Since 2018, my wife Tracie and I have been organizing protests of the newly built Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas, where she grew up and where her family and much of her extended family still lives.
We will be at the site protesting on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 16, 2023 (please stay tuned for event details).
Every year since the site’s completion in 2017, we have raised billboards across the road that feature Dr. King and a quote from his writings and speeches. The image literally looks down over the memorial.
The monument was conceived and built by the Orange, Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It sits at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Interstate 10, just a few exits west of the Louisiana border.
Click here to see their flier promoting fundraising for construction (note that it contains offensive material).
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the people who built it intended for it to be an affront to the Black community in city that has a sordid legacy of racism and racist violence (just ask any Black Texan of a certain age and they will tell you how their parents told them to avoid Orange as they drove to or from New Orleans).
As in previous years, the billboard will begin to appear in the days leading up to MLK Day and throughout Black History Month (February).
We over-raised $910 in last year’s campaign and we have already applied that money to this year’s. The more money we can raise (in $1,000 increments), the longer the billboard will appear (it costs roughly $1,000 for four weeks). Currently, we are shooting for a total of $2,000 to reach our goal for this year. Right now, we only have $900 to go!
Any amount, no matter how small, matters. Even if you’re not able to donate, you can help to further our cause by sharing with friends and posting on social media.
There’s no legal means for us to get the Sons to repurpose the site. We can’t even get them to dialog with us. The site sits on private property and is protected by free speech standards.
But we have no intention of giving up our fight: at the very least, we will continue to show solidarity with the Black community in Orange and we will continue to remind the White supremacists that it’s no longer socially acceptable to display symbols of racism and racist violence. Their “Memorial of the Wind” is especially egregious because of how conspicuously it is displayed.
Please help us in our campaign by donating to our GoFundMe here. And please share with your networks. Every dollar, every share counts!
Thank you for your support and solidarity. We hope to see you on MLK Day in Orange!