LAFAYETTE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Lafayette’s NAACP chapter joined the ACLU in lambasting U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins after the elected official posted a statement on Facebook they say was a “threat against citizens.”
Republican Rep. Clay Higgins’ original post included a picture of Black demonstrators with long guns and said in part, “If this shows up, we’ll consider the armed presence a real threat. We being We, the people, of Louisiana.”
The post was removed from the social media platform, prompting a response from the congressman that “America is being manipulated into a new era of government control.”
The post prompted the ACLU to call for the House of Representatives to censure Higgins “for comments threatening violence against protesters.”
On Wednesday, the Lafayette Parish NAACP Unit #6060 released the following statement:
On September 1, 2020, Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins incited violence against African-American citizens and threatened to shoot protesters. The Lafayette Parish NAACP and the ACLU of Louisiana are calling for the immediate censure of Rep. Higgins for threatening to cause harm and promote violence against protestors exercising their freedoms.
Additionally, pursuant to Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a formal request has been filed with the United States House of Representatives, calling for the expulsion of Rep. Higgins for misconduct, violation of code of ethics, and gross abuse of power as an elected official.
“We are very concerned with Representative Clay Higgins’ threatening post, it is extremely
inappropriate for a sitting member of Congress to incite violence against Blacks, to target
peaceful protestors, and to abuse his power to encourage racism,” says Lafayette Parish
NAACP President Marja Broussard. “The NAACP promotes and participates in lawful, peaceful
protests and under the Constitution, citizens have both the right to exercise freedom of speech
and to bear arms. We will not tolerate discrimination against minorities who also choose to
exercise these freedoms which we are all entitled to, equally.”
Louisiana State NAACP President Michael McClanahan echoes President Broussard’s position;
calling for his censure and an investigation into his comments.
“We are very concerned with Rep. Clay Higgins rhetoric about shooting persons who lawfully come into Louisiana, and who bear arms while here. It is a threat that the NAACP Louisiana State Conference takes seriously, and we will use all legal avenues to ensure that he is not unilaterally the judge, jury and executioner of persons exercising their constitutional rights. Rep. Higgins took an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and the laws of this state. It appears he wasn’t listening or wasn’t in class.”
“Lafayette is a community that is grieving and rightfully demanding justice, and such calls for
change should never be met by racist threats or intimidation,” said ACLU of Louisiana executive
director Alanah Odoms Hebert.
“Representative Higgins’ racist and reprehensible threat to shoot protesters harkens back to the darkest days of racial terror in our country and should be publicly censured by the U.S. House of Representatives. Protesting injustice is a fundamental right and a cherished tradition that’s been used by Americans of every generation to move our country forward and push for positive change. The people of Lafayette have a right to make their voices heard without fear of intimidation or arrest. The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to stand with all those demanding justice and an end to police violence against people of color.”
Presidents Broussard and McClanahan will continue to work with the ACLU of Louisiana andLafayette Parish NAACP Unit #6060
the Lafayette community to protect the rights of citizens and denounce violent responses
against citizens by sitting members of the United States Congress.