Pro-Sandra Bland clergywoman called ‘Satanic’ by Texas sheriff

This 11 August 2015 video from Texas, USA is called Sheriff of Waller County [R. Glenn Smith] tells local Minister Go Back to the Church of Satan.

By David Edwards in the USA:

Sheriff taunts clergy keeping vigil at jail where Sandra Bland died: ‘Go back to the church of Satan

10 Aug 2015 at 16:12 ET

A United Methodist Church pastor in Texas said on Monday that the Waller County sheriff told her to “go back to the church of Satan” while she was keeping vigil outside the jail where Sandra Bland died.

Hannah Adair Bonner explained on her Twitter feed that she went to the Waller County Jail on Monday just like she had for 27 days since Bland’s death. While she was sitting outside the jail, Sheriff R. Glenn Smith decided to confront her.

Cell phone video uploaded by Bonner shows Smith walking by and asking if she needs his business card, presumably so he can be correctly identified.

“Why don’t you go back to the church of Satan that you run?” Smith asks as he walks into the jail.

Bonner later called on activists to contact Smith’s office for an apology.

“Sheriff then went to my car, took pics of license plate and my face and threatened he is going to do something with them,” she noted.

See also here. And here.

Smith’s behaviour, associating a Christian pastor with Satanism, reminds me of how southern racists in the USA used to call, and still call, another Christian minister: Dr Martin Luther King Junior they call ‘Marxist Lucifer Coon Jewnior’, mixing religious fear mongering about Satan with red-baiting, racist stereotypes and anti-Semitism.

From The Atlantic in the USA about Texas:

In 2007, the chief of police in Hempstead, Glenn Smith, was accused of racism and police brutality during an arrest. Council members opted to suspend Smith for two weeks, a sanction that disappointed civil-rights leaders in town. The following year, amid more allegations of police misconduct, Smith was fired. He promptly ran for county sheriff and won, and is now charged with investigating Bland’s death in the jail he oversees.

23 thoughts on “Pro-Sandra Bland clergywoman called ‘Satanic’ by Texas sheriff

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  11. Our fight for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and for the LGBT community here in Texas is one of our biggest battles ever. That’s because here in Texas, opponents of equality don’t seem to have gotten the message that fairness and justice matter.

    This week, anti-LGBT activists launched a radio ad in Houston calling transgender women “filthy,” “disgusting,” and saying that protections that would ensure transgender people have equal access to facilities were “unsafe.” These ads are the worst kind of hateful propaganda – especially at a time when transgender women are facing a barrage of discrimination and violence.

    And when actress Ellen Page confronted Texas Senator Ted Cruz about his anti-LGBT beliefs, Cruz responded by saying that businesses that refuse to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are the real “victims” of discrimination, and implied that Page was making too big a deal of discrimination faced by LGBT people in the United States.

    It’s clear that our opposition is doubling down on attacks against their LGBT neighbors. They’re using HERO to try and dismantle all of the hard work we’ve done in the fight for equality, in Texas and nationwide. And that’s why it’s more important than ever that we fight back and take action. Supporters of HERO have created a new radio ad highlighting the broad support for HERO and illustrating that the bill is meant to protect everyone. But we need help to share that message.

    There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved. Volunteer or canvass in a city near you for a “yes” vote on HERO, contribute to help us win in Houston, or share with your family, friends and neighbors why non-discrimination protections are so critical to you. The Human Rights Campaign, our friends and allies in Houston and across Texas, and local business leaders will be fighting for the non-discrimination protections our state needs. But we’ll need your help to win.


    Chad Griffin
    Human Rights Campaign
    Follow me on Twitter @chadgriffin

    P.S. Labor Day weekend will offer many opportunities to volunteer with the Human Rights Campaign in Houston and help in the fight for HERO. Stay tuned for more information!


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