NB Mayor Responds to Trump Train Controversy
New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman said today he is working with leaders on both sides of the Trump Train NB controversy to make sure future convoys are lawful, safe, peaceful and respectful.
Earlier this week, Bishop Michael Franklin, president of the New Braunfels MLK Association asked the city for support after a member of the 400-car Trump train dragged a Black Lives Matter flag underneath his truck during a Sept. 3 procession which wound its way through the town for several hours, horns blaring, participants cheering loudly for President Donald Trump.
In a statement, Brockman defended constitutional rights for free speech and assembly, but said the city will not turn a blind eye to issues that make residents feel threatened or afraid.
He said New Braunfels is known for its “caring and supportive personality.”
Brockman denounced racist posts and images that circulated widely on social media over the weekend, and promised the New Braunfels Police Department would treat weekly Trump trains like it does other demonstrations or protests, providing a secure presence.
In his post, Brockman said he is working with organizers of the Trump Train NB, city leadership, the MLK Jr. Association, non-profit organizations and other community leaders to ensure “the community continues to be inclusive, supportive and collaborative.”
The Mayor’s Statement
“In recent days, New Braunfels has experienced divisiveness. Some members of our community have felt attacked, demoralized, misunderstood, and concerned. This is not the New Braunfels that I know and love. Our community is known for its caring and supportive personality.
“A group of residents have been holding a weekly event which organizers describe as a patriotic demonstration to spread the positive message about the current President. This event has grown significantly in recent weeks and attracted increased attention. Some images and social media posts associated with that demonstration have caused angst and uneasiness in our community.
“The organizers of the Trump Train NB have assured me that the individuals in those photos and making those social media posts are not affiliated with their organization and that anyone who joins the organization with the purpose of spreading a message of hate is not welcome.
“While all individuals and groups have the right to freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble, in New Braunfels, we expect that it is done in a lawful, safe, peaceful, and respectful manner. I do not condone any activity, symbolism, speech, or imagery with overt or implied racism or hatred. We take these matters very seriously and will not turn a blind eye to issues that make our residents feel threatened or afraid.
“I have met with the organizers of the Trump Train NB and, along with other City leadership, am working with the MLK Jr. Association, non-profit organizations, and other community leaders to ensure our community continues to be inclusive, supportive and collaborative.
“As with other demonstrations or protests, the New Braunfels Police Department will continue to provide a presence at these events to ensure safety and security for participants of the demonstrations, onlookers, and bystanders alike.
“It has been my honor to work with citizens who are deeply committed to doing the right things to make New Braunfels a better place. We live here because this is the kind of community that we all want to live and raise our families in. I look forward to being part of the work that continues that legacy and helps all residents feel respected, cherished, and valued in our community.”