Nashville’s ‘Peaceful’ Rally for George Floyd Preached Racial Separation and ‘Overthrowing Oppressors’


One speaker at Saturday’s Nashville rally honoring George Floyd spoke openly about overthrowing oppressors.

Another presenter discussed relocating black Americans to a separate land of their own — at white people’s expense.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper attended that rally. On his Facebook page Saturday night, he described it as peaceful. But chaos later erupted downtown.

Left-wing activist Justin Jones spoke. Jones, as The Tennessee Star previously reported, has had prior run-ins with law enforcement, one of which was for an alleged assault on then Speaker of the House Glen Casada.

Jones, during that rally, asked Cooper a question.

“Mayor, are you still here?” Jones asked.

“Will you commit to demilitarize the police department and defund the police department? Raise your hand if you support defunding the police department?’”

Jones told the crowd that he “did not see the mayor raise his hand.”

Jones later told the crowd of thousands that “you don’t just vote out your oppressor. You overthrow them.”

Another speaker at Saturday’s rally identified himself as Samuel X. He described himself as “a student of the honorable Louis Farrakhan.” Samuel X identifies on Facebook as Samuel X Gray, a student minister at the Nation of Islam.

At Saturday’s rally, Gray spoke of relocating the descendants of slaves to a separate state or territory of their own, a concept he describes on Facebook as Project Separation.

As reported, some of the several thousand protestors in the audience carried signs demanding that government either defund or abolish the police. The crowd, composed of whites and blacks, chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” many times over.

Later in the day, and after Saturday’s rally, protestors resorted to violence — by vandalizing the Metro Courthouse and, later, parts of downtown Broadway.

Nashville law enforcement officials arrested a total of 28 people during Saturday’s riots or after that night’s 10 p.m. curfew, according to the Metro government’s website.

Metro Nashville Police, as of Monday, determined that the protestors left 30 damaged businesses and buildings in their wake.

As The Tennessee Star reported last year,  Jones accepted an American Civil Liberties Union award in November 2016. According to video of the event, which Jones’ grandmother posted on her personal Facebook page, Jones called upon young people to fight for liberty and justice.

“Young people and those who are young at heart, we have five words for you,” Jones said as he accepted the award.

“See you in the streets. We will disrupt. We will organize. We will shut down injustice. Know we will not normalize hatred in this country.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]






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2 Thoughts to “Nashville’s ‘Peaceful’ Rally for George Floyd Preached Racial Separation and ‘Overthrowing Oppressors’”

  1. […] Tennessee Star reported, Jones exchanged words with Mayor John Cooper at last Saturday’s rally at Legislative Plaza that […]

  2. Freeman

    Mr Jones and Mr. X sound like the real racists here. “Defunding the police” will only turn Nashville into another Chicago where dozens of young Black men die every weekend, by their own hands!