The Arlington Texas NAACP prevailed denying bigot Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a political platform as Martin Luther King Grand Honorary Marshal.
The leaders of the Arlington TX branch of the NAACP were forced into a true conundrum. Either boycott or protest. But when faced with the possibility that Greg Abbott a far right-wing politician being seen as Honorary MLK Grand Marshal, conflating justice with injustice, they bravely chose the latter.
Event spokeswoman Winsor Barbee told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that organizers were short by about $60,000 because several sponsors pulled their funding over the boycott threats.
Branch president Alisa Simmons hosted the news conference Thursday evening at Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church.
The branch planned to protest the parade because Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was appointed as the honorary parade grand marshal.
The NAACP Arlington branch opposes Abbott because the members believe his political actions speak contrary to King Jr.’s ideals.
“As we review his career and public service, it is fair to say that Greg Abbott has done more to damage and undermine African-American and Latino civil and voter rights, educational opprotunities and economic empowerment than any other modern-day Texas Governor,” according to a Jan. 5 Arlington NAACP statement.
The news conference was originally intended to discuss the protest plan, but moments before the conference began at 6:30 p.m. Simmons received a phone call from city representatives with news the parade was canceled.
Simmons said she is relieved the organization does not have to protest an event named in King Jr.’s honor.
“We absolutely did not want to have the protest that we were planning,” she said to conference attendees. “But at some point, you have to stand up for integrity.”
Abbott defended the Grand Marshal appointment by saying the MLK parade is for everyone. And indeed it is. People worthy of association should represent while bigots are welcome to observe from the curb.
— Arlington, TX NAACP (@ArlingtonNAACP) January 12, 2018
It was utterly shocking to see Abbott offered this honorarium. I spent last year traveling to Austin to fight Abbott’s bathroom bill. I’m talking legislation that would have resulted in the deaths of transgender youth, the most vulnerable of our tiny minority.
Abbott is no stranger to killing babies and new mothers. The Texas Observer reported last year that Texas’ Maternal Mortality Rate: Worst in Developed World, Shrugged off by Lawmakers
A report by a state maternal mortality task force that found that African-American women in Texas are much more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes in the year after birth than white or Hispanic women. That report came on the heels of research showing that Texas’ maternal mortality rate had doubled over a two-year period, and now exceeds that of anywhere else in the developed world.
In the 2017 legislative session legislation requiring more research into why so many new African-American mothers in Texas are dying was indiscriminately killed by Abbott’s far-right House Freedom Caucus as part of what came to be known as the “Mother’s Day Massacre.”
Many bills championed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are nothing short of Jim Crow era legislation.
Arlington resident Ruby Woolridge a Democratic candidate for Congressional District Six shared this video on her home page. You can learn more about her values in an interview to be aired by WFAA Inside Texas Politics Sunday Jamuary 13th.