Coalition to Stop Gun Violence loves to see racism where there is none, so I was quite skeptical when I noticed them tweet about pro-gun activists fantasizing about killing young black men. While do believe this mischaracterizes the nature of the link I followed, I’m hard pressed to argue that the article by Gabe Suarez, passed along in an informational e-mail by VCDL, isn’t racist, or is at the least injecting race into a situation where it does not need to be injected:
Nor where everyone gets along. You may in fact be totally color-blind in a socio-ethnic sort of way, but not everyone is. So even if your liberal sociology professor thinks it is a cool thing to take a strollÂ at midnight through a ethnically homogenous part of town (different ethnicityÂ that you), it is still a stupid idea.
The problem here is that many of the flash mobs in Philadelphia are not taking place in “ethnically homogenous” parts of town. Some of them have taken place in parts of the City I would not ordinarily be afraid to walk. This not only injects race into an equation where it is not relevant, it detracts from the quality of the advice.
Avoid if you can. If you are standing around and see a group of twenty young urban thugs about two blocks away yelling, “kill whitey”, and lookin at your reflection in the store window, realize that you have not been in the sun in a while, here is my advice – “RUN”. If it looks like trouble, it probably is. The gang is not there to debate the effects of american corporate expansion on the development of the urban neighborhoods with you.
And who, exactly, would be yelling “kill whitey?” I seem to recall a number of victims of these flash mobs have been African American. These mobs aren’t going out and targeting whites. They are groups of feral teenagers targeting anyone who happens to look like a good targets for beating or robbing.
Suarez also suggests breaking the law if need be. While I don’t have any particular problem with Suarez offering this advice, I don’t think it’s wise for a high-profile group that’s as well-respected as VCDL forwarding on such advice to members. Whether a law is immoral enough to offer no consideration by a citizen is, in my view, a personal matter, as only an individual is capable of weighing the consequences of breaking the law versus that of obeying it. I believe gun rights groups should be wary of treading on this ground in areas where our opponents, the media, and lawmakers are watching.
And that’s really my issue with this. Suarez is certainly free to write racially laced and colorful narratives on how to deal with flash mobs. His choice of language and flashy style aside, I’m not sure there’s all that much fundamentally wrong with the advice. But I believe VCDL should have known better than to send this out to members. It’s certainly not out of line to speak of advice on how to deal with violent flash mobs, but in the entire world of self-defense training, I have a hard time believing this was the best anyone could come up with.
Like a stopped clock that’s right twice a day, CSGV is correct that Suarez’s article is racially charged, and VCDL never should have sent this out to members.
P.S. – If anyone can tell me what a “panga swinging killer” is, I’d be grateful. A Panga seems to be a fish, and urban dictionary was no help if it’s slang.