A video is making its rounds on social media for the positive message it’s sending about the relationship between Black men and Black women. On Tuesday, armed Black men from Sleep Is For The Rich Gun Club in Shreveport, Louisiana, showed up in front of the Caddo Parish courthouse with one mission in mind: Protect Black women.
According to reports, last Saturday a group of protesters descended upon the downtown area of the city to advocate for the removal of Confederate statues. Local NBC affiliate KTAL reported that counter-protesters also showed up openly armed with handguns and rifles. They positioned themselves across the street from the peaceful protesters, likely to intimidate the crowd. Some social media users even insist there were snipers on buildings.
The Lighthouse Ensemble, a local group of justice advocates, had retained permits to host the event, but after detractors showed up, the crowd swelled to a reported 300 people. Sleep Is for the Rich Gun Club also showed up on the scene after hearing what was transpiring. The downtown area slowly turned chaotic, according to firsthand accounts, confirming that the decision to remove Confederate statues from the city has become a polarizing topic for Shreveport residents and the nation.
On Tuesday, lawmakers were expected to come to a decision on whether the monuments would be taken down. In an effort to protect potential protesters from a repeat of Saturday, Sleep Is for the Rich Gun Club members showed up armed in the open carry state. When asked by a reporter why the men were carrying, leader Nicky Daniels, Jr., said, “Why not? Those guys came on Sunday and they tried to intimidate some innocent women, ladies, unarmed men.” He added, “We came out here because those guys came out here trying to intimidate those girls and they thought that they were going to have it easy, but one phone call was made and everyone came down here armed.”
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Daniels made it clear that the group would not tolerate the disrespect of Black women who are marching in the streets to make Shreveport a more equitable place for its residents. While he doesn’t advocate for violence, he did say during the monologue caught on camera that he would not sit back as “Confederates” try to intimidate Black protesters.
“Why are we still having to come out here to fight over a monument that, for people that fought against our country?” Daniels asked. “Y’all don’t understand the hypocrisy in that? And then you want to ask why we’re out here protecting these people? It’s about good versus evil—that’s why.”
A decision regarding the statues was not made on Tuesday, but according to KSLA, attorneys representing Caddo Parish and the United Daughters of the Confederacy turned in legal briefs in lieu of giving oral arguments before the judge. A time frame has not been specified for when the judge will deliver his final ruling.