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Predominately Black Community Tells Texas Open Carry: ‘You are Not Welcome Here!’

Open Carry Texas is planning an ‘educational’ rally in a predominately black community in Houston on August 16. Now, Fifth Ward leaders are making it clear – the group and their guns are not welcome in their neighborhood.

According to the Open Carry leader, the event was planned to ‘teach’ the local black residents about their right to bear arms and how being armed to the teeth can help fight crime.

“We think that an armed society is a polite society,” CJ Grisham said. “We want to encourage citizens in the Fifth Ward to take back their community from the criminal element.”

One local community activist, though, pointed out having a bunch of white gun nuts with heavy artillery trying to teach the black folks a lesson isn’t exactly comforting to a community that has been targeted by hate before, especially given the current chaos in Ferguson.

“We have a bad history with white men who would come into the Fifth Ward with guns in the name of a lynch mob,” activist Quanell X said.

Another community leader pointed out that she doubted that Constitutional rights is what was really on the Open Carry crowds minds when they decided to invade her neighborhood armed.

“All they’re trying to do is provoke these young people,” Kathy Daniels, the president of the local civic club said. “We’re trying to settle this. We don’t want them here period.”

The Open Carry folks, though, have no plans to back down. Although they cancelled a previous Fifth Ward rally scheduled for June, the group’s president posted on Facebook today saying that the right thing to do was to hold the rally.

“If we cancel, we broadcast that we accept racial divisions,” Grisham wrote, trying to paint others as the ‘real’ racists. ” We tell the State of Texas (and the world) we aren’t serious about demanding respect for gun rights for ALL people. We show that our values, beliefs and principles can be compromised.”

He added that he refused to “cower in face of baseless racial stereotypes and accusations.”

Speaking of stereotypes, the Fifth Ward of Houston had zero murders last year while many white areas of the city, likely the same areas where the Open Carry activists live,  could not say the same.

Photo Credit: Facebook

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.