Sunday, February 02, 2014

Black conservative leaders & the NRA

[SHORT VERSION] Black conservative leaders discuss how the NRA was created to protect freed slaves - YouTube:
Published on Feb 23, 2013  - SHORT VERSION 
Black conservative leaders discuss the reason the NRA was founded and how gun control is an effort to control people. 
The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) hosted a group of prominent figures from the African American community at 9:45A.M. on Friday, February 22nd at the National Press Club to speak out against gun control legislation currently being considered on Capitol Hill. CURE is the largest black conservative think tank in the nation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. CURE organized the news conference in response to concerns shared by black conservatives that the Senate proposed laws will restrict their ability to defend themselves, their property and their families. They are also concerned that the proposed gun control legislation puts too much power in the hands of politicians.

(Hat tip to "The G-Man")

Thank the Dred Scott slavery trial for putting the spotlight on the questions of whether slaves could be citizens.   The "worst decision the Supreme Court ever made"  (in 1857) went against the then growing acceptance of abolition, and its opponents made it clear that in the minds of most Americans,  all Americans were citizens ... and were "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights".

Did that single legal decision cause the Civil war?  No, but it certainly was an influencing factor.  Abolition undermined the agrarian ecomomy of the Southern Democrat states, who could not compete in a free market without the advantage of cheap labor.  (Note the current administration's determination to provide "cheap labor" by refusing to prosecute illegal aliens ... for much the same reasons.)

Even through World War II, black Americans were still being repressed by white Americans, through such machinations as literary tests to prove that blacks were capable of understanding the "issues" before they were allowed to vote.  (White citizens were not so closely scrutinized).  And Jim Crow laws, which enforced segregation under a "separate but equal" theory proved in fact to be more separate and less equal than the popular fiction would admit.

After WWII, black American veterans realized that their white neighbors ... including and especially the 'militant arm of Segregation' (the Klu Klux Klan) ... would never allow segregation to end if black Americans were unable to defend themselves.  And so, some took up arms* to defend themselves, their families, and their homes.  As the Founding Fathers said they should. 

(See below for the rest of the story)

* (See "The Battle of Athens" [Tennessee .. August 1-2, 1945])
* (A similar event had already occurred after WWI, in the "Tulsa Race Riots" of 1921.)

It's odd that when Second Amendment supporters say "the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting, it's about Americans defending themselves against a repressive government", gun control people dismiss that argument as facetious.  The implication is that we have a perfect federal system, and there would never be a reason why citizens should feel the need to arm themselves for self defense.

It took 20 years, from 1945 to 1965, until "Brown vs the Board of Education" before the federal government (under the aegis of presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy) had accumulated sufficient legal decisions to abandon the legal fiction of "separate but equal".

The fight is still not over.  Black Americans are still discriminated against ... even though the ghettos in which many are trapped by poverty is not quite as pernicious as was the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were trapped by Naziism prior to and during World War II.

On a personal note, I was born and raised in lily white rural Eastern Oregon.  In my life, I had never had the opportunity to sit down and talk to a black American.  We simple never saw them, were not aware that their live was much different than 'ours'.

It was, I discovered.  And I continue to discover ways in which I was unsuspectingly living an idealistic live which was not available to all Americans.

From the end of the Civil War until I was drafted into the  U.S. Army, 100 years of oppression had passed.  Legal slavery had been abolished, but economic slavery was still with us.

And in the 49 years since 1965 and today, black Americans are still struggling to rise above the system .. a system in which even a black American president has been unable to demonstrably improve the condition of ALL black Americans, even using the most draconian measures.

Today, as I watched this video, I had for the first time some hope that things WERE capable of improving in America.  Today I watched black Americans making a stand with their white fellow citizens on a most unlikely political issue ..... Gun Control.

Their statements are completely correct, of course.   Gun Control is the tool of those governmental agencies at a local, state and federal level who would impose their will in opposition to the citizens who elected them to high office in the expectation that Americans of every ilk would be protected by their government.

It's an ongoing battle, the Citizenry against the Government:  "It's not that I hate my country, but that I fear my Government!" is the rallying cry.  And these good people have stepped up to demonstrate that the day IS coming when a person will be "judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character".  (Forgive the imprecision of the quote from the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech .. whose birthday we celebrated only two weeks ago.)

It is perhaps significant that President Abraham Lincoln, "The Great Emancipator", only made one small step on the long road to equality.   He was 'for' abolition, but he disrespected abolitionists.  He has been quoted in his private writings as saying (I cannot find the quote, but this is my understanding of it) " ...  If I could hold the union together by abolishing slavery, I would abolish it; if I could hold it together by embracing slavery, I would embrace it."

Lincoln was a pragmatist, and he never lost track of his priority, which was to preserve the Union.

Today we have a new priority, which is to preserve our rights as citizens.  ALL of our rights, and especially that Right which allows us to protect our rights and our Constitution.

Some people prate against the right to keep and bear arms, because they fear disorder and evil acts.

Other people prate against restrictions on our rights, because they fear the downfall of "The Great Experiment" ... The Republic.

The Union ... The Republic ... is well served by these Americans who spoke to witness their commitment last year, on my 68th Birthday.

(NOTE:  During my research for this essay, I relied heavily on the resources of WikiPedia for supporting source information; in fact, I treated it as my primary source.  I am aware that some people denounce WikiPedia as a 'flawed source', and I accept that the oversight might be imperfect.  However, I do accept that each cited article links to other sources which might be considered to be more 'authoritative', and for the purposes of this discussion I am willing to accept the sources. They may not be 100% accurate, and they may not be entirely unbiased.  If bias is there, perhaps that very bias may serve to demonstrate that the subjects are a legitimate reflection of how we view our society.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some think that the only way we will preserve our rights, liberty and freedoms is to dissolve the union.