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McKinney Continues to Grapple With Race

McKinney Continues to Grapple With Race

With lawsuits pending, recall elections coming, and angry residents in tow, there’s no telling how long this battle will go on.

Another Tuesday night in McKinney with emotions running high has come and gone. Speakers lambasted the Mayor and council members and although Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell had dozens of supporters there, only one of his detractors showed up to speak. McKinney continues to have their struggles with race, but the residents of District 1 continue to remain strong.

Last week, area “patriots” started putting out the word to show up at these meetings and “protect the statue.” Although, they call themselves “patriots,” they are far from what the actual definition of “patriot” is. Conservatives, Tea Parties, Confederates, or whatever other label they are going by this week. Here is one post from Karen, which was screenshot and floating around.

The absolute idiocy of these people is astounding. Can someone please explain to me that if a statue is moved, how the fuck is that taking away your “liberties and freedoms?” 🙄

It used to be easier to ignore before incidents like Gainesville, Weatherford, and Tyler. But the problem is, that Bubu and Bobby Joe read Karen’s call for patriots to protect their freedom, so they strap on their AR15s and shove some chewing tobacco in their mouths, and then go out looking for a fight.

Security was needed and security came.

The days of white men carrying torches and showing up to intimidate, scare, or hurt BIPOC are over. The sooner that Karen and all her friends realize this, the sooner we can go forward as a society.

So, since Karen went online and tried to provoke armed white men and militias to bring their confederate flags and come on down to McKinney Town Square and “scare some Black folk,” armed security groups showed up to protect the people of color.

And, like all of these events we’ve seen recently, the people who came to stand by Councilman Shemwell’s side were peaceful and friendly. There is plenty of video to prove it.

“The Other Side of Things.”

Last week, after I published the article, “Town Attempting to Block Black Citizens from Using Their 14th Amendment Rights,” both the Mayor and a McKinney Democrat, who is good friends with the Mayor, reached out to me. They didn’t feel as if I was telling “both sides” of the story.

I listened to what they said, including a few jabs at me, and they both told me, Councilman Shemwell is smart, passionate, and inspirational, but…

They talked about Councilman Shemwell’s past, they talked about certain things Shemwell has done since on the city council, and they talked about how all of the things going on with him were about his actions and not race.

If you really want to know “the other side” of it, as they put it, you should visit the local Fox news affiliate, the Dallas Morning News, the Community Impact Newspaper, or any other local media that has covered it.

Living Blue in Texas stands with Black Lives Matter and believes in ending white supremacy. Period.

What these “other siders,” in McKinney fail to see is how well-intending white people can unintentionally take actions which negatively impact the BIPOC community. And because of their white privilege, they don’t have to see it, because it doesn’t hurt them or the ones they love.

As a publication who is standing with Black Lives Matter, we have no intentions of making a focus of Black man’s past as a justification to remove an entire majority-minority district’s right to choose their own elected representative. Again, if you want to know the “other side,” there are a dozen local news media outlets who will paint La’Shadion Shemwell out to be a bad guy.

Our focus is the truth.

One thing that Shemwell said in one of these meetings a while back that really stuck with me was, “You can’t tell me what my truth is.” While white residents truth in McKinney continues to be that they aren’t racist, there isn’t systematic racism, the Confederacy should be in full display on our local government establishments, and white privilege doesn’t exist, that is only their truth.

The truth for millions of Black and brown people, all over the country, have been the repercussions from systematic racism. Truth for BIPOC is that the Confederacy enslaved and murdered more people than we’ll ever know the names of.

The truth for every person in this country with a darker skin pigmentation is that they are treated in a way that their white counterparts will never experience. And the truth for everyone that stands against white supremacy is that defending Confederate memorials and flags is racist.

The statue.

Moving the statue was initially the Mayor’s idea. Which is another thing those who reached out to me wanted me to know. I think that Mayor George Fuller, overall, is someone that does not have hate in his heart and he probably wants to do what he thinks is right. His actions and the actions of others attempting to oust Shemwell, come from their own truth. Unfortunately, their truth is not the same truth as many of the residents in McKinney, Black and white alike.

Councilman Shemwell’s mom.

Tuesday’s meeting.

The public comments were amazing. They hit on every touch point and thoroughly explained how McKinney continues the racism and bigotry with their actions.

They talked about the statue, they talked about the recall, and they talked about McKinney’s efforts to gentrify District 1. Yes, gentrify. Which is just one more piece of garbage they are throwing on top of the heap of shit which is stinking up their town.

Councilman Shemwell’s mother was first to speak. Her focus was the recall. She said it was fraudulent, which we all know. And she said that Black members of the community have approached her, telling her that members on the council have approached them, wanting them to take Shemwell’s place after they can get him out.

More public comments.

Alonzo Tutson spoke on several issues, hitting all of the key points. He gave an idea on where the Confederate statue could be moved to, he spoke about the efforts to gentrify District 1, and pointed out how the recall is a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Tutson also said that when he was a 2nd grader in McKinney, he remembered sitting on his grandmother’s porch as the Klan marched through the town. And how is own kids are now dealing with much of the same as McKinney continues to tread through a racial crisis.

Alonzo Tutson
Natalia Montoya

Another commenter I loved so much was Natalia Montoya, mostly because she put the mayor pro tem in his place regarding his ignorant comments last week which were seeped in Southern Strategy denial.

And she was right. We all have to start doing this. Correcting history deniers and truth benders when they try to further spread their false narratives.

She said that it would only take one political science class to know that his narrative was wrong. Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe political science should be something taught in high schools and not colleges, to end the ignorance.

She also brought up religion. The mayor pro tem is a Mormon, in case you were wondering.

A passionate speech from La’Shadion Shemwell.

How did we get here? Councilman Shemwell’s speech was an emotional monologue of how McKinney got to where they are today and how McKinney continues to grapple with these issues.

He spoke about his story, his past, his struggles, and how he came out of the storm and overcame a lot. When he was elected, he wanted to make a difference for his community, he wanted to show people that you can turn their lives around, and he wanted to be an example.

Shemwell also reminded those in attendance how important it is to be involved in the municipal city council meetings, a lesson that District 1 has now learned. They are now showing up for him and no matter what happens to Councilman Shemwell in the future, District 1 will likely continue to participate in city politics, because they found out how important it is. A lesson that we all should learn in every city, in every state.

The community is showing up now and they will continue to show up. As seen from Jessica Luther Rummel’s video of the lobby when the meeting first began.

The next day.

It wasn’t even 24 hours later that the Karen crowd began posting lies about the meeting on Facebook.

Flat out lies.

There was no Antifa, there was no BLM, most of the people who were there lived in McKinney. And if they drove from a neighboring town, it was for the sole and only purpose of either security or documentation.

These Karens and Chads are making up complete falsifications to try and scare their feeble minded friends to bringing guns out and shoot Black people who are legally exercising their Constitutional rights in McKinney.

Even though racists are making up lies, McKinney continues to have peaceful council meetings

Councilman Shemwell and Black McKinney residents have been the target of hate and death threats, which is why there was armed security at these meetings. Gone are the days of shooting Black people in your town because they aren’t keeping quiet.

Every single minute of that meeting was documented, from inside, to the lobby, and outside as well.

Why make up these lies?

Is it for attention? Are they mentally ill? Are they evil and really trying to get people hurt? All of the above?

These lies tend to come from the same crowd that straps on guns and body armor and goes out to intimidate a Moms Demand Action rally or to a protest against wearing masks. They never seem to have a problem with armed people in groups, when the groups are white. Yet, they still don’t understand why they are labeled as racists.

Why make up the lies? I don’t know the answer to this, I wish I did, but the comments of this liar’s post showed he accomplished what he was aiming to do.

Even though racists are making up lies, McKinney continues to have peaceful council meetings
Even though racists are making up lies, McKinney continues to have peaceful council meetings
Even though racists are making up lies, McKinney continues to have peaceful council meetings

District 1 in McKinney continues to come together.

In the front of the courthouse on Tuesday night, people were found hugging, socializing, and listening to a local street musician.

There was no violence, there were no confrontations, there was no threats or intimidation. The Karens and Chads online saying there was, are the same people who keep talking about a race war against an imaginary enemy.

These people are just as dangerous as the ones who comment about shooting and killing people. The Trump brand. The Tea Party brand.

We have to do better than this. We need to vote out every enabler in office that encourages these people. Seriously. Vote.

Make sure you’re registered to vote! Don’t forget!

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