Dallas Activist Dominique Alexander and First Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jeffress Trade Barbs

Dallas activist Dominique Alexander has been called many derogatory names since he began leading protests in Dallas in late 2014. He claims he’s been held partially responsible for five Dallas police officers’ deaths after one of his protests ended in gunfire in early July.

But the hate mail and death threats didn’t flood his Facebook inbox until the 27-year-old Alexander began protesting the First Baptist Church of Dallas with other anti-Trump protesters in early November.

He called the church a “mother mecca of the hate that lives inside of Dallas” on a local newscast.

The megachurch’s pastor, Robert Jeffress, reacted and made several appearances on Fox News to discuss the protesters targeting his church and Alexander’s well-publicized criminal history. “And he’s concerned about my rhetoric,” Jeffress told Lou Dobbs Tonight. “That is gross hypocrisy. He’s nothing but a thug.”

Alexander, who is also a minister, eagerly responded by holding a press conference in front of Jeffress’ church the next day. “I take offense to the word ‘thug’ because it’s the new word for ‘nigger,’” Alexander told the Observer. “What is a ‘thug’? I want him to define ‘thug.’”

Alexander was so upset that he posted about it on his Minister Dominique Alexander Facebook page: “#ThugIsTheNewNigga movement, I need everybody to help us ask Pastor Jeffress what do thug mean.”

Jeffress is likely referring to Alexander's past run-ins with the legal system. Alexander has been caught forging a check, leading police on a high-speed chase, stealing a car, falsely claiming a car had been stolen and seriously injuring a former girlfriend’s child, a charge that led to a felony conviction when the child’s doctor told investigators in 2009: “Without more adequate history of trauma, the complainant’s injuries are more consistent with abusive head trauma and child physical abuse.”

Alexander says he has taken responsibility for the “nature of my past” and served his sentence. In reality, he was released from prison eight days after his probation was revoked in late August.

“It’s clear my sin is not forgiven,” he says of Jeffress. “You’re supposed to be the pastor, and you judge me. Does your Bible say to judge me? No, it tells you to forgive me. It also says everyone falls short of the glory of God.”

Jeffress told Fox News that his church is also being judged unfairly by Alexander and his anti-Trump supporters because of its position on abortion and same-sex marriage. “These protesters, opposing me or our church, they’re protesting the eternal Word of God,” Jeffress said. “Guess what, they’re not going to be successful in toppling the Word of God.”

Jeffress then added that he and his wife “have many friends that are gay, and we welcome LGBT people to attend our church.” 

Alexander claims that Trump’s election is inspiring people to join Next Generation Action Network. He says they are averaging about five to 10 new members a day.  But Alexander says that Jeffress' appearance on Fox News led to death threats and hate mail. One Facebook user wrote, “Trump’s your boss now. America will be run the right way now. Make sure you don’t beat any little kids on your way home. Coward!!”

Other Facebook users questioned Alexander's ability to lead protests and questioned how he's able to afford to lead the numerous protests leading to his appearance on local news broadcasts.

Alexander told local news outlets that he wasn't drawing a salary from his nonprofit Next Generation Action Network, but he told the Observer in early September that he was receiving a monthly stipend.

When the Observer contacted him a couple of hours before his Thursday morning press conference, Alexander says that he wasn't receiving a stipend, that his nonprofit foundation recently received its 501(c)3 designation and only hold fundraisers in a small capacity. No records of how much his nonprofit has raised have yet been filed. Alexander says he works as a manager for a credit-card processing company, but did not identify which one. 

"Many people think like I'm a person trying to hide from their past," he says. "My past life has me doing the things I'm doing now, you know? Because I thought there was actually a justice system. I thought it was actually about justice. But I realized it's not about that."
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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.