“Guns and racism are American traditions.” It’s Wypipo Wednesday. Michael Harriot continues his breakdown on why White people are so fascinated with guns. theGrio Daily is an original podcast from theGrio Black Podcast Network #BlackCultureAmplified
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Michael Harriot [00:00:05] My name is Michael Harriot. I’m your favorite wypipologist. I’m here every day to tell you what’s going on in the village. And of course, today is White people. Wednesdays. Every Wednesday we dedicate to our favorite White subject. We explore the world that is whiteness. Because this podcast would never exclude a group based on color, creed or race, or how they season their food. We would never do that. We explore what’s going on in the White jungle out there.
[00:00:39] I’m Michael Harriot, world-famous wypipologist and this is theGrio Daily. When Stokely Carmichael and the leaders of the civil rights movement in Lowndes County, they call themselves the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, decided to get into politics. They had to get themselves the mascot. Right. And the mascot for the Democratic Party was a white rooster. It stood for White supremacy. And so Stokely Carmichael and the people who believed in arm self-defense, they got their own mascot and they created like this tiger. But it was Black, right? Like a puma from South America. And that is how we got the idea and the logo for the Black Panthers, because Black people were all about armed self-defense. Right. And even today, when you think about armed self-defense, you think about Black people protecting themselves. And that’s the difference between America’s preoccupation with guns and Black people’s decision to own guns to protect themselves. One is to attack Black people like they did in Wilmington, like they did in Greenwood or Tulsa, like they did in so many of the Black massacres. So many of them happened after Whites disarmed Black people. So Whites preoccupation with guns was a tactic about controlling the Black population, and it was a political tactic, too. When you mentioned a lot of these massacres during reconstruction, during the civil rights movement, during that summer, they were about not just disarming Black people, but suppressing the Black vote. That’s a great way to do it. Right. So Whites preoccupation with guns is closely related to voter suppression. Like what? Black people weren’t just, like, sitting back, chilling, not voting. The reason they didn’t exercise their right to participate in democracy was because there were some people on the other side of that camera with guns. That’s where Black armed self-defense came in handy.
Michael Harriot [00:03:01] So you can’t separate America’s preoccupation with guns from the quest for Black freedom, even today. So let me tell you about this guy named Rakem Balogun. He was adamant about the self protection. He was adamant about gun ownership. He was a Second Amendment advocate. Right. And so he would go to gun shows and buy guns legally. Right. But then the FBI came out with this like wake of this memo that says Black extremists. Embedded into the Black Lives Matter movement are going to attack police officers. Now, they were never they never offered any proof of this so-called Black identity extremists, except for one guy. This guy here, Rakem Balogun, never said he was going to attack a police officer. He never wrote it. He never said it on social media. He never told anybody. There was no evidence that he had ever planned to commit violence with guns. He said that he bought his guns because of armed self-defense, but they arrested Rakem BALOGUN He was the only person to this day who was ever arrested as a Black identity extremist. But when he went to court. The judge says like, What are you doing? Do you have any evidence that this guy was going to commit an act of terror? Do you have any visual or statistical or written evidence that this guy was going to attack police officers? Tell me what constitutes Black identity extremists? And the FBI couldn’t do it. They couldn’t offer an example. They couldn’t even say he was going to do this like this previous Black guy did it. To this day, there is no example of Black identity extremism. It is a tactic to disarm Black people from protecting themselves with this Second Amendment that was created to disarm Black people. So Rakem Balogun was eventually set free, but they didn’t stop.
Michael Harriot [00:05:21] See, do to the George Floyd protests. This dude named John Johnson, he was the leader of the largest Black militia in the country. Right. They called him Grand Master Jay. And Grand Master Jay saw what Kyle Rittenhouse did during the George Floyd protests. Grand Master Jay saw the three percenters come to Ferguson. He saw these militias come to the George Floyd protests. He saw malicious White militias show up every time there was a Black protest. And he decided, well, you know, my militia is going to show up at a protest to protect the Black protesters. So when police in Louisville, Kentucky, killed a woman name Breonna Taylor, John Johnson, Grand Master Jay and his militia showed up and they showed up with their guns. The same kinds of guns that the White people, the White militiamen, showed up with. As a matter of fact, he had an E r 15, which was exactly like Kyle Rittenhouse used in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kyle Rittenhouse shot two people at a Black protest when he was summoned by White militiamen to come and protect the property. Remember? Remember what George Mason said. They all have guns to protect property. So, Grand Master J didn’t come to protect property, he came to protect Black people’s lives. And he showed up there with this AR15 and there were snipers and SWAT teams on the roof. And someone said that Grand Master Jay pointed his AR15 and a cop. Now, of course, he didn’t fire. Unlike Kyle Rittenhouse, he killed absolutely zero people. But Grand Master Jay was convicted of assaulting a police officer. He didn’t fire at them. He didn’t shoot anyone. He didn’t even say, I am going to shoot a police officer. He was convicted because he pointed his gun in the direction of a sniper that was on a roof.
[00:07:44] Now, any responsible gun owner will tell you what’s the safest way to carry your weapon. With the barrel pointing up. But Grand Master Jay, to this day right now, has just been convicted of assaulting a police officer by not shooting them. And that encompasses the entire ethos of why White people own guns to protect them from scary Black people like Grand Master J, to protect them from Black identity extremists who don’t exist, to protect them from people like the scary people in the White imagination who are coming to kill them like zombies. Black people, all White people’s zombie apocalypse. And that’s why White people love guns and that’s why they believe so much in the Second Amendment. It’s a delusion. It’s a thing that they have always made up in their head. And to prove it, I’ll leave you with some FBI statistics that show that a person who has a gun during an active shooter situation is more likely to be shocked that a person who is an armed.
Michael Harriot [00:09:10] There is no such thing as a good guy with a gun versus a bad guy with a gun. First of all, how are you going to know who’s the bad guy? Like, I don’t know why people have ESP. I don’t know. I know they got ESPN because it comes standard on the cable package, but I don’t think White people can telepathically know who is a bad guy with the gun, so they just shoot people like Kyle Rittenhouse and the preoccupation with guns eventually get more people killed. They want to arm teachers, even though we know teachers disproportionately punish Black students versus White students. And that’s not like something I’m making up. Like there was a study that was commissioned by this place called the United States Education Department. So it’s the truth. We know that teachers are not trained firearm users. We know that people who have guns and active shooter situations are more likely to get shot. But for some reason, because of this White delusion, the only answer that White people have given for their preoccupation with guns is that I don’t know. More guns keep them safer. Right. They want to put down the schools. They want to put guns in nursing homes. They want to put guns. And I don’t know. I don’t know what what people golfing communities. Right. I guess that’s why they always get attacked by crocodiles in Florida because they forgot their guns at home. And studies show that states with lax gun laws have worse gun violence.
Michael Harriot [00:11:01] And I know that people are going to respond to this by saying, but what about Chicago? What about Black on Black crime? Which is a good point. Just as one time I’ll point out that this is a good point, which is why Black people want gun control. You don’t see Black people at parades saying, oh, I’m glad that guy got shot. Black people are pushing for gun control, even though it protects us because we know that the Black on Black violence in inner cities is caused by a lack of gun control. And the reason that there is a lack of gun control is not so Black people can’t protect themselves. It’s because White people think guns will protect them. And I’ll just say one last thing. Right. So there’s this like, I don’t know this. Like for some reason, there’s this imaginary thesis that if more Black people own guns, then they would create gun control laws. Right? Like if more Black people own guns, for some reason, White people get scared and then, you know, they’ll start pushing gun reform laws. And so Black people should buy guns if they want gun control, which is on its face, a reasonable conclusion.
Michael Harriot [00:12:22] Except White people don’t follow the law. Right. Like when the KKK came to Monroe, North Carolina, to shoot out and to shoot at Black people. They weren’t following the law, when they burned down Greenwood. They weren’t following the law when they were murdering slaves. Okay, we’ll followin the law then and because there was laws that said, like, you know, slave masters could murder slaves, but still. Right. Like the people who showed up with guns in St. Louis, you know, that couple that was standing on their lawn brandishing their pistols in the AR 15 when Black protesters were walking by doing absolutely nothing to those people. They weren’t following the law. They were convicted. So White people’s preoccupation with guns, it doesn’t mean that they are following the law. That’s why the gun show loophole exists. Because they will go to gun shows and purchase firearms without background checks. White people don’t have to follow the law. Right. White people do more drugs than Black people and Black people are arrested disproportionately. So that thesis presupposes that White people follow the law and it presupposes something else. It presupposes that unlike George Mason, unlike those White slave masters, unlike the White men during Reconstruction, unlike the White League, unlike the KKK, unlike all of the White supremacist organizations, unlike the militias, unlike the three percenters and unlike the proud boys, it presupposes that White people have the law applied to them. Because, you know, none of those White people I’ve mentioned, not the people who burned down Greenwood, not the KKK members who shot at Robert F. Williams, not the three percenters, not the proud boys. And none of them. Have been convicted? Not like they convicted Grand Master Jay. Not like they convict every Black person who brandishes a weapon. Which is a great point about Black on Black crime. It’s not like we are for Black on Black crime, but the Black people who shoot Black people and who shoot White people are always convicted. But the law is not applied to White gun owners.
Michael Harriot [00:14:58] So that narrative that Black people buying guns will somehow spark gun reform is not backed by history or any kind of evidence. What it is backed by, is this crazy American preoccupation with guns? And that’s why. To understand White people’s preoccupation with guns. To understand why White people have this delusional idea that guns will protect them, you have to understand how afraid they have always been of Black people and how that is led to White supremacist murders throughout the history of America. And once you understand that, you will understand why Black people do and say and act in certain ways. For instance, you will understand why Black people own guns. You will understand why we don’t trust White people with guns and you will finally understand why we say Black Lives Matter. Because, for most of the history of America, they didn’t. It’s written in the Constitution. That’s why White people are crazy about their guns.
Michael Harriot [00:16:28] And as always, we’ll be here every day. Kickin it with you for a few minutes, telling you what’s up in the Black village or, you know on Wednesdays, what’s up with White people. So join us every day. Download theGrio app where you can just get it on your phone or on your iPad or on your computer. Just download it app for real like they really on the other side of this camera. Don’t forget app, don’t forget app. Look bruh, I’m not forgetting the app. Tell them I told you about the app. For real, tell them I told you about the app. So don’t forget to download theGrio podcast app. Listen, tune in, subscribe to theGrio Black Podcast Network. And as always, will leave you with another Black saying. Pew!
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