Dallas Has All The Ingredients For Potentially Violent Clashes Between White Supremacist Groups And Progressive Protesters.
The terrorist attack that left one dead and injured dozens more in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend may have been 1,200 miles away, but what happened there could very easily happen in Dallas.
After all, the same ingredients that led to that turmoil there are already in place here.
Ostensibly, the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did so to protest that city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park that had previously been named for the Confederate general but had been recently re-branded as Emancipation Park. Dallas’ own leadership is presently calling for the removal of its own Confederate monuments — a resolution that city council will vote on either before or by September 13 — and white supremacists across Texas are already on the alert. Just two days ago in San Antonio, an armed conservative/alt-right/white supremacist coalition showed up to counter-protest a gathering advocating for the removal of that city’s own Confederate monuments. Meanwhile, a similar rally against white supremacy has been scheduled to take place this Saturday at the Confederate Monument in Dallas’ own Pioneer Park.
Even if Dallas’ Saturday rally is expected to go smoothly with the help of Dallas Police, it’s important for the more than 2,000 people who are planning on attending the event not forget that, even though our city tends to vote a bit more blue than the rest of the state, racism indeed lives near us. Whereas Charlottesville’s rallies over the weekend were spurred on by out-of-towners converging on that progressive city, Dallas already boasts all of the components of a combustible situation.
We have plenty of Confederate monuments. As we wrote about a couple weeks ago, there are still multiple monuments to the Confederacy right here in Dallas, from elementary school names to Robert E. Lee Park to the Confederate Monument at Pioneer Park in Downtown Dallas.
There is a neo-Nazi, white supremacist presence in the area. There have been multiple reports of white supremacists leaving pamphlets and stickers around the region that promote neo-Nazi/white supremacist ideologies in recent weeks. In Deep Ellum earlier this summer, a photographer found a “Protect White Families” that originated from the neo-Nazi website Blood & Soil, whose name was among the words chanted by the white supremacists in Charlottesville. Also, at the University of North Texas in Denton earlier this year, fliers from the white supremacy site American Vanguard were found at Wooten Hall, sharing essages about white America being “under attack.” And late last year, pamphlets titled “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men” were found on the SMU campus.
Animosity toward protesters in the streets. A bill was recently introduced during the special statewide legislation session that would pretty much make it legal to run protesters over with your car. Though it got nowhere, the anti-liberal protester sentiment very much exists across Texas, and it has ever since last summer’s influx of anti-police brutality protests and anti-Donald Trump rallies. And, considering what we saw on Saturday in Charlottesville when a white supremacist drove his car into a crowded street of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring another 19, the idea of using cars to attack protesters is clearly now floating around those circles.
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By all means, we encourage you to keep making your voice heard, Dallas. But we implore you to do so with an increased awareness of your surroundings as well.
Please: Be safe out there.