Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) is a former police captain who said he would shoot armed black protesters. (Photo: KATC screen grab)

Rep. "Wild" Clay Higgins carries an assault rifle during his days as a police captain. (Photo: KATC screen grab) 

'I'd Drop Any 10 of You': GOP Rep. Clay Higgins Threatens to Shoot Armed Black Protesters

The Louisiana lawmaker is a staunch gun rights advocate in an open carry state. 

Brett Wilkins

U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins came under fire Wednesday after threatening to shoot armed Black protesters in a now-deleted Facebook post. 

"Fair warning," the Louisiana Republican, a former police captain, wrote in a Tuesday post that included a photo of armed Black men at a Black Lives Matter rally in Louisville, Kentucky. "I wouldn't even spill my beer. I'd drop any 10 of you where you stand."

"Nothing personal," Higgins continued. "We just eliminate the threat. We don't care what color you are. We don't care if you're left or right. If you show up like this... you won't walk away. That's not a challenge, fellas, it's a promise. We don't want to see your worthless ass and we don't want to make your mothers cry." 

Facebook told the Acadian Advocate that it removed Higgins' post for violating its policies against promoting or inciting violence. 

"I did not remove my post," Higgins wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. "America is being manipulated into a new era of government control. Your liberty is threatened from within... I'll advise when it's time, gear up, mount up, and roll out."

Higgins' comments drew a stinging rebuke from one of his congressional colleagues, as Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said Wednesday that the Republican's "dumb and reckless Facebook post requires serious condemnation." 

Richmond accused Higgins of staging a "clear adolescent ploy designed to stoke fear, incite violence, garner social media clicks, and raise money for his campaign." 

"He should be calling for a thorough and transparent investigation into the shooting of his constituent Taylor Pellerin," said Richmond, referring to the 31-year-old Black man fatally shot by Lafayette police on August 21. "But considering his own record of police misconduct... I won't hold my breath." 

"[Higgins'] comments were disappointing but not surprising," Richmond continued. "My colleague still has not learned that words have consequences, especially when they come from supposed leaders." 

"This is the same man who criticized the use of protective face coverings, yet coronavirus infections continue to spread throughout his congressional district," added Richmond. 

Shreveport, Lousiana Mayor Adrian Perkins (D) slammed Higgin's comments as "racist, violent, and divisive."

Higgins, whose nickname is "Wild," has been a vocal supporter of the Second Amendment and of expanding gun rights throughout his career. Explaining his co-sponsorship of a 2017 bill legalizing the interstate concealed carry of handguns, he wrote that "every American that (sic) can legally possess and own a weapon, and carry in whatever manner, should have that protection in every state across the nation." 

"I will always vote to defend and uphold Second Amendment rights for all Americans," Higgins vowed. 

Louisiana is an open-carry state. Higgins is regularly seen wearing a handgun. 

Critics accused Higgins of hypocrisy for loudly defending gun rights for "all Americans" while threatening to kill armed Black men exercising their constitutional rights. 

"Our conclusion can only be that what's good for white people is not good for Black people in Higgins' Ramboworld fantasies," wrote the editors of the Acadian Advocate

Higgins' threat came ahead of a Tuesday evening Black Lives Matter demonstration in Lafayette to protest the Pellerin shooting. The Acadian Advocate reported that the event was peaceful, with 40-50 armed members of the Louisiana Cajun Militia present. One of the group's leaders, Michael McComas, said he wanted to protect protesters from white supremacist militants who were rumored to be traveling to Lafayette to disrupt the demonstration.

While armed Black people are a rare sight at protests, white militias and vigilantes have shown up at Black Lives Matter demonstrations over 500 times this year, according to Alexander Reid Ross of the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right. Police have often embraced their presence, including when officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin praised armed vigilantes and threw a bottle of water to Kyle Rittenhouse, who would shortly after allegedly kill two protesters and injure a third with an assault rifle he illegally transported across state lines.

This isn't Higgins' first incendiary statement. In 2017 the Christian fundamentalist posted a video on YouTube from the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to promote an "invincible" U.S. military, and he has also compared women who choose to abort pregnancies to the genocidal extermination of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust. 

It's also not the first time Higgins has threatened to shoot someone. According to court records, he allegedly made such a threat against his ex-wife Eloisa Rovati Higgins.

"He put a gun to my head before, during, an argument," she claimed in 1991. "He threatened that if I ever came near the house he would shoot me." 

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·

Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·

UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·

'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo