If you wouldn’t re-accept emblems of second class citizenship like separate bathrooms or riding in the back of the bus, why accept a second class right to defend yourselves?
My grassroots security consulting began in midtown Savannah, GA., during the Crack Cocaine Era, where self defense concerns were challenged by a new, very violent set of circumstances. Black elected officials preaching gun control for law abiding citizens overlook the fact law abiding citizens aren’t making inner cities unsafe. A logical policy direction would be harsher penalties for gun crime and enhancing self defense statutes. It appears politicians for Black areas prioritize pleasing distant elite liberals more than nearby victims they represent.
I recently read a friend’s Facebook post about gun rights issues in my home town. Savannah’s mayor is a long standing gun control proponent, despite previously serving as Alderman over one of the city’s most dangerous districts. I’m from that district and advocated within it without a badge nor support from elected officials. Support did come, however, from local conservative radio show hosts Bill Edwards and Ben Bennett and New Orleans’ Jeff Crouere.
I don’t blame the mayor for how unsafe that district became. He, like the rest of us, had a sudden invasion on his hands. I do distinctly differ regarding adding difficulty for law abiding citizens to defend themselves. A barrier to such added difficulty is a majority Republican state legislature and their gun rights constituency. But, in these uncertain times, unlikely concessions may occur.
Self defense is all law abiding citizens have left in an era of increasingly violence and politically passive policing. And for Black law abiding citizens, gun rights are our most important civil right. Social programs and statue protests aren’t making captive communities safer. Not one community criminal turned over a new leaf because of toppled monuments. Our elderly, single mothers and urban businesses are targeted too often to impede their right to defend themselves.
For decades my fight to make Black lives matter included promoting our right to defend ourselves. My safety advocacy began at a time when the Savannah Police Department didn’t exactly welcome concerned citizens of my color with open arms. Too often Black concerns were ignored while greener (more affluent) areas received active attention and rapid response. Despite this, I knew building alliances with local law enforcement was critical to community safety and eventually did so.
A common historical fiction related to self defense is Black people suffered silently and sang gospel music while being brutalized by racists. I grew up in a climate where there was palpable fear of White retaliation. Obviously, I didn’t heed such advice. While deferring to others was and is accepted by many Black people my age and older, we also have a legacy of slave revolts and in modern times, armed responses to racism from which to draw strength.
If the 1960s Deacons for Defense and the original Black Panther Party could stand up against the number one threat of their day, how could I do less in mine? The color of the threat is irrelevant.
Years ago back home, when I grabbed my shotgun as burglars unsuccessfully tried to kick in my front foor, ethnicity didn’t magically change. Gun rights are as natural as our skin color.
If you wouldn’t reaccept emblems of second class citizenship like separate bathrooms or riding in the back of the bus, why accept a second class right to defend yourselves?
Gun rights aren’t White rights.
#capblacksafetycreator is Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Grassroots Security Consultant in the real life Gotham City of New Orleans.