Blacks with guns…

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters—the black protesters—spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government. Would these protesters—these black protesters with guns—be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a black rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

….

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Siditty: Tim Wise: Imagine: Protest, Insurgency and the Workings of White Privilege

(via Malloreigh).

2 thoughts on “Blacks with guns…

  1. You’re trying to make a fact out of a fictional scenario. Very much like the propaganda media would do.
    White privilege? Never heard of it. I’m white, from a dirt poor family, and had many black, hispanic and asian friends. I think this article is provoking hatred against whites. I have seen enough of this anti white, anti America hate. Why not talk about how so many other people want to kill Americans, regardless of race? Just because we’re living in American.
    Blacks hold protests all the time, no one gets too bent out of shape. Please don’t lump all white people into the racist category.

    • I like how you imply that anti-white = anti-american. You are the shining example of white privilege. Also, read the quote, not just the headlines. Sure “blacks hold protests all the time” but not many of them are openly armed. Second Amendment rights? Sure, but white privilege means the white folks with guns protesting don’t be riot police and/or military action but the author of those quotes above suggests it wouldn’t be so with a non-white group. Pay attention.

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