In August 2016 a photograph of an elderly man from the East Texas city of Tyler, along with a quote attributed to him about the Black Lives Matter movement, was posted online. The combination quickly became a viral hit, buoyed by the ongoing discourse around racism and racial tensions in the United States:
"I don't get all this 'Black Lives Matter' — 'Blue Lives Matter' divide. I been around here since '57 and I never been to jail. All I see now are these young-in's running around getting shot because they think they can do whatever they want. That's not how it works, but you can't tell them that. I know what real racism looks like and I haven't seen the likes of that ugly face in years. What needs to happen is unity. Respect your fellow man and 99% of the time, they'll respect you back no matter what you look like. I'm living proof of that."
The image was first shared to the "People of East Texas" Facebook page on 15 August 2016. As with the enormously popular "Humans of New York" Facebook page and web site, "People of East Texas" interviews local residents and then shares highlights from those interviews along with photographs:
People of East Texas (POET) started on August of 2015. In that short period of time POET and it's contents has taken on a life of its own. We have been featured in a number of publications and media outlets as well as on countless other social media sites. The goal of POET is to make you, the reader, feel anything but indifferent through organic and raw content provided by those that are interviewed for the page.
People of East Texas provided additional information about this particular image in the comments below the post:
To clarify, the city of Tyler did not post this. I am an individual. BLM was not brought up in the conversation at all from the interviewer standpoint. The question I asked was, "If you could give a group of 10,000 people a piece of advice, what would you tell them?" He responded with, "Stop fighting" and then I asked him to elaborate in a very non-leading fashion as I normally do.
With that being said, If I were to come across anyone that felt very strongly in one direction or the other, I would have no problem posting their comments as they state them. Everyone gets a chance. This just happened to be what he wanted to talk about.