This story is over 5 years old.

The VICE Guide to Right Now

'White Lives Matter' Protested Outside the Houston NAACP with Assault Rifles

About 20 white activists waved confederate flags outside the city's NAACP headquarters, calling for the organization to "hold their people accountable."
August 22, 2016, 3:20pm
Thumbnail via Houston Chronicle newscast screenshot

On Sunday, about 20 "White Lives Matter" activists—some armed with assault rifles and confederate flags—protested outside Houston's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) headquarters, as the Washington Post reports.

The group, led by a man named Ken Reed, called for the civil rights organization to "hold their people accountable" following the attacks on the Dallas Police Department last month, even though the NAACP condemned the tragedy in July.


"We came out here to protest against the NAACP and their failure in speaking out against the atrocities that organizations like Black Lives Matter and other pro-black organizations have caused the attack and killing of white police officers, the burning down of cities and things of that nature. If they're going to be a civil rights organization and defend their people, they also need to hold their people accountable," Reed, who sported a Donald Trump hat, told the Houston Chronicle.

Reed defended the use of the Confederate flag, saying, "It has all to do about heritage, nothing to do with hate." He also claimed that the group felt the need to carry guns and wear body armor as protection.

"Obviously we are exercising our Second Amendment rights but that's because we have to defend ourselves," he added. "Their organizations and their people are shooting people based on the color of their skin. We're not."

The assembly, which took place in a predominantly black neighborhood, quickly attracted community members who started a counter-protest and named the many fatalities that have resulted from officer-involved shootings. Police started to clear up the gathering at around 3:30 PM.

Sunday happened to be Houston NAACP executive director Yolanda Smith's birthday, and her son Andre took to Instagram to share his take on the protest.

"We spent the day celebrating a black life that did matter and will continue to do great work at this place you protest! Thank you and try again!" Smith wrote under a photo of the protest.

Read: How I Became a White Supremacist