Photo courtesy of Friendship West Baptist Church

A participant in a back-the-blue rally Sunday waved a Confederate battle flag at a Black-led church in Oak Cliff, where car-club members say they didn’t think the meet-up would become political.

The Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church, went live on Facebook Sunday afternoon with a blatant message for the group.

“Blue lives matter, or whatever you’re talking about?” Haynes says in the video. “Let me just say this right now: At this point, if you ain’t saying ‘Black Lives Matter,’ you might as well have a klan rally.”

Read the the church’s official statement.

Two members of the Texas Ram Truck Club organized the Back the Blue rally that drew hundreds of participants who drove around the Dallas area for six hours, waving flags and showing support for police, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

One of the organizers, Nathan Abrams, told the newspaper that someone at the rally waved a Confederate flag at the church. The other, Henri Broady, says he lives in the area.

Update: Members of the North Texas Jeep Club, which has 29,000 Facebook members, say they didn’t think the meet-up would become political. The group’s founder, Justin Gaffey, says he agreed to get the Jeep club involved in a back-the-blue rally, but he didn’t know that it would end up in front of the church, which bears an enormous Black Lives Matter banner facing Interstate 20. Gaffey had already gone home when he heard about the disruption at Friendship West. He says he returned to the church and spoke to Haynes, who invited him to return to “hash it out” this week.

The Dallas Police Department reports that nearly 1,000 cars showed up to the church, causing traffic to backup on West Wheatland Road.

The organizers say they had received permission from a pastor at the church’s campus in the Red Bird area.

But Haynes says that he didn’t approve the stop and that the person who did was misled. He says community members stopped the group from demonstrating at the church, adding that people were waving Confederate and Trump flags.

“And you know that ain’t welcome on the campus of Friendship West,” he says. “You are not going to come to Oak Cliff and intimidate us.”

Haynes adds this message for the rally participants:

“Now is the time to divest from policing systems and invest communities. You want your lives to matter, blue? Then that’s what you do. You invest in our community instead of trying to intimidate our community. ‘Cause we ain’t the ones to be intimidated.”

Watch the video below.

Posted by Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Here is a clip from the event.