Louisiana’s Clay Higgins strikes again, embarrassing us in a way we do not deserve from one of our state’s members of Congress.
People of good sense ought to pay as little attention as possible to his social media ravings about using force against demonstrators at Louisiana protests, as people did when he raved against social distancing to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether it’s public safety or public health, don’t follow the advice of an idiot in Congress.
The beauty of Facebook posts is that screenshots allow preservation of the impulsive madness of posters. Higgins, R-Lafayette, posted a picture of Black men carrying assault-style rifles and other tactical gear. Higgins said that anyone arriving in the state "aggressively natured and armed" would have a "one way ticket."
"I'd drop any 10 of you where you stand," said the post, which was removed not long after appearing on Higgins' official campaign account. "Nothing personal. We just eliminate the threat. We don't care what color you are. We don't care if you're left or right. if you show up like this, if We recognize threat … you won't walk away."
Facebook removed the post for breaking the company's "Violence and Incitement" policies, a company spokesperson confirmed late Tuesday.
First, it’s pretty obvious that Higgins does care what color the protesters are, because this post's image was not a local photograph. It was taken from news coverage of an armed group of protesters marching in Louisville earlier this summer to protest the killing of Breonna Taylor during a botched police raid.
And oddly, Higgins is a loud champion of gun rights — including the right to openly carry firearms in public — and regularly wears a handgun while in the state. Our conclusion can only be that what’s good for White people is not good for Black people in Higgins’ Ramboworld fantasies.
We don’t believe that many people are ready to follow Higgins into a shooting war on the streets of Lafayette or any other city in Louisiana. We worry, though, that invocations of vigilante violence can unbalance someone enough to use that gun they’re carrying around as a prop. Agitation like this can lead to events we want to avoid. These are not responsible statements by a member of the United States Congress.
We also believe that most people protesting in cases like that of the late Trayford Pellerin of Lafayette are dedicated to nonviolence — and if they aren’t, responsible authorities should deal with the issue. Not any Higgins-inspired militia mobs.