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Texas Man Allegedly Tries To Blow Up Confederate Statue

A Texas man made his initial court appearance on Monday after authorities arrested him over the weekend for allegedly trying to plant an explosive device on a Confederate statue in Houston, ABC News reports.

Federal officials charged Andrew Schneck , 25, with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance.

On Saturday, a park ranger allegedly caught Schneck holding, what appeared to be, material to make an explosive device, in Houston’s Hermann Park, near a statue of Confederate soldier  Richard Dowling .

The Houston police bomb squad said he was carrying chemicals and a detonator that “were capable to produce a viable explosive device.”

Schneck, who has an undergraduate degree in chemistry, is no stranger to local authorities. The police arrested him in 2014 for improperly storing explosive materials in his Houston home.

A federal judge placed Schneck on five years of probation after he pleaded not guilty. However, in November the court terminated his sentence early.

Court documents said that Schneck admitted to the park ranger that he wanted to destroy the statue because he didn’t like Dowling.

According to ABC News, Dowling was a Houston saloon owner who served as a lieutenant in the Confederate army. His troops repelled a Union army invasion at the Battle of Sabine Pass.

While the nation debates the future of Confederate monuments, Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner , said the city is grappling with what action—if any—it should take with it Confederate statues.

In the meantime, Turner, who is Black, pleads for calm, according to the Associated Press .

“I understand everybody has a First Amendment right,” he said. “But you do not have a First Amendment Right to deface any of the public art, any of the statues, the monuments that exist in this city.”

SOURCE:   ABC News , Associated Press

SEE ALSO:

Baltimore Quietly Removes Confederate Statues

Black Arizona Leaders Call For Removal Of Confederate Monuments

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The Life Of An Icon: Dick Gregory Deserves To Be Honored With A Statue

A s monuments of men who fought to enslave Africans fall across America, a far more honorable figure of American history has passed beyond this crazy world.

Dick Gregory , born October 12, 1932, thrived in America as an activist, artist and intellectual until the day of his death , Saturday (August 19). His family has not released the specifics of the medical situation that claimed his life at age 84, but in an Instagram post shared to Gregory’s official account, his son confirmed that the comedy legend passed in Washington D.C., after being hospitalized and postponing an upcoming show with Paul Mooney .

Throughout his life, Gregory challenged white supremacy fearlessly, never folding to suit a hidden agenda. His undying loyalty to Black people will live forever in his comedy routines, social activism and deep catalog of interviews. In dozens of recent YouTube videos, he seamlessly connected threads of the blatant racism he was born into with the more subtle modern threads America cloaks its hatred in today. Whether you take his wisdom as prophecy or conspiracy depends on your experiences. His are well-documented.

Gregory was raised in Missouri, the last state to side with the Confederacy in the Civil War. He was still alive when Mike Brown was murdered by Ferguson, Mo. police in 2014. Gregory was about six years old when Adolf Hitler instigated World War II. And he soon grew to become a stand-out sprinter, earning a track and field scholarship to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

But in 1954, ten years before racial discrimination became illegal in the United States, Gregory was drafted into the U.S. Army. The success he found making his fellow soldiers laugh gave him the idea to pursue a career in comedy after service. He was discharged and returned to SIU, but dropped out after realizing that the university “ didn’t want me to study, they wanted me to run .”

Gregory moved on to Chicago and became a postal worker while also trying to break out as a comedian. He’s said that his unapologetic pro-Blackness was rooted in the loyalty he felt to the Black crowds that helped him shape his early routines. He said  in a recent interview , “( Black folks) listened to me when I wasn’t funny and when they got through listening, they pushed me all the way downtown where they couldn’t afford to come see me. So I got to go back. I have to go back .”

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