The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization that has not been shy about its left-leaning tilt over recent years, has now made the claim that the second amendment is steeped in racism and discrimination.
The legal nonprofit posted a tweet with the title “Racism is foundational to the Second Amendment and its inclusion in the Bill of Rights,” on Sunday that also promoted a podcast episode in which this topic was discussed in more detail.
The episode, titled “Do Black Americans Have the Right to Bear Arms?,” featured Emory University professors Carol Anderson and Charles Howard Candler in which they discussed the supposed inequalities of one of our most cherished amendments as Americans. A preview of the discussion is featured below:
With 233 mass shootings so far this year, the issue of gun violence in the U.S. is all too familiar. Tragic events like the Pulse nightclub and Parkland shootings go from being media spectacles to quotidian events at an alarming rate in a country that often heralds the Second Amendment above meaningful safety for all its citizens. The vigilantism of widespread gun ownership puts Black Americans in an especially vulnerable position given the brutality and human cost of discriminatory policing.
The gun violence epidemic continues to spark debate about the Second Amendment and who has a right to bear arms. But often absent in these debates is the intrinsic anti-Blackness of the unequal enforcement of gun laws, and the relationship between appeals to gun rights and the justification of militia violence. Throughout the history of this country, the rhetoric of gun rights has been selectively manipulated and utilized to inflame white racial anxiety, and to frame Blackness as an inherent threat.
Not long after the podcast host joked about how Batman would have been treated differently had he been a black man, the opportunity to plug Carol Anderson’s new book, “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America” arose. Anderson pointed out that her intention in writing this book “was to figure out whether African-Americans actually have Second Amendment rights,” which of course they do.
The investigation into Anderson’s claim had apparently started after the 2016 killing of Philando Castile where Anderson “went hunting and ended up back in the seventeenth century.” Anderson stated that she discovered “all of these laws, and I started seeing all of this fear about black people, the fear of the enslaved, the fear of retribution, the architecture that was created to control black people, to strip them of their rights.”
Queue social media users who were quick to point out that gun control measures, measures that the ACLU backs in certain cases, were actually created in order to keep minorities from exercising their right to defend themselves in a post-slavery America.
“So there’s a 58% increase in black people in America buying firearms & u want us to believe the gun laws were spawned from racism?” African-American gun rights advocate Antonia Okafor Cover pointed out. “Classic racist, gun control tactics.”
The Libertarian Party of Tennessee was also quick to point out this ignorance of the ACLU’s stance and pointed out the current surge in black Americans buying firearms around the country.
“So why did black American gun ownership skyrocket in 2020?” the Tennessee party said.
The Libertarian Party of Texas also refuted the ACLU’s claim.
“No, the first gun control laws were created to prevent slaves from revolting and to keep freed slaves fearing for their lives. Restricting minorities’ right to bear arms has been the calling card of American racism, not the other way around.”
The second amendment, as it was originally written, has always been a defense mechanism for the individual to defend their rights from the government as well as their lives, the lives of their family and property. It should seem obvious that to restrict these rights in the form of gun control would hurt any individuals’, black or white, ability to do so.