Saturday afternoon, June 10, hundreds of people showed up at the huge, equestrian statue of Sam Houston, the father of Texas Independence that has resided at Herman Park in Houston for almost a hundred years to defend it against Antifa protesters who are alleged to want to see it torn down. Despite the fact that some of the rally attendees were armed, as if ready to recreate the Battle of San Jacinto, the protest was peaceful, a fact attributed to a massive police presence and the fact that the Antifa people were no-shows.

Sam Houston as a symbol of ‘white supremacy.'

The trouble started recently when a group calling itself Texas Antifa, part of a vast network of agitators known for their violent protests, called for the removal of Sam Houston’s statue, the theory being that the father of Texas Independence was a symbol of “white supremacy.” The demand was made against a backdrop of efforts by some cities, such as New Orleans, to remove decades-old monuments to prominent figures of the Confederacy from the public square. The announcement spurred outrage on social media and sparked the protest.

Clearly, something has to be done. The drive to erase history, albeit of the unseemly kind, had gone too far. Would there be any monument to anyone left who lived before the 20th Century before the hysteria blew over?

‘Stand with Sam’ protestors show up to defend the statue

Hundreds of demonstrators showed up in the Houston summer heat to show their support for keeping the statue of Sam Houston. Some of them came armed, and many waved American, Texas, and ironically Confederate battle flags. The display of the Stars and Bars was ironic because of Sam Houston, albeit a slaveholder, was opposed to Texas seceding from the Union and joining the Confederacy.

Oddly, the Antifa protesters failed to show up to offer their point of view. The reason is that the original announcement by Texas Antifa was likely a hoax. Texas Antifa, so far as anyone can determine, does not exist. A group calling itself Houston Antifa denounced the Facebook announcement as a clear ploy by racists and alt-right people to stir up trouble.

If that was the case, whoever was behind the announcement succeeded brilliantly.

However, Houston Antifa did not take a position on the statue one way or another. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, an African American, expressed supreme disinterest in the entire what seems to have been a made up issue. In short, Houston was presented with some adroit political street theater whipped up by a well-placed social media post that went viral.