And it is all centered around the white supremacist statue on the Parker County courthouse lawn.
Things have been quiet in North Texas since the election. The reason is mostly because of the sheer amount of right-wing extremist threats of violence. However, things are calming down and getting back to normal. And by normal, we mean the racist statues all over Texas are still standing. Although protests against these statues were put on hold temporarily, that doesn’t mean they were forgotten about. This is why Progressives of Parker County are holding a protest against the racism in Weatherford this Saturday 12/12 at 3:00 pm.
This protest is a stand against racism in Weatherford and Parker County.
If you’re a regular reader of Living Blue in Texas, you’ll know that the racism around these statues is something we’ve talked about often. (If you’re not a regular reader, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below.)
Texas’ secession happened because Texas didn’t want to lose its slaves. The proof of that is the State of Texas Declaration of Secession. After the south lost the war, they unleashed 100 years of terror in the south. Lynchings, disenfranchisement, Black codes, Jim Crow laws, and segregation was something that white southerners did to Black southerners.
At the height of Jim Crow, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), a Neo-Confederate hate group, placed these racist statues all over the south intentionally to remind and intimidate Black Americans.
This was all done in a time when Black people were disenfranchised and had no say on whether or not they wanted a white supremacist statue on tax-payer funded space.
As Black people had no say about the statue in the past, the white residents of Parker County are trying to make sure they have no say about it now.
Progressives of Parker County are some of the most courageous and determined people I have ever met. History will remember them during the 2020 Civil Rights Movement, the same way that we now remember the Freedom Fighters back in the 1960s. As the 1960s Civil Rights Movement was met with opposition, fire hoses, and violence; the 2020 Civil Rights Movement has been met with much of the same. The biggest difference being that now police don’t attack protesters, they let the militias do it, as they stand on the sidelines.
On July 25th, at what was supposed to be a peaceful protest in Weatherford, protesters were met with hundreds of far-right racist extremists who acted violently, used racist language, and held guns up at them.
While seemingly the police at that event just stood by and let it happen, the incident did eventually lead to the arrest of several local white supremacists. It also outed a local Neo-Nazi that took part in the 2017 Charlottesville hate rally.
This time will be different.
Much of what happened regarding the July incident was due to online rumors of Antifa and BLM coming in busloads to burn down the town. Most of us, without hesitation, know how absolutely idiotic that is, but you have to remember, these counter-protesters were Trump voters. They are fed a constant diet of fear propaganda from right-wing media and have a hard time telling the difference between fact and fiction.
Since that July protest, there have been many peaceful protests at the Confederate statue on Parker County Courthouse’s lawn. Not only have their protests been peaceful, but they have also proved that the trigger-happy idiots from July 25th lied.
Will there be counter-protesters on Saturday? Likely, there will. Will the counter-protesters come out in the same numbers as they did in July? Probably not.
Many of them have gotten the idea that there will be no arson or looting from their Black neighbors, (even though it was stupid that they thought that in the first place). Many more of them were embarrassed by the publicity they got as racist.
Police will have an added presence, so will the Watchmen.
I reached out to Weatherford PD to ask them about their plans to handle this protest so there isn’t a repeat of last time. A spokesperson told me that they will have multiple agencies out there visible and not visible. He also told me that they will have multiple officers on stand by, in case the crowd gets rowdy.
The Watchmen will also be out there to ensure the safety of the protesters. (These guys are amazing)
What’s the deal with this stupid statue, anyway?
The statue is owned by the UDC. The chapter of the UDC in charge of this statue just got a new leader, Tammy something.
Tammy at the UDC, County Judge Dean, the County Commissioners, and Progressives of Parker County all agree that the statue should be moved to the Greenwood Cemetery. This is the old city cemetery that has Confederate soldiers buried there and no empty plots. A perfect place to put a symbol of white supremacy.
Tammy is supposed to present this idea to the UDC board in January and if they approve, then the statue can be moved there.
There is one small little snag, though.
Weatherford Mayor Paul Paschall.
Mayor Paschall would prefer that the statue remained on county land and didn’t become his problem.
Rumor has it, the move from the County Courthouse to the City Cemetary has caused such a divide between the county and the city, that Judge Dean and Mayor Paschall are not even on speaking terms anymore.
This should probably alarm Weatherford residents to know that their county and city are not talking to each other.
Please call Mayor Paschall and ask him to accept the statue at the cemetery at 817-598-4202.
Today I spoke with Elizabeth Louvat, owner of The Haps in Weatherford. The Haps is located on Weatherford Square and has had a front-row seat to the things surrounding the statue all year. She witnessed the racist display in July and later spoke at a city council meeting to express her disgust over the matter. Because she spoke out against the statue, she has also received a backlash in the community.
She told me that her concern is the safety of the protesters and business owners on the square, who often bring their kids to their businesses with them. And just as the many in the community feel, she wants her town to be one of inclusiveness and know that can’t happen as long as that statue remains. (The Haps is a super-cute vintage store. If you’re in the area, make sure you pay her a visit.)
Please join us this weekend.
If you live in Weatherford or the surrounding area, please come stand with residents against racism in Weatherford. As long as the statue remains on the lawn of the halls of justice, Parker County won’t be an inclusive place for all of its community members.
Saturday 12/12, 3pm. Parker County Courthouse lawn.
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