DALLAS, December 4, 2012 - CNN’s Roland Martin featured Fox Sports writer Jason Whitlock on his podcast this week. Whitlock, the writer Bob Costas credited for his revelation that America’s “gun culture” was responsible for Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide, likened the National Rifle Association to the Ku Klux Klan.
“Sports gets so much attention, and people tune out the real world, that I try to take advantage of the opportunity to talk about the real world when sports lends itself to that and try to open people’s eyes,” Whitlock said.
“You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture — I believe the NRA is the new KKK. And that the arming of so many black youths, uh, and loading up our community with drugs, and then just having an open shooting gallery, is the work of people who obviously don’t have our best interests [at heart].”
Not content with blaming the National Rifle Association for inner-city violence in the African American community, Whitlock stated that handgun ownership does not “enhance liberty,” but instead damages society because gun-ownership does not make a citizen safer.
Whitlock’s social media accounts erupted with charges of bigotry. The NRA is a non-profit lobbying civil rights organization with 4.3 million members; the KKK is a nearly obsolete terrorist organization with 3,000-5,000 members. Equating the two is outrageous. He has since backtracked his statements, undoubtedly as advertisers approached his employer regarding those borderline racist insinuations.
But the eerie assumption that all Americans – especially minority communities – should abdicate their rights to self-defense in favor of government protection is concerning. Whitlock’s advocacy for complete disarmament appears to be rooted in social justice, but his opinions confirm a growing fear: most Americans under 50 know very little of their history.
Gun control has historically been a tool of racism directly linked to social power dynamics and associated with racist attitudes about black violence. For years after attaining freedom, countless vulnerable African American citizens were brutally violated by men and mobs fueled by racial hatred without means of self-defense.
Reconstruction-era acknowledgements of equal citizenship for black Americans were about civil rights and gun rights. The National Rifle Association, the same organization Whitlock associates with terrorists, was at the forefront of this fight. Later legal protections guaranteeing all Americans the rights to self-defense – not just whites – were hard won thanks to the citizen involvement and their tireless defense.
In other parts of the country, these same trends developed.
As Stephen A. Nuňo reported, “The roots of gun control in California are tied to white anxiety over Mexican-Americans and Chinese-Americans at the beginning of the 20th century. Gun control gained renewed vigor in California after the Black Panthers armed themselves against white police officers intent on keeping their boots on the neck of the black community.
Gun control in the South was explicitly designed to keep guns out of the hands of black communities who used firearms to defend themselves against the Ku Klux Klan. This was a central reason for giving responsibility over gun-permitting processes to the local police and sheriffs. While permits were freely handed over to whites, blacks had zero chance of being permitted to own firearms, making it easier for white vigilantes and thugs to terrorize black folks.”
Because disarmament is about controlling ruled populations, gun control schemes always aid the ruling class in its eternal quest to dominate the others by force. Armed, free individuals capable of standing for their rights risk power structures. Resistance to government coercion, injustice and tyranny are virtually impossible without the means of arms. Our Founders grasped our own human legacy, and thus the Second Amendment was born.
For these reasons, ruling elites have historically crafted legislative designs to disarm populations to maintain control. Particularly those they mean to economically or socially exploit.
After so many struggles for the right to self-defense, should all citizens, including the economically vulnerable or socially disadvantaged populations be disarmed because pundits like Whitlock believe these are singular sources of inner city violence?
As Clayton E. Cramer wrote, “The motivations for disarming blacks in the past are really not so different from the motivations for disarming law-abiding citizens today. In the last century, the official rhetoric in support of such laws was that “they” were too violent, too untrustworthy, to be allowed weapons. Today, the same elitist rhetoric regards law-abiding Americans in the same way, as child-like creatures in need of guidance from the government.”
It is easy for 21st century Americans to remain ignorant past social struggles. We were not alive to witness the fight for sacred rights. When confronted with senseless tragedies that seem preventable and predictable, many of us rush to pay those rights as tribute to the state for protection and security. The concept of state oppression is foreign to most of us.
But given the struggles of the African American community to have all rights recognized, especially the right to self-defense, it is a wonder any proponent of social justice would advocate reversing these social gains. It is an equal wonder that Jason Whitlock, an advocate for social harmony, would trust a historically racist, increasingly
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