New Braunfels MLK Association Asks City to Take Action on ‘Trump Train’
The president of the New Braunfels MLK Association is asking the City of New Braunfels to move swiftly and place some restrictions on the New Braunfels Trump Train, which gained notoriety Sept. 3 after a member of its 400-car convoy dragged a Black Lives Matter flag underneath his truck during the procession, which wound its way through town for several hours, horns blaring, participants cheering loudly for President Donald Trump.
In both a Facebook post on Sunday and in a letter to members of his organization, Bishop Michael Franklin said the ramifications of displays and acts of racism by some of the participants in the Trump Train threaten “the very fiber of our community’s peace and safety.”
He urged members of his group to remain decent and orderly, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.”
“I encourage all of our supporters to remain steadfast and unmovable in our efforts to make a difference within our community regardless of the demeaning behavior of others,” Franklin said in his statement.
The newly created New Braunfels diversity council is expected to meet later this week, according to member Dr. Jessica Edwards, who is black and has spoken out publicly against the Trump Train.
The New Braunfels Trump Train, which started out “very small” three months ago, according to organizers, kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays from the parking lot of the Creekside shopping center, located at I-35 and FM 306. The event is so popular that hundreds of participants gather to set up tens, pray, socialize, sell flagpoles, distribute maks, say the pledge of allegiance and play the national anthem before heading out to drive around the city.
The Comal County Republican Party even conducted a voter-registration drive on Sept. 3.
Critics of the event say too many people are milling around the parking lot, shouting racial slurs and drinking.
Organizer Steve Ceh said in an earlier interview that complaints the city received about the Trump Train’s behavior as it winds through New Braunfels are false.
“Everyone is behind us,” he said in an interview last week. “The liberals will always lie and exaggerate everything.”
In a text posted to the Living Blue in Comal County Facebook page this morning, New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno informed a New Braunfels resident that the city does not consider the Trump Train a car club and is meeting with organizers to discuss routes, concerns and complaints received from the public, adherence to traffic laws, and enforcement and protection of public safety.
Last week, New Braunfels City Council Member Matthew Hoyt, who is in charge of District 4, where the convoy takes place, said although the behavior of some of the Trump Train’s members is disturbing, the city cannot act because the convoy of cars stops at lights and qualifies as a procession, not a parade.
Parades require a permit from the city.
Editor’s Note: Organizers say there will be no Trump Train this Thursday. The group plans to gather in the downtown plaza area to show its support for the Trey Gowdy event at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center.
According to the civic center’s website, the former U.S. congressman will invite attendees to consider various points of view.
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