When I saw this video posted here recently, I had to go back and look at it again.
I saw a white man with a gun.
I heard a policeman saying, "Place the weapon down on the ground, please. ... are crossing the street illegally ... I need you to put the gun down before I talk to you. ... You have committed a crime ... you are jaywalking. ... I don't want to shoot you, I'm not here to do that. ... Why are you so angry. ... Why are you cursing at me?"
Or they were leaning on a toy gun in Walmart. Like John Crawford III.
The man, Joseph Houseman, is a gun rights advocate. He got his 15 minutes (more like 40 or 50) of fame and walked.
In the Department of Public Safety's decision not to pursue charges, Webster said later that even though Houseman did not have the rifle in a sling and was "fidgeting" with it, it was not evident that he was "brandishing" it.This news got covered as a "gun rights" story.
From my perspective it's a "white rights" story.
Does anyone honestly believe a black man, or teen, or boy would have walked away from this alive?
Follow me below the fold for more.
I know what happens in this country to black men with guns.
See how fast gun laws were changed in the U.S. when the Black Panther Party decided to patrol the police in their community, after the police murder of unarmed black construction worker Denzil Dowell. In "Fear of a Black Gun Owner," Edward Wyckoff Williams wrote:
The Panthers responded to racial violence by patrolling black neighborhoods brandishing guns -- in an effort to police the police. The fear of black people with firearms sent shockwaves across white communities, and conservative lawmakers immediately responded with gun-control legislation.I know what is done to black men who arm themselves in self-defense against the occupying army you call police, and if you are white, you may not fear.
Then Gov. Ronald Reagan, now lauded as the patron saint of modern conservatism, told reporters in California that he saw "no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons." Reagan claimed that the Mulford Act, as it became known, "would work no hardship on the honest citizen." The NRA actually helped craft similar legislation in states across the country.
You see, I remember Elaine Brown singing in "The End of Silence," "we'll just have to get guns and be men."
I also remember many Panthers shot down like dogs, some asleep like Fred Hampton.
The NRA is all about gun control. As long as those guns are in white hands.
From my black perspective, I get real angry when I watch the Bundy Bunch get away with whatever they fuc*ing feel like and nothing happens to them. I watch white serial killers, and mass murderers explained away as "loners," and "disturbed individuals." I watch my young brothers executed and shot down in cold blood by cops and vigilantes, and the media noise machine pumps up the vilification volume, 'cause we're just thugs and animals.
This white problem affects not just community members, but it affects officers of the law who are not white. See the case of New York State parole officers who were held at gunpoint by white cops in Ramapo while on duty. Blacks in Law Enforcement of America and other black and Latino police groups have spoken out. Far too often being a cop of color is a death warrant from other police, who are white. Police Departments call them "fraternal shootings," but there is nothing brotherly about white cops "accidentally" killing black and Latino officers.
Latinos also smell the cafe sin leche. Some national Latino groups are speaking up, and joining the outcry around Ferguson. In New York, Anthony Baez's family sees parallels with the recent police murder of Eric Garner.
There is no way in hell black people and Latinos and Native Americans can "fix" America's "race problem."
More white folks have to step up to the plate. Systemic racism in police departments across America, in the criminal injustice system, in housing, education, and health care has got to go.
I'm tired of hearing about "the race problem," as if we are an equal partner in this mess we didn't make.
America's got a problem with white racism, and y'all need to clean house.