Carol Anderson’s Haunting History of America’s Racist Double Gun Standard

Carol Anderson’s Haunting History of America’s Racist Double Gun Standard

Carol Anderson, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021) Get it right: in Amerika, guns, self-defense, and political violence are for white Whiskey Rebels, racist white mobs, racist white cops, George Zimmerman, Kyle Rittenhouse, and the January 6 th marauders, NOT Denmark Vesey, Black sharecroppers, Black Panthers, Milton Hall, Philando Castille, Brionna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. And this is as it was always supposed to be under the Second Amendment. It was darkly fitting to begin writing this review on Halloween. Historian Carol Anderson’s new book The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America is hauntingly well-matched to terrifying current events. Anderson argues that U.S. domestic gun policy is plagued by a longstanding and ferocious racial double standard. It has always been about enforcing Black powerlessness and white rule. The holy Second Amendment rights “to bear arms” and “a well-regulated militia” have always been “for whites only” in American history. As Anderson shows, the amendment’s “for whites only” character is by design, a feature, not a bug . It’s not something that can be fixed by extending the amendment’s “freedoms” to people of color. Those “freedoms” are tools of white supremacy, no small part of why America’s contemporary Republifascists are so enamored of their “Second Amendment rights.” Some Recent Racist Police State Murders Consider recent events demonstrating that the second a Black person is thought to possess, much less brandish a gun in the white-supremacist United States today, their life can be […]

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