During a Fort Worth ISD Board meeting on November 9, activist Malik Austin, 51, was removed after becoming irate during his speech in support of critical race theory (CRT).
The topic of teaching CRT is a divisive discussion point amongst parents and School Board members, as many disagree on whether it should be included in classroom curriculum.
Austin initially stood to speak to the Board in defense of teaching CRT in schools. However, he then moved to address the audience of the meeting, presumably those who oppose CRT, in a raised voice.
Video from the meeting shows Austin angrily asking, “How dare you come off in here and talk about the things that my daddy and my grandparents went through: the lynching, the oppression, Jim Crow? And my kids are still being afflicted by this.”
Austin then yells that he has “over 1,000 soldiers ready to go…locked and loaded,” stirring unrest in the room. In response, parents in the audience point out that they are not the people he should be addressing, attempting to direct his speech back towards the Board, which does not appear to discourage Austin.
When Austin’s minute of speaking time had elapsed, he continued to loudly repeat that he was exercising his “First Amendment rights,” at which point the police officer providing security at the meeting began to escort him from the room.
The video shows audience member Hollie Plemmons stating she would be willing to talk to him, but that she was not willing to be yelled at, to which Austin replied, “But you’re not intelligent, you are not intelligent.”
Austin told Plemmons as he was being removed that he was ready to defend his beliefs, “locked and loaded.”
Plemmons told reporters afterward that she did feel threatened by Austin, saying, “I’m scared and I’m afraid he’s going to do something.”
Austin has reportedly attended multiple school board meetings to speak in favor of CRT. In August, he showed up to a similar board discussion in “tactical” gear.
Austin is a member of The Brotherhood Movement, a “militia group” who are fervent supporters of the Second Amendment and black activism.
The group describes itself as one that believes in “education, black economics, community engagement, and conflict resolution.”
Austin denies that the group promotes or advocates for violence, only stating that it exercises its Second Amendment right to bear arms.
A spokesperson for “The Brotherhood” has said that Austin has “moved on” from the organization.
When asked, Austin says he never intended to threaten anyone at the meeting. He gave a statement to Fox News, saying that “locked and loaded” was an expression he used when he previously coached football.
“First Amendment rights, freedom of speech, need to be implemented,” he told reporters.
The Fort Worth ISD school board did not comment on the matter, and the Fort Worth police say they never received any reports of Austin’s threats.