Man yells at couple protesting Confederate monument: 'It’s people like y’all that are destroying America’s history'

Protesters near a Confederate monument
Protesters near a Confederate monument in Orange, Texas. (Photo: Jeremy Parzen)

A disturbing video has surfaced of a man berating protesters in Texas.

Tracie Parzen and Jeremy Parzen were protesting the Confederate Memorial of the Wind in Texas on Saturday when a passerby was angered by their presence.

The Parzens are the founders of Repurpose, a movement with a goal of getting the Confederate Memorial of the Wind in Orange, Texas, repurposed.

“We’ve been protesting since December 2017 after they raised the first flag there,” Jeremy told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We protest this site because we feel it does not reflect our community values,” he added. “The property and memorial lie on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a main thoroughfare and one the city’s main arteries. … Nearly half the residents of Orange are black,” Parzen, who lives in Houston, wrote in a blog post.

The memorial is still under construction; meanwhile many other Confederate memorials are being removed or repurposed. Erected by the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the memorial broke ground in 2013 and features 13 pillars, one for each Confederate state. They are in the process of adding a walkway toward the circular centerpiece, which would be lined with 32 flagpoles to fly various Confederate flags. But the Parzens don’t want this and have sponsored a billboard near the monument to get their message out.

“The Confederate Memorial of the Wind doesn’t reflect Orange, Texas, community values. Please ask the Sons of Confederate Veterans to repurpose this site,” the sign reads.

Shortly after they began their protest on Saturday, a man they did not know drove by in his truck and yelled at them. “He then got on the freeway and must have circled back. He parked his truck at the convenience store across the street and approached us on foot,” Jeremy recalled.

That’s when Tracie, who is an Orange native, starting recording on her cellphone. “Tracie started shooting the video as soon as we realized he was approaching us, hoping it would help to de-escalate the situation if things got out of hand,” Jeremy said of his wife.

Unfortunately, it didn’t.

“Why don’t y’all get out of here? What gives y’all the right to be f***ing protesting America?” the angry man asked while walking toward them. “This is free speech. We can stand on this corner,” Tracie answered.

He then tried to convince them they needed a permit to be protesting there.

Tracie told the man she was recording him, but that didn’t stop him from cursing and calling the couple names while Tracie remained calm. “It’s people like y’all that are destroying America’s history … cuz you’re damn dumbass Democrats,” he said.

Tracie then tried to reason with him. “Why are you so angry, sir?” she asked. “Because of stupid idiots like y’all,” he responds. “Well why does this make you so angry?” she asked again, and he can’t seem to answer her. “I take pride in that,” he says pointing at the monument.

“Look what y’all doing to this country. You’re a bunch of damn idiots. You try and destroy our heritage, you’re tearing down monuments,” he said. “Y’all don’t give a damn about nobody’s beliefs.”

Jeremy Parzen, right, with an unidentified protester. (Photo: Jeremy Parzen)
Jeremy Parzen, right, with an unidentified protester. (Photo: Jeremy Parzen)
Photo: Jeremy Parzen
Photo: Jeremy Parzen

He called them idiots and told them they don’t deserve to be in this country.

Tracie asks, “You feel better?” to which he responded, “No, I don’t. … I’d feel better if you goddamn Democrats would go to hell.”

Then he presented his grand finale. “Y’all are pieces of s*** and you’re out here. … This is America’s heritage. And you don’t have a right to try and destroy it,” he yells. “And that’s all you stupid son of b****es try and do. You’re worthless. You’re s***. You don’t like us, get the f*** across the border. F*** y’all,” he shouted, before walking away. As he left, Tracie yelled, “Jesus loves you,” and he responded, “Yeah you’re damn right he does. But he f***ing hates you.” Then he got in his car and drove away.

The identity of the man has not been made public. Viewers of Beaumont, Texas, news station KBMT have called on the station to ID him, but the station has yet to independently reach him. Tracie posted a video of the exchange to YouTube on Sunday, where it has garnered more than 45,000 views.

While they’re used to angry confrontations, the Parzens have never experienced such a heated exchange. “Many people yell obscenities at us but no one had ever gotten out of the car and confronted us so aggressively,” Jeremy said. “The overwhelming number of passersby give us thumbs-up, waves of support, and smiles. About one in 10 give us a negative gesture, one in 20 or so curses us out like this man had done.”

This irate individual shook them. “We were scared,” Jeremy admitted. “He had already yelled an obscenity at us from his truck. He was clearly agitated as he approached us. We both noted that our hearts were beating really fast. No one had ever been so aggressive.”

They didn’t let him get to them, however; they continued their protest for another two hours. They also haven’t reported him, and don’t plan to. “Luckily nothing bad happened and we don’t believe the law was broken,” Jeremy said. “We wish him well.”

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