Considering that all 50 states have had Black Lives Matter protests since the death of George Floyd on May 25th, nothing has been more surprising than to see areas with certain histories step up as well. There have been unions of different races and creeds all in the name of the movement but perhaps the most shocking BLM protest of all happened in Vidor, Texas.
Yes, Vidor. If you were to ask anybody and we mean anybody about Vidor then they would run a full list of reasons as to why you wouldn’t even stop in Vidor, much less stage a protest there.
But a woman, 23-year-old Maddie Malone, a fourth-generation Vidorian held the belief that it could be done. So, she started a Twitter account and posted the flyer. Almost immediately, everyone online was skeptical and – again, given the history of Vidor, why would you not be? In a recent interview with Texas Monthly, Malone explained why she was indeed going through with the protest in her hometown.
“Being raised in Vidor, I have a voice here. I can’t understand why people would hate others for the color of their skin,” she said. “I don’t understand the police brutality. I don’t understand the racism, the prejudice. It stirs up this sadness inside of me. How is our generation going to be any different, and how is our town ever going to change, if we don’t do something about it?
Malone said the protest was going to help end some of the rumors about the town. That black people could come through Vidor and that it no longer had the same “sundown town” belief that persisted for generations. “The march serves multiple purposes. One is that I want to honor the life of George Floyd. I want to shake my community and say, ‘Let’s do this, let’s be the voice of change.’ I want the world to see that Vidor isn’t just made up of terrible people who are racist and hate others—that there are some good people here.”
Sure enough on Saturday (June 6), people showed up. According to eyewitnesses and reporters, there were more than 200 people, mostly white with a few black people in attendance, who came out with various signs and stood in unity to make their voice heard.
The internet couldn’t believe it. Either we are really living in a Black Mirror episode or Vidor is coming close to helping shed its image of being a place you don’t stop for gas on your way to Beaumont or anywhere else through the Piney Woods. Check out some of the other reactions to the protest actually happening below.