Pearland councilmember Woody Owens is under fire from the Brazoria County Branch of the NAACP and others after Owens shared controversial and posts many deemed racist on his Facebook page.
“I really believe that we are a better society and that we are a better community than those posts display,” NAACP Brazoria County Branch president Eugene Howard told KPRC 2. “That is just a disgrace. That bigotry, hatred, those dog whistles are just unacceptable.”
The NAACP alerted MyHoustonMajic among other news outlets of the posts and sent them. Screenshots included Owens’ shared posts, mostly inflammatory memes.
One of the posts involved the Confederate Flag and read, “PROUD DESCENDANT OF A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER… WHO ELSE CAN CLAIM THIS?”
Another read, “I WONDER IF I SAID GOD BLESS DIXIE… HOW MANY OF Y’ALL WILL SAY IT BACK.”
Owens responded to the screenshots, stating that they were part of his history.
“Number one, it’s history. Number two, it’s my great grandfather. Number three, why would you not say something? You can’t erase history,” Owens said. “To me, that relates to nothing no more than an American flag. It’s a Confederate Flag that was there at the time. Some states had it … that has nothing to do with being racist. It’s being proud of my history and the flag that was there.”
Howard disagreed with Owens’ sentiment, despite the councilmember looking back at his ancestors who fought in the civil war.
“A time where … my great ancestors were not free people and that’s just unacceptable and that’s how the people in my community feel,” Howard said.
Another one of the memes Owens shared included Muslims, Congress and the September 11th attack. He blames Muslims for the attack. Another meme involved former Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband on stage at a political event. Owens denied he was homophobic.
“I’m a believer of 2001 and what happened, and it was the Muslim race that did it,” Owens said of the 9/11 post. “No. I’m not [anti-Muslim], I’m not…I had an office in the World Trade Center for 10 years, and they’re lucky at the time that occurred over there, there was only X number of people killed.”
He continued, “I don’t care what people are… You could be black, white, green, yellow. You could be gay… you could be-what do you call it? When you go either way on it? You could be whatever you want to be. I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me or my opinion not one bit at all. But for them to do it on stage in front of a live camera, it’s only done for show.”
Owens concluded, “It’s my job as a city councilmember to represent, right now, 127,00 people. They have an opportunity to get in touch with me and they have my number to do that. If that’s offensive for them, they have my number. If that’s offensive for them, it’s not meant to be offensive.”