I received an email this morning from a mathematician in Singapore, asking if the statue of Sam Houston is still standing. Last weekend’s statue prank reached even to Singapore!

On July 11, citizens of east Texas fell victim to falsely claiming that Black Lives Matter intended to take down the Sam Houston statue. The story spread through a number of rightwing media groups, including Breitbart. This story seems to have been a “prank” created by someone who did not live in the region. Indeed, someone from Louisiana has recently reposted the original story, changing the date of the statue attack to next Saturday and (again) calling out “patriots” to defend the statue.

We are not the only community being attacked by these falsehoods. The Washington Post reported on a supposed July 4 “rally by Antifa” at the Gettysburg battlefield. The rally story was completely fictitious, but several hundred heavily armed militia showed up looking for people to fight.

There are individuals in our country who want violence. When they encourage armed militia members to gather at our statue, searching for #BLM, we have a very dangerous situation.

The dozen Black Lives Matter protests in Huntsville have been peaceful and fully in accord with the First Amendment. The protests have involved a variety of diverse groups in our community, including people (like me) who are involved in local churches.

Please, do not fall prey to these false and divisive narratives promoted by people of violence.