There is one thing that is for certain, being Black in America makes most things unnecessarily complicated. One of the greatest examples of this reality revolves around the matter of guns within our community.
Make no mistake about it; the gun issue has consistently divided
African-American leaders such as The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, and Robert F. Williams. Each of these leaders had their own unique reasons for either supporting or advising against our people possessing guns.
Let me attempt to be absolutely clear in regards to my perspective of guns within the African-American community. There is little doubt that if any population needed to arm themselves, it would be African-Americans as they need to protect their dwellings and all within it from hostile outsiders, this is nothing unique.
However, we also have an ancillary need to possess guns when one considers the recent string of murders at the hands of immoral law enforcement officers who possess an undeniable desire to murder African-Americans without the slightest provocation. It is this utility of the gun that figures that range from Malcolm X, Robert F. Williams, and Huey P. Newton would tell you is not only lawful, but also should be expected from any reasonable-minded person.
Unfortunately, it appears that guns within the African-American community are most frequently used for things that extend well beyond protection; it is the ultimate weapon when one is seeking either revenge or to do harm to a fellow African-American. The use of the gun for such savage reasons was most certainly the inspiration behind the words of Tupac Amaru Shakur, ironically yet another victim of Black-on-Black lethal violence, who penned the following words: “And they say that it’s the white man that I should fear. Well, it’s my own kind doing all the killing here.”
Recently, the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission released its annual report and related that their city had seen a 69% increase in homicides over the previous year. As I am certain that you already know, this increase in murders is directly attributable to one population; that being African-American males between the ages of 15 – 29 living in disassembled and impoverished communities.
According to Commission Director, Mallory O’Brien, the vast majority of these killings resulted from a mere argument. According to O’Brien, “It might be over something silly, it might be over a woman, it might be lots of different things. Someone disrespected somebody. Then there’s a gun present and someone is shot or killed.”
This entire issue reminds me of a furious response that former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, created with the following comments.
The danger to a black child in America is not a white police officer. That’s going to happen less than one percent of the time. The danger to a black child…is another black.
Blacks are basically killing other blacks, and these people are spending millions and millions of dollars demonstrating. They have every right to do it. Why don’t they spend an equal amount of time trying to figure out that horrendous crime problem that exists?
Although it may shock many who believe that African-Americans are oblivious to issues of gun violence, a recent poll revealed that 80% of registered Black voters believe that gun violence in the Black community is an ‘extremely serious’ problem, while only 50% considered police brutality a problem of similar significance.
Far too often we witness those within our own community relying upon seemingly patented excuses such as racism to explain away their evil wrong-doings.
Now I am certainly not going to deny the existence of prejudice, discrimination, or racism, however, for the life of me I cannot understand how these pernicious evils, even in the wake of the poverty and destruction that they create, give a Black man the right to murder another over something as simple as turf neither of them own, Jordan’s, women, or a relatively routine disagreement. Until we begin to own this ‘home grown ignorance’, we will continue to be mired in the multiple poverties (economic, political, cultural, and social) that have dogged our people like a Biblical curse.
Brothers, please put down the guns, unless you are lawfully protecting your dwelling from attackers and intruders. I have constantly heard that guns don’t kill people, I partially agree with that statement; however, I am certain that we all agree that a fool with a gun is a danger to us all.
There appears to be only one solution, and it is most certainly not more legislation. Rather something much more simple, parents tell your offspring to put the guns down and grow the hell up!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.