Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Happens When a Black Member of the Gun Nut Right 'Discovers' Racism?

I myself am an african american and as much as I hate to claim the race card, it holds true in open carry situations.

I've been places with a white friend and we both open carried and law enforcement felt the need to detain me, seize my gun, THEN check my permit (in that order). But my white friend was not treated this way. His permit wasn't even checked.

Just to give a little extra information, that day I was coming from a job interview, I was clean shaven, neat, wearing slacks, shirt, and tie, so I did not present the gangster hoodlum image, at least not in my view.

I've once been pulled off of a train by 5 leos, stripped of my gun, slammed against the wall and humiliated only to find that I was in possession of a very valid permit (weapons carry license as it's known as in georgia).

I've had 911 called on me, even joined blackgunowners.org and was told that my experience was the norm for a man of color.

Any other black men or women here have any oc experiences?
I would like to continue with our earlier conversation about how the Gun Right is trying to dishonestly appropriate the Black Freedom Struggle and the Civil Rights Movement for their own purposes.

In theory, the Gun Right is unified by a fetishistic and paraphilia-like worship of firearms. This mutual love of guns should trump differences of race, class, gender, and sexuality. In practice, the Gun Right is one of the key components of the Tea Party GOP alliance. It is joined together with the other elements of movement conservatism--Christian Dominionists, corporatists, Ayn Rand Austerity neoliberal libertarians--like dogs in heat.

Their owners need more than fire hoses to separate such a freakish Right-wing ideological orgy...assuming they are not enjoying the show.

As I have pointed out on many occasions, the Tea Party GOP and movement conservatism in the post civil rights era represent the full union of racism and white supremacy.

Despite any common overlap on political issues, race still matters and often trumps any particular shared ideological tenets for the American Right-wing.

Their reframing of reality involves convincing their members, as well as the broader white American public, that fictions such as "reverse racism" are real, white folks are somehow oppressed, and that racial "colorblindness" is noble and ideal--and those of us who dare to tell the truth about white supremacy and racism (institutional, personal, old fashioned and modern) are the "real racists".

Of course, there are people of color who are members of the Gun Right. For those of them who are not self-hating black conservatives, I wonder, how do said black and brown members of the Gun Right navigate the racism among their ideological kin?

Likewise, how do white members of the Gun Right negotiate matters of racism and discrimination when one of their black "brothers" in the metaphorical (or real) dutch rudder and tummy sticks "my Precious" gun clique is forced to deal with the reality that his or her skin color shapes life chances in America irrespective of if they own a fire stick or "liberty musket"?

The website Opencarry.org has a very revealing thread in which one of its black members is forced to confront the realities of racism. Watching his white gun brothers struggle with the reality of white racism while navigating the white racism denying language of "playing the race card" is great theater.

There is also something very sad and vulnerable about the whole dialogue.

The thread can be found here.

What follows are some choice comments.

Superficial cues about "good" and "bad people" are very compelling:

I have 100% sympathy to you and what you are going through. I don't like for a race card to be pulled at every situation that one feels there is justificaiton. But you sir ARE justified today when you deal with that. It is true, sadly that they can't look at the clean shaven, well dressed man and see color of skin to associate. Don't buckle, don't break down, down faulter. Keep goin' on because one day even black people, latinos and every one els will be able to ignore race.

I for one don't ever judge on race alone. Clothing, attitude, speach and overall the way you carry yourself is how i make an opinion about someone. We all have our trash and it's not a racial thing anymore. It's the scum of humanity. The murderers, rapists and theives and they come in all shapes and sizes. We can quickly recognize many of them by the oversize pants hanging off their *** and the overall lack of decent grooming. The danger is the ones you can't easily identify but they are right there on our TV, radio, and political office sometimes. College educated, well dress, groomed for success SoBs that don't care about you or me. They steal our rights if we don't watch them and ignore them. Alas I rant now...
Carry on, sir. You have done nothing wrong. You know this. Take it each time they abuse you, that is a little victory. You are lawfully carrying though they don't want you to. But they can't take it away from you, can they? Smile everytime this happens because though they might harrass and hummiliate you, you won because you went home. And it will make them even more angry when you walk away with a smile on your face. It's like a little "neener-neener neener-neener."

A typical "colorblind" racist:

My First Thoughts... 
And I will not legitimize this thread with any other response.
WHAT "AA"'s are you talking about? 
This is AMERICA!!! Land of the free, and home of the brave. We've had ENOUGH comments about "african" this or that to fill our gut to busting, particularly as our numbers come from ALL continents! We've grown up and worked with blacks and all OTHER races all our live-long days, so your making a mountain out of a molehill strikes us as "opportunistic."

Please: GROW THE **** UP. We're human beings. Grow a brain. I'm sick and tired of seeing racist **** being presented as the crux of an argument when it has NOTHING to to with the issue at hand.
Dear ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/AP: KNOCK IT OFF. We're sick and tired of your jack-wipe leftist politics that everyone here in America can see straight through with open and rather disgusted eyes.
I can't ask you to grow a brain, as the substrate remains very unripe. See you in about twenty years? Ok, yes - until then. In the meantime, we'll see you in the history books while we go on with the business of recovering our country from the single most detrimental dictator we've ever seen.

The perfect story for "colorblind" post racial civil rights era America:
Well...I am an old white fat man! On the other stuff...not so much. 
One night in a campground, I suggested that a drunk take his obnoxious venom back to his own RV. He said, "Admit it...you wouldn't want your daughter to marry a [pejorative term for black person]!" 
To which I replied, "Why not? My son did." He stared for a second and then walked away. My wife said that the look on my face could freeze water; maybe it clued him that things might take an ugly turn. I grew up in a totally white community and overt racism was the norm. I even bought into it -- ignorance being a major part of prejudice -- but being in combat pretty much snuffed out the idea that the amount of melanin in one's skin means anything at all. (Well, actually, later in medical school I learned that melanin helps to protect against skin cancer, but except for that...) My daughter-in-law is an awesome gal and if you're insulting her, you're walkin' on the fightin' side of me! 
Freedom is where it's at! The freedom to be an American exercising the rights of an American in defense of America! As a military doctor, I've treated war-injured of every conceivable race and a considerable number who can claim multiple races and every one of them is a hero to me. 
Americans who overcome obstacles like racism and disability to exercise their rights and show others the way are heroes to me as well. Keep up the good fight!
How do you read and interpret the conversation about racism over at Opencarry.org? What are the various genres of speech and logic that are deployed to work through the relationship between guns and the color line.


joe manning said...

The open carry guys are the new right's high profile shock troops. Getting inside the mind of a gun nut is frightening. They routinely trot out token blacks for PR according to playbook. Open carry is ancillary to their main objective of normalizing racism, hate, anarchy. Civil society is a threat to them because it correctly regards them as mentally ill. This explains why they violently oppose all new proposed legislation to confiscate the guns of the violently disabled. Since the GOP welcomes all manner of gun nut, it is at least guilty by association and at worst an enabler of random and strategic violence. The rich maintain the white supremacist social contract with poor whites in order to promote domestic and international terrorism in the interests of destroying civility.

chauncey devega said...

Now we add "mentally ill" into the vocabulary--which for some of these open carry fetishists is certainly true. They are profoundly insecure, fearful, and weak. One would think that the NRA would run away from the loons. Instead they embrace them. It really is about business.

rikyrah said...

We need the Nat Turner Gun Club.


Let the Nat Turner Gun Club Members show up at Target strapped...

that Open Carry nonsense would be gone JUSTLIKETHAT!

chauncey devega said...

That would be awesome. Who would sign up for that suicide mission though?

D. Wright said...

Chris Rock was right. Black folks who are surprised at racism are infuriatingly obnoxious, especially the types who believe that suits & ties will protect them (which implies that they believe that Black people who dress down possess no rights that anyone is obliged to respect).

What I really love about that thread is that Georgia effectively has no gun laws to speak of, yet an armed Black man in Georgia is still regarded as an existential threat to civic society more so than a White man strapped with an AR-15 in a government building. For all the Gun nuts' cheering and jeering, at the end of the day Hustleman's life is effectively forfeit. If another carrier wants to kill him, they can, and because he's actually armed the SYG law would assuredly protect his killer. Those very same color-blind folks would more than likely rally to his killer's side.

D. Wright said...

Rikyrah, Nate Turner was hanged, after he was captured by a White civilian no less. The White Right Gun nuts would cut them down and be lauded as heroes for killing racist extremists. In fact, the incident will be held as proof that Open Carry works, and then they'll storm Washington because Obama would obviously be behind it all.

Gable1111 said...

I don't understand why blacks who allow themselves to be used like think they are thought of any differently by their "patrons" who openly express hatred for black people.

chauncey devega said...

We also have to be careful. This "black man" may not actually be what he says he is. Could be a white (or black/brown) sock puppet talking point Right-winger to advance their game.

Nina Flowers said...

Who can ever understand it? There were some black folks who of course collaborated with slave masters and Jews who collaborated with the Nazis. No doubt a lot of self-hatred going on.

Gable1111 said...

'Tis true. Here's to hoping this is a fiction made up to advance these people's cause. But the sad fact is this type of person is not without precedent.

D. Wright said...

It always struck me as a means of assimilation. Just as White immigrants will aggressively defend and expand their newfound privilege and power (I once had a White Desi classmate extol to me the virtues of the Confederacy) some Black people believe that in Post Racial America the best way to become an "Unhyphenated American" is to become an instrument of color blind conservatism.

Too bad for them that Whiteness and Blackness are mutually exclusive.

Gable1111 said...

Well the question is, where is the line? Where is the bridge too far for people who would fall in with those who clearly hold everything about their very existence in hateful contempt? How can you as a black man stand next to a Cliven Bundy as he says black people are better off as slaves, e.g. that is ALL you're good for, and not think this doesn't mean you?

Its one thing to say as a black person that you support the 2nd Amendment and "open carry" from the literal perspective of carrying a weapon for protection or for sport for that matter. Its also legit to say you don't agree with some aspects of the government.

But clearly, the open carry/sovereign citizen/patriot crowd has never been as violently animated as they are today, and it strains credulity to hear them say it has nothing to do with who the president is when they scream about "wanting THEIR country back." How many clues does one need?

Apparently, tragically, when it comes to self hatred, there is no line.

Nina Flowers said...

I think when it comes to self hatred, one of the most pathetic examples has to be Armstrong Williams... I means seriously? A gay black man who used to work for Strom Thurmond apparently!

Gable1111 said...

Here's one for you, SC Sen. Tim Scott:

"Scott, a fiscal and cultural conservative, was endorsed by Tea Party groups."

And here's another estimable up and comer in the annals of sellouts: Ben Carson.

Gable1111 said...

Well, its long been the warped calculation of some, to the consternation of those who love ourselves, that blackness can be escaped by denying every aspect of its very existence.

Nina Flowers said...

The list is long. Let's not forget that one with the "ghetto-sounding" name, Condoleeza. No one even goes near the fact that she shares a home with another woman...

Gable1111 said...

For these folk, to take off on that infamous quote of Barry Goldwater, from their perspective, unforgivable personal indiscretions in the service of white supremacy is no vice.

D. Wright said...

They're calculation isn't warped per se. Rejecting and disparaging one's culture while adopting and exalting the culture of the dominant social group is necessary for assimilation. Other immigrants have done the same and Whiteness expanded its tent. The problem is that they're trying to assimilate into Whiteness, and for Black people that is ontologically impossible.

Since Whiteness and Americaness are so conflated as to be indistinguishable, we'll never be a part of the melting pot, even after 395 years of residence on this continent.

joe manning said...

Ya gotta wonder why the NRA isn't listed as a terrorist organization.

joe manning said...

Condy is a brilliant pathological liar.

joe manning said...

If its any comfort to us homophobia is strictly red meat for the base. It doesn't characterize the higher circles.

joe manning said...

POC can become white figuratively if not literally, which puts the lie to the majority-minority theory. White neighborhood, school, church, friends, colleagues, clubs, GOPers, music, tastes, restaurants, parks. You know the drill.

D. Wright said...

Whiteness has nothing to do with one's neighborhood, school, church, friends, colleagues, clubs, associations, political party affiliation, music, tastes, restaurants, parks etc. Eminem and Tim Wise are still White and recipients of White privilege. Whiteness and Blackness exist only because of Atlantic slavery, the conflating of black skin and the condition of being a slave. To be a slave is to live a deferred death, to be rendered a fungible sentient object, to be the antithesis of Human, to be subject to social death and violence gratuitously, and to be Black. Blackness is created and maintained by Anti-Blackness, and nothing more. It is the logic that some people are too good, too noble, and too Human to be subjected to such an existence that creates Whiteness and White Supremacy.

We may choose to serve White supremacy, we may even choose to partake in Anti-Blackness, but we can never escape Blackness. This does not mean that Black life and Black culture isn't real, only that it's existence is a direct consequence of slavery and Anti-Blackness, not in spite of them.

Non-Black PoCs can become White both literally and figuratively, but even if they don't that doesn't make them our allies. That in and of itself doesn't make them White, at least not yet. Irish, Polish, Italian, Jewish, and German people were PoCs once upon a time, as PoCs are defined by an absence of Whiteness. It is possible to reject White Supremacy, the idea that it's better to be White, while embracing Anti-Blackness, the idea that it's worse to be Black. NBPoCs receive a psychic wage of non-Blackness and more often than not partake in Anti-Blackness. This alone doesn't make them White. There must be a mutual recognition of Whiteness between the hopeful immigrant(s) and society at large. This is the scary part: contrary to your assertions, Anti-Blackness and White Supremacy don't threaten civil society, they create and defend it. It is because of these social forces that a Pan-European tapestry of Whiteness can exist in America, while the identity politics of Euroskeptic Nationalists tear the EU apart. There are no White people across the pond, only Brits, Scots, French, Germans, etc. Racism, White Privilege, White Supremacy, Anti-Blackness, call it what you like, it is the glue that keeps the Republic indivisible. It's what allows the White community/people/nation to maintain its demographic advantage even in the face of mass immigration. Whiteness is an identity of negation; so long as you are not marked Black you can be White. Without Whiteness, America could never survive.

Courtney H. said...

Wow! I didn't know that!

Courtney H. said...

I agree!

joe manning said...

Yes blacks can become "white" culturally but their blackness disqualifies them from full membership in the white "race" with all its attendant privileges. I disagree that white supremacy is synonymous with civil society although it has historically been a major part of it. Theoretically civic inclusion performs a peer review function that inexorably dispels racism. Civility in general promotes "reality testing" whereby we reflexively pick apart each others prejudices. Speculatively, this "open mindedness" potentiates into liberalism and socialism, although these ideologies are politically immature in their present form.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

If white supremacy is the air we all breathe, according to conservatism, there is nothing that can be done about it. You might as well attempt to snuff out the sun. You can't change people's minds, they concoct this fairy tale of reeducation camps for white people, which is also in part the opposition to public schooling, "historical revisionism"and liberal academia.

That's why these white conservatives are so invested in telling this man he needs to laugh it off, ignore it, stop putting race into it, or demonstrate how they are allies equally in conservatism because individually they hold no personal prejudices.

chauncey devega said...

I think the use of civil society was more akin to the broader idea of the public sphere. In which case, it has been thoroughly racialized in the West in modernity.

Anonymous said...

"as much as I hate to claim the race card"

He means, as much as he hates to be African American.

/s/ Sɛbɛnnikɛlan farin