s social media post led to this guy, JD posting the video below, saying he’s going to be at the city council meeting, (last night), and bring a bunch of White Supremacists with him, to run La’Shadion Shemwell out of town.
JD even tagged the orange one in his video, which got about 150 retweets.
At first, I was worried it would be another situation like we saw in Gainesville a few weeks ago, but it appears that the Trumpers did not show up.
Last night’s McKinney City Council meeting.
McKinney has a Confederate statue of James W. Throckmorton. Citizens of McKinney have been trying to get this statue taken down, which the council has been discussing in recent weeks.
Some council members have suggested leaving the statue up and also putting up statues of Black historical figures in town, failing to see the problem. The fact that they would even suggest that shows how deeply seeded white supremacy is in this North Texas town.
Mayor George Fuller wants to push making a decision on the statue out for 5 months. Why? Now is the time. When the Black Lives Matter movement is so important to so many, why put this off?
Last night, supporters of La’Shadion Shemwell showed up to the city council meeting in anticipation of armed white supremacists swarming the area, as what happened in Gainesville. McKinney residents also showed up to the council meeting wanting to speak out against the statue.
Over 100 residents showed up, wanting a chance to speak about the statue.
During the council meeting, Councilman Shemwell was speaking on how disappointing and discouraging it was for the issue to be dismissed when Mayor Fuller interrupted him and said they had to ask everyone how they felt, not just the people who were there. Which led to an exchange between the Mayor and Councilman, arguing over who’s turn it was to speak. The mayor then called a 5-minute recess and left the room.
He adjourned the meeting.
When the Mayor and the other council members returned, it was clear they had a private meeting in the back, and abruptly adjourned the meeting, denying public comment to the McKinney residents who showed up to speak. That’s when the room irrupted.
The video to the left is what happened immediately when the Mayor ended the meeting.
Councilman Shemwell said that the reason McKinney is in the state that it is, is because of piss poor leadership like that.
Then a few white people sitting in the audience started shouting at Shemwell regarding him calling Allen West a coon.
Then came the racial slurs towards Councilman Shemwell.
As police were escorting the white man out of the room, he can be heard shouting at Councilman Shemwell, “You’re a coon. You’re a coon.”
In other videos police are heard and seen escorting the white man to his car, you know…for his own safety. 🙄
Arguments continued in the hallway with agitators. Eventually, Shemwell and his supporters made it out to the street, where the agitators also followed.
In McKinney, Texas, it appears that there are still some people who don’t know that Black Lives Matter.
La’Shadion Shemwell is a voice speaking out on behalf of the Black community and Black lives in McKinney, where it has become obvious that allies are needed.
The white residents want to recall him for standing up for Black lives, they want to call him racial slurs for telling the truth, they want to attack him online for daring to be Black, and most of all, they want to keep their pro-racist, pro-Confederate statue right where it is.
Just like all of the rest of these suburban communities in Texas, change is needed. Now is the time. And the people will be silenced no more.