Activists call for investigation into threats against Congressman Al Green
Leaders in the black community came together Thursday to demand authorities track down those responsible for the racist death threats left on U.S. Rep. Al Green’s voicemail less than two weeks ago.
“The clock is ticking backwards in America, not forwards,” activist Deric Muhammad said a press conference. “But we have a message today for the white supremacists: You may have a desire to go back to 1820 but we ain’t going with you.”
The obscene voice messages that sparked the meeting came in response to Green’s call on the House floor for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The Houston representative was the first Congress member to make an official request for charges against the commander-in-chief - and the move ignited a vicious response.
“You ain’t going to impeach nobody. Try it and we will lynch all of you,” one anonymous caller said in a recording the Houston Democrat later played for the public at a town hall meeting.
“You’ll be hanging from a tree,” the caller continued. Other callers hurled expletives and racial epithets, calling the lawmaker “scum” and “disgusting.”
But authorities have yet to track down those who made the calls.
“We are calling on law enforcement - local, federal and state - to use every resource that you have available to bring these people to justice,” Muhammad said.
In the days since the menacing messages, Green’s office has ramped up security and reported the incident to U.S Capitol Police.
Although the lawmaker is still getting racist calls, the death threats have tapered off, Green spokesman Kamau Marshall said Thursday afternoon.
Instead, the seven-term congressman is seeing a flood of enthusiastic support.
“It’s so much that our phone lines, the system, broke down because we got so many calls, folks from all over the world,” Marshall said. “It’s overflowing support.”
Green’s controversial comments on the House floor called out the president for obstruction of justice in light of his decision to fire the FBI director investigating him.
I rise today to call for the impeachment of the President of the United State of America for obstruction of justice,” he said.
“Our democracy is at risk.”
After the push for impeachment initiated backlash, Green stood firm.
“We are not going to be intimidated,” Green said at a town hall last month. “We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump.”
Muhammad said Green was well within his rights to call for impeachment, and pointed to the blowback as indicative of systemic racism.
“Unfortunately we live in a country where, when a black man speaks up for the poor and needy, he is judged differently from others,” Muhammad said.
“I mean let’s just be honest, if Congressman Al Green were a white congressman and if the caller had a Middle Eastern accent, the person who perpetrated that call would have been caught by now.”
The call for action comes just a day after KKK flyers were tossed into Texas City front yards, an incident that prompted a police investigation in the Galveston County city.