Earlier this month, armed White Lives Matter protesters rallied outside of the NAACP office in Third Ward Houston, Texas. Blinded by emotion, the protesters had no idea they would later have to be held accountable for their actions. Their hate caused them to now be classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“I can’t speak to how many chapters will be listed, but it’s clear that the leadership of the group, the ends of the group — it’s just a flat out white supremacist group,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the center’s Intelligence Report, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “The ideology behind it, the racist leaders, everything about it is racist.”
Hate groups have been on the rise for years now and WLM is no different. The leader of the White Lives Matter movement is Rebecca Barnette, a 40-year-old woman who serves as the Vice President of the women’s division of the skinhead group Aryan Strikeforce. The members waved Confederate flags and held signs up with “14 words” written on it, a reference to the popular white supremacist slogan:
“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”
“It’s sad to say that sometimes passion outweighs compassion and in most cases intellect as well. This group of people who I’m sure are loving and accepting in their own communities are not able to see the hurt, distrust, and contempt that African Americans are experiencing today.” – Jarele Taylor, Houston native and photographer