Should black Americans arm themselves?

For Black History Month we should take a moment to study the real history of black people in America, go behind the usual platitudes and stereotypes. Black Americans are Americans, after all. They are not just victims.

The media typically portray Afro-Americans as either criminals or anti-gun activists. Reality is more complex. Black Americans have long used firearms to protect themselves against criminals and attacks by white racists. Even the Rev Martin Luther King supported armed self defence in some circumstances.

Democrats and Black Intellectuals

Democrat politicians routinely attempt to erase the tradition of responsible firearms usage by blacks. When Democrats can’t ignore black libertarians or conservatives, they routinely ridicule them. Nevertheless, distinguished black intellectuals, such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and economics professor Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, continue to play important roles in defending individual liberty for all Americans.

Nicholas Johnson, a black Fordham law professor tells the captivating story of armed black Americans in his book, Negroes and the Gun, the black tradition of arms (Prometheus Books, 2014).

Professor Johnson explains how the black leadership simultaneously embraced private self-defence and political nonviolence — without contradiction. Martin Luther King carefully distinguished the use of arms to defend specific individuals against an immediate attack from using arms to advance group political goals. The first he saw as the natural right of everyone; consequently armed self-defence has won the widespread support of many, including Mahatma Gandhi. The second is much more problematic, and in that case, King argued for nonviolent “socially organized masses on the march.”

To know more, take a look at a review I did of Professor Johnson’s eye-opening book which tells the real story:

Negroes and the Gun

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