March 22, 2013

Project 21 and the Frederick Douglas Society: GOP's Designated Race Card Players? Is This What Being a Black Conservative is All About Now?

Frederick Douglass
Project 21 and the Frederick Douglass Society teamed up for an event at the National Press Club back in February to decry gun control proposals and declare the racist origins of gun control. Freedom Outpost covered it.   Yeah, I know its March.  I just saw it, I got a life, what can I tell you. I'm here now and here's my reaction to this event.

Columnist Star Parker said,  

“We know that gun control laws have racist origins.”
 Parker then introduced Stacy Swimp, President and CFO of the Frederick Douglass Society, who elaborated on those origins.

“The first gun laws were put into place to register black folks to make sure they would know who we were, that we could not defend ourselves,” Swimp said. “If you look at the Emancipation Proclamation, what was going on down in the Southern States, it’s very clear that the ‘Dixiecrats’ wanted to disarm black people to keep us from defending ourselves against the Klansmen, who were murdering white and black Republicans to control the ballot box.”

“There’s a direct correlation between gun control and black people control,” he added.

 The Founder of God, Guns and the Constitution William Owens, Jr. said, “This current administration is far from the truth.” “When they take our guns, they will also seek to take our God, and that’s when Americans will fight back,” he added.
 I'm black and conservative and I find this a non credible bunch of drivel, even assuming that they have all their history correct.  For the record, I don't have a problem with reasonable gun control measures.  I also don't have a problem with gun ownership.  I'm a bit uncomfortable at the idea that its desirable to live in a society where everyone carries a gun or that that is somehow a really good thing.  If you are my neighbor out here in the burbs where I live and you have a mini arsenal in your house and seem enamored of high volume magazine automatic weapons, I'm sorry, I'm gonna be worried about you.  But I don't favor taking away people's right to own and possess guns, which is not being proposed anyway.

I do seriously question the efficacy of the proposals on the left, I've yet to be convinced they really get us anywhere.  When it comes to gun control, I would have been more impressed with these black conservatives if they had said, here's is what we favor to address gun violence and here's why we think the democrat's proposals are ineffective.  Instead, they engage in the same level of ridiculous fear mongering that Wayne Lapierre is doing.  Coming for our guns is akin to coming for our God? That's just hysterics. 

 What this group of black conservatives is doing is what conservatives have decried for years, playing the race card.  But conservatives apparently have no problem when they think it serves them. What's the purpose of alluding to the racial dimensions of the history of gun control in this context? They play the race card to suggest that the Obama administration and the left in general is out to suppress blacks and keep them from having weapons because they are racists?  Its a ridiculous premise, as ridiculous as such charges are when the race card gets played on other things.  But since its being played here to support a conservative opinion, it's okay to suggest people are racists or there is a racist agenda when you know full well there is not? Suddenly, that's okay? Now we're going to laud such behavior and applaud these guys as examples of good independent thinking black folk? You have got to be kidding me. 

Furthermore, they don't sound like independent thinkers at all.  They didn't articulate a single original thought.  They just regurgitated talking points and hysterical ones at that. Is this the kind of silliness that black republicans have become complicit in now, providing race based rhetorical political cover for conservative positions?  And don't be fooled.  This kind of shilling is not intended to be persuasive with black voters.  It's aimed at the GOP base and at the party as a way to garner support and raise money from the party. Another example of republicans only talking to each other, with people who agree with them.  Most black voters live in the cities where gun violence is experienced and they have a different take on the utility of easy availability of guns, one which is rational.  You could craft gun control proposals that they would agree with that also lined up with conservative positions on gun rights. 

But black voters in the cities who experience gun violence will not be receptive to a message that seems to hysterically argue that we MUST have guns everywhere to be safe.  So this is utterly stupid messaging if you were actually trying to get the attention of black voters.  And that's how you know that's not the goal of this silliness.  They are talking to the GOP base and far right. They are not trying to actually persuade black voters at all, not with this nonsense.

This behavior is a pitch perfect example of the type of black conservative I do NOT aspire to be, a black conservative that regurgitates talking points without reference to whether they are actually in the permanent interests of black people in the first place. 

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