- The Washington Times
Monday, November 15, 2021

A Texas school board meeting erupted after one parent defending critical race theory claimed he had “over a thousand soldiers ready to go — locked and loaded.”

The Fort Worth Independent School District board meeting became contentious on Nov. 9 when Malikk Austin advocated for instruction based on critical race theory, which makes racism and the effects of slavery the focal point of U.S. history and civics classes.

“For those who got an issue with this critical race theory equity, this is something I fight for, for my children,” Mr. Austin, who is African American, said, “How dare you come out 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.”

“We are not our ancestors,” he said. “I got over a thousand soldiers ready to go — locked and loaded.”

Other parents at the meeting yelled back that Mr. Austin should address the school board, not the audience, to which he replied, “My First Amendment rights!”

Following his remarks, officers escorted him out of the room, as he shouted, “I’ll bring my soldiers with me next time … locked and loaded.”

Parents at the meeting later told Fox News they felt threatened by Mr. Austin’s statements.

“Everyone there felt threatened,” Carol Guarneri, a grandmother of four in the Fort Worth ISD said, adding that Mr. Austin had previously attended an August school board meeting in “tactical gear.”

Hollie Plemmons, another parent, asked Mr. Austin during the meeting if he was “threatening” her when he repeatedly said “locked and loaded” to the crowd.

“I was thinking about calling my husband and having him come to the parking lot because I was afraid to come to my car,” she said after the meeting.

Mr. Austin said he was threatening no one.

“First Amendment rights, freedom of speech, need to be implemented,” Mr. Austin told the cable news outlet. When it comes to “locked and loaded,” he said, “That’s a term I used when I coached football. It means, ‘Prepare and get ready.’”

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.