Outside Clay Jenkins' Home, a Protest, a Lemonade Stand and Some Awkwardness
Protesters on Saturday employed "shoe on the other foot" tactics -- they believed Judge Jenkins was forcing immigrants on their land, so they forced themselves, peacefully, on his. John Fournace is in the middle.
Sarah Buchanan's mother grizzly was showing. On her Highland Park block, in which the large branches of trees provided some relief from the 100-degree day, her son and his friends had set up a lemonade stand in front of her house. Two doors down was the home of Judge Clay Jenkins, who has made headlines nationwide with his plan to temporarily shelter thousands of young migrants, apprehended by border patrol as part of a recent surge from Central America, in Dallas County. It's sparked protests around DFW and will surely spark more, and on Saturday about 20 protesters held signs outside Jenkins' home.
They also partook in the pink lemonade offered, for 75 cents, outside Buchanan's house. Last week, residents on Jenkins' block received notice, through the mail, that protesters would be there. For Buchanan's son, it was an opportunity to make some money. Buchanan had thought it was a great idea, but at the moment she wasn't so sure.
A man carrying the first flag of Texas and wearing a blue do-rag with white stars had walked down the block from Jenkins' home. His name is John Fournace, a welder and a self-described Texas Nationalist. The most important thing when it comes to the border, he said, is education. So, he decided to educate the kids at the lemonade stand.
He wanted to make sure they understood the dangers the immigrant children posed. Stay safe at school, he said. They carry infectious diseases, he said.
"Sir," Buchanan said, concern creeping into her voice. She said she's known the judge for the past eight years, but she wasn't in her yard for any political reason. Her kids, she thought, didn't need to hear that.
"The kids deserve to not be diseducated," Fournace said as he walked down the sidewalk, back to the protest.
Buchanan turned to her friend.
"We might be closing up soon," she said, with a small laugh.
It was probably the tensest moment at an otherwise uneventful protest. The judge wasn't home, apparently out of state. (We rang the doorbell; there was no reply.) Two Highland Park police officers stood outside Jenkins' door, and police Suburbans were stationed around the block. After about two hours, the protest was called, due to heat.
Q Coleman is an event planner, and he uses those skills to plan conservative protests pro bono.
Many of the protesters said they were legal immigrants or had family members who were. Fournace said his fiance and her family had migrated legally from Mexico City. It took them 10 years, he said. He believes the people crossing the border have no respect for the law, and that housing their children is just another step in America's path to being a welfare state. In terms of national debt, he said, "we're already Greece."
Q Coleman, who runs an organization named Rally Force that assists conservative groups in putting together protests, said he migrated from Cuba in 1960. He was 17. He waited his turn, he said. To him, Jenkins' proposal was not just unfair, but "unjust, immoral and very illegal."
"I'm not just bitter," he said. "I'm pissed."
Send your story tips to the author, Sky Chadde.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.