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Non Hate-Wing Gun Clubs Grow Rapidly

Arming up for the Chumph’s Civil War

Here are 6 gun groups that aren’t for white right-wingers

I have a theory that the quickest way to get legislative gun control in this country would be to start a movement that successfully convinces millions of black folks to join the NRA. I’m not pro-gun, I just know that a gun rights movement fueled largely by white fright would suddenly see the logic in gun restrictions if more people that didn’t look like them carried firearms.

That’s what happened in the late 1960s when the Black Panther Party for Self Defense started patrolling Oakland’s black neighborhoods while openly carrying guns, which was perfectly legal according to California law. It took only a few months of that for the state legislature to draft the Mulford Act, aimed at ending open carry in the state. After 24 Panthers showed up at the state Capitol armed to the teeth to protest the bill, Gov. Ronald Reagan couldn’t sign it fast enough.

The point is, throughout American history, the Second Amendment has mostly been an obsession of the right, but there are moments when it’s served the left as well. This is one of those moments. Having a president who sympathizes with neo-Nazis and fascists has helped mobilize and invigorate hate groups and other violent racists, inspiring some who oppose them to take up arms. To be clear, I am not in support of arming this country, and I’ve never thought throwing guns at the gun problem was a way to solve it. But with so much violence coming from the right, it’s unsurprising that some have decided to battle them on their own playing field. “We didn’t argue our way into white supremacy and slavery,” Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher told Shadowproof, “we’re not going to argue our way out of white supremacy.”

So here are six gun groups that aren’t just for white right-wingers.

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1. Redneck Revolt and John Brown Gun Club

According to Dave Strano, one of the founders of Redneck Revolt, the John Brown Gun Club was founded in the aughts to offer gun training to “the radical community and also to distribute free anti-racist literature at gun shows in Kansas and Missouri.” In 2009, as the Tea Party was coalescing in reaction to the election of the first African-American president, Strano saw the right-wing movement as a collection of angry, working-class whites who were being duped by wealthy conservatives. He wrote a manifesto in 2009 that declared the white working class “an exploited people that further exploits other exploited people…used by the rich to attack our neighbors, coworkers, and friends of different colors, religions and nationalities.” Inspired by the Young Patriots, the radical, white working-class collective that worked with groups including the Black Panthers and Young Lords in the 1960s, Redneck Revolt was born the same year. Its membership is almost wholly comprised of white radicals whom Strano says grew up in “poor or working-class white communities, in trailer parks and rundown apartment buildings, surrounded by redneck culture.”

According to its website, Redneck Revolt has nearly 40 chapters around the country. It describes itself as “pro-worker” and “anti-racist,” with a mission to “incite a movement amongst white working people that works toward the total liberation of all working people, regardless of skin color, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, or any other division that bosses and politicians have used to fragment movements for social, political, and economic freedom.” The John Brown Gun Club still offers firearms training (a lot of members grew up hunting), with an emphasis on aiding defense practices among “communities of color and LGBTQ folks.” Members also show up with guns to act as a protective force for anti-fascist protesters, and were visible at events from Charlottesville to Trump’s recent rally in Arizona.

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2. Pink Pistols

The Pink Pistols membership got massive bumps on the heels of two recent national events: the massacre of 49 people at LGBT nightclub Pulse in Miami, and the election of Donald Trump. Founder Doug Krick established the group after reading a 2000 Salon article by gay journalist Jonathan Rauch, who was sickened by a series of hate crimes against the LGBT community, including the murder of Matthew Shepard. “Thirty-one states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons,” Rauch noted. “In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry….Homosexuals have been too vulnerable for too long. We have tried to make a political virtue of our vulnerability, but the gay-bashers aren’t listening. Playing the victim card has won us sympathy, but at the cost of respect. So let’s make gay-bashing dangerous.”

Its website describes the Pink Pistols’ goal plainly: “We teach queers to shoot. Armed queers don’t get bashed.” The group’s motto is, “Pick on someone your own caliber.”

3. National African American Gun Association

Like other groups on this list, the National African American Gun Association saw its membership soar after Trump’s election; the organization’s numbers doubled to 14,000 after November 8. Philip Smith, the group’s president, has noted that while Trump is an unexpected recruitment boost, the racists emboldened by the president have also driven up membership. “Two years ago, fringe groups were just that: fringe groups,” Smith told CNN. “But now those fringe groups are kind of like, ‘It’s cool to be racist’…our community sees that, and it scares us. You know what, let me get a gun just in case something happens, just to make sure.”

Among incoming members, the most significant demographic leap is in the increase in women. (A Washington Post article from March points to anecdotal evidence that black women are buying guns and learning to shoot at rates far higher than in the past.) Smith notes that it can be doubly dangerous for black Americans to arm themselves due to the disparate treatment of white and black gun owners, as exemplified by the police murder of licensed gun owner Philando Castile. But as Smith points out, the need for protection can outweigh those fears. “We don’t want to bother anyone, but we’re not gonna let anyone come and break into our house at two in the morning and sit there and wait for the police to come, and get killed in the interim,” Smith told a guns-focused news site. “We’re gonna protect ourselves.”

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4. Liberal Gun Club

Lara Smith, the spokesperson for the Liberal Gun Club, says the group’s membership jumped “well over” 10 percent after Trump took the White House. “There is suddenly a significant uptick in the number of liberals realizing that we may, in fact, have a tyrannical government on our hands and the Second Amendment protects them too,” Smith said in an interview.

Founded in 2008 by Mark Roberts, LGC came into being to serve gun owners turned off by the NRA’s aggressively right-wing culture. Lefty gun owners often feel uncomfortable talking openly about their political outlook thanks to the hyper-conservative views that pervade gun culture, which makes LGC, oddly, a gun-filled safe space of sorts. And while America’s gun obsession and refusal to impose even the most commonsense gun controls are the cause of an astounding number of tragedies each year, Smith—who told the Miami Herald that LGC has worked collaboratively with Pink Pistols and Black Guns Matter—argues that gun fatalities point to graver issues society refuses to address. “We should be looking at suicide prevention, health care, systemic poverty and racism, the war on drugs,” Smith told Mic. “These are the real problems, and when you focus on the guns you don’t focus on the underlying issues.”

5. Huey P. Newton Gun Club

Last year, the Bureau of American Islamic Relations—a deceptively named group of Islamophobes—staged a protest outside of a Dallas mosque. There to counter them were members of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, named for the legendary Black Panthers co-founder. The club was co-founded by Charles Goodson and Darren X, two native Texas activists working to put an end to police violence against communities of color. The group has three explicit goals: to “arm all black, brown and poor men/women across the United States who can ‘legally’ bear arms,” to “end black on black violence” and to stop “police terrorism and murder of the people.”

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Huey P. Newton Gun Club

“We accept all oppressed people of color with weapons,” Darren X told Vice in 2015 “The complete agenda involves going into our communities and educating our people on federal, state, and local gun laws. We want to stop fratricide, genocide—all the ‘cides.”

6. Black Guns Matter

Maj Toure is a politically conservative African American who started Black Guns Matter because of anti-black police violence. “Black Guns Matter came about because of the amount of murders of African American people, especially by corrupt police officers,” Toure told NBC News. “I don’t have to convince anyone that my life matters but I’m going to have the tools to defend my life because it matters to me.”

It’s odd to transform the phrase Black Lives Matter, created by a group that is staunchly anti-gun, into a pro-gun effort. And right-wing pundits drool over Toure because of his libertarian attitude toward guns. But he argues that his mission is to “educate urban communities on their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities through firearm training and education.” He’s lectured in venues around the country on gun laws and safety, including resolution and de-escalation tactics.

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Russian Hackers Blackmailing Liberal Groups

They are not sure that the hackers involved are state sponsored… But it seems likely the Russians are continuing to help the Chumph.

Russian Hackers Said to Seek Hush Money From Liberal Groups

Russian hackers are targeting U.S. progressive groups in a new wave of attacks, scouring the organizations’ emails for embarrassing details and attempting to extract hush money, according to two people familiar with probes being conducted by the FBI and private security firms.

At least a dozen groups have faced extortion attempts since the U.S. presidential election, said the people, who provided broad outlines of the campaign. The ransom demands are accompanied by samples of sensitive data in the hackers’ possession.

In one case, a non-profit group and a prominent liberal donor discussed how to use grant money to cover some costs for anti-Trump protesters. The identities were not disclosed, and it’s unclear if the protesters were paid.

At least some groups have paid the ransoms even though there is little guarantee the documents won’t be made public anyway. Demands have ranged from about $30,000 to $150,000, payable in untraceable bitcoins, according to one of the people familiar with the probe.

Cozy Bear

Attribution is notoriously difficult in a computer attack. The hackers have used some of the techniques that security experts consider hallmarks of Cozy Bear, one of the Russian government groups identified as behind last year’s attack on the Democratic National Committee during the presidential election and which is under continuing investigation. Cozy Bear has not been accused of using extortion in the past, though separating government and criminal actors in Russia can be murky as security experts say some people have a foot in both worlds.

The Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with strong links to both the Clinton and Obama administrations, and Arabella Advisors, which guides liberal donors who want to invest in progressive causes, have been asked to pay ransoms, according to people familiar with the probes.

The Center for American Progress declined a pre-publication request for comment. “CAP has no evidence we have been hacked, no knowledge of it and no reason to believe it to be true. CAP has never been subject to ransom,” Allison Preiss, a spokeswoman for the center, said in a statement Monday morning.

It’s unclear whether Arabella is part of the same campaign as the other dozen groups, according to one of the people familiar with the probes, but the tactics and approach are similar.

If the Arabella attack came from a different group, multiple criminals could be lifting a page from Russia’s hacking of the 2016 campaign, attempting to leverage the reputational damage that could be inflicted on political organizations by exposing their secrets.

“Arabella Advisors was affected by cyber crime,” said Steve Sampson, a spokesman for the firm, which lists 150 employees operating in four offices. “All facts indicate this was financially motivated.’’…

The Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment when asked about the latest hacks. It is continuing to investigate Russia’s attempts to influence the election and any possible connections to Trump campaign aides. Russian officials have repeatedly denied any attempt to influence the election or any role in related computer break-ins.

“I would be cautious concluding that this has any sort of Russian government backing,” said John Hultquist, director of cyber espionage analysis at FireEye Inc., after the outline of the attacks was described to him. “Russian government hackers have aggressively targeted think tanks, and even masqueraded as ransomware operations, but it’s always possible it is just another shakedown.”

 

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Brooks Argues Ta-Nehisi Coates is Wrong

 Interesting battle between a white Liberal and Ta-Nehisi Coates. David Brooks is getting hammered in several publications as representing the liberal racist wing of the left, here, here, and here. This battle has political repercussions in the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton could be the unlikely beneficiary of white progressives’ stumbles on race. The woman who herself stumbled facing Barack Obama in 2008 seems to have learned from her political mistakes.  She’s taken stands on mass incarceration and immigration reform that put her nominally to the left of de Blasio’s Progressive Agenda on those issues, as well as the president’s. Clinton proves that these racial blind spots can be corrected. And American politics today requires that they be corrected: no Democrat can win the presidency without consolidating the Obama coalition, particularly the African American vote.

In fact, African American women are to the Democrats what white evangelical men are to Republicans: the most devoted, reliable segment of the party base. But where all the GOP contenders pander to their base, Democrats often don’t even acknowledge theirs. Clinton seems determined to do things differently, the second time around. The hiring of senior policy advisor Maya Harris as well as former Congressional Black Caucus director LaDavia Drane signal the centrality of black female voters to the campaign. In a briefing with reporters Thursday in Brooklyn, senior Clinton campaign officials said their polling shows she’s doing very well with the Obama coalition, despite her 2008 struggles – but she’s taking nothing for granted.

For Sanders..

Democrats are pinning their electoral fortunes on African-American and Latino voters. But the Sanders revolution looks a lot like Vermont, the second whitest state in the country. To mount a competitive challenge against Hillary Clinton, Sanders must do something he has never had to do—reach beyond the kind of post-racial political message he honed in his home state and connect with voters who don’t look like him.

And so far, he’s coming up short.

“I haven’t seen him engaging the black community. Nor am I hearing any chatter about him,” said Rick Wade, Obama for America’s African-American vote director. “Black voters don’t know him.”

A June CNN/ORC poll showed just 2% of black Democrats supporting Sanders, a figure that has remained unchanged since February. Among non-white voters overall, Sanders polls at 9% compared to Hillary Clinton’s 61%.

And then there is Brook’s…”It really wasn’t that bad” excuse…

Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White

Dear Ta-Nehisi Coates,

The last year has been an education for white people. There has been a depth, power and richness to the African-American conversation about Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston and the other killings that has been humbling and instructive.

Your new book, “Between the World and Me,” is a great and searing contribution to this public education. It is a mind-altering account of the black male experience. Every conscientious American should read it.

There is a pervasive physicality to your memoir — the elemental vulnerability of living in a black body in America. Outside African-American nightclubs, you write, “black people controlled nothing, least of all the fate of their bodies, which could be commandeered by the police; which could be erased by the guns, which were so profligate; which could be raped, beaten, jailed.”

Written as a letter to your son, you talk about the effects of pervasive fear. “When I was your age the only people I knew were black and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.”

But the disturbing challenge of your book is your rejection of the American dream. My ancestors chose to come here. For them, America was the antidote to the crushing restrictiveness of European life, to the pogroms. For them, the American dream was an uplifting spiritual creed that offered dignity, the chance to rise.

Your ancestors came in chains. In your book the dream of the comfortable suburban life is a “fairy tale.” For you, slavery is the original American sin, from which there is no redemption. America is Egypt without the possibility of the Exodus. African-American men are caught in a crushing logic, determined by the past, from which there is no escape.

You write to your son, “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” The innocent world of the dream is actually built on the broken bodies of those kept down below.

If there were no black bodies to oppress, the affluent Dreamers “would have to determine how to build their suburbs on something other than human bones, how to angle their jails toward something other than a human stockyard, how to erect a democracy independent of cannibalism.”

Your definition of “white” is complicated. But you write “ ‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies. Sometimes this power is direct (lynching), and sometimes it is insidious (redlining).” In what is bound to be the most quoted passage from the book, you write that you watched the smoldering towers of 9/11 with a cold heart. At the time you felt the police and firefighters who died “were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.”

You obviously do not mean that literally today (sometimes in your phrasing you seem determined to be misunderstood). You are illustrating the perspective born of the rage “that burned in me then, animates me now, and will likely leave me on fire for the rest of my days.”

I read this all like a slap and a revelation. I suppose the first obligation is to sit with it, to make sure the testimony is respected and sinks in. But I have to ask, Am I displaying my privilege if I disagree? Is my job just to respect your experience and accept your conclusions? Does a white person have standing to respond?

If I do have standing, I find the causation between the legacy of lynching and some guy’s decision to commit a crime inadequate to the complexity of most individual choices.

I think you distort American history. This country, like each person in it, is a mixture of glory and shame. There’s a Lincoln for every Jefferson Davis and a Harlem Children’s Zone for every K.K.K. — and usually vastly more than one. Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

In your anger at the tone of innocence some people adopt to describe the American dream, you reject the dream itself as flimflam. But a dream sullied is not a lie. The American dream of equal opportunity, social mobility and ever more perfect democracy cherishes the future more than the past. It abandons old wrongs and transcends old sins for the sake of a better tomorrow.

This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements. By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.

Maybe you will find my reactions irksome. Maybe the right white response is just silence for a change. In any case, you’ve filled my ears unforgettably.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Occupy America – Has Lightning Escaped the Bottle?

 

It’s beginning to feel like 1967…

All over again.

The “Occupy” protests are popping up all over America, as thousands, perhaps soon –  millions take to the streets.

Like the Tea Party, the “Occupy” demonstrators are folks deeply concerned that things have seriously gone off the rails in America.

Unlike the Tea Party – there are no corporate sponsors. there is no Faux News complete with air-headed effervescent blonde bimbos spouting breathlessly over the movement’s significance (indeed the MSM seems determined to ignore the whole movement)…

And there are no Koch Brothers sitting behind the scenes pumping in money, and buying influence from corrupt politicians and Supreme Court Justices.

The other thing is, Occupy is largely apolitical. I think the most prevalent feeling about the American Political Parties – is “a pox on both their houses”.  There has been a growing belief that neither political party is capable, or willing to operate in the best interests of anyone, except their financial benefactors for a long time.

Not being bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers or any of the other conservative “7 Sisters” who fund the conservative “movement” in America, though – is a scary thing for conservatives. As such, it’s no surprise the conservative media “long knives” have come out over the last week or so, with House Whip Eric Cantor calling them a “mob“, Mitt Romney (“It’s dangerous, this class warfare”), Herman Cain (“If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”) or in French Revolution speak “Let them eat cake”, and this piece by Deneen Borelli essentially calling the Occupy protesters peasant trash (where’s a damn Guillotine when you need it?)… And if you wonder just how much of a joke and conservative shill the Wall Street Journal has become there’s this hit piece written in the prosaic style of your average 12 year old. When the leading financial paper in the country blogs articles written in all the style and content of a Marvel Comic Book…

No wonder we are in trouble.

So… Despite humble beginnings, the Occupy movement is headed left, if in no other place than fecund conservative imaginations.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Occupy America

 

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American Hyper-Segregation… Not Just in Black, Brown, and White

I don’t think it is any surprise to most folks that America remains largely segregated along racial lines  nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1965.  While race and racism play a part in this, by far the majority of self-segregation falls within the sphere of tribalism. Well to do black folks self-segregate in communities in the Washington DC area and Atlanta, and white segregate themselves in the suburbs. That tribalism has a lot more to do with the culture you grew up with in most cases than any dislike of other folks. In all but exceedingly rare case, nobody is going to stop a black family with the means from living in the ‘burbs, nor are black folks going to stop whites or anyone else from moving into any of the new black enclaves.

Whites in this country have developed an entire political movement, which at it’s core is a belief in a return to the “golden age” of the 50’s.  Black folks don’t have many fond memories of pre-segregation America – and while the cars, music, and some of the entertainers of the period may foster fond memories, there is no desire whatsoever to return to the societal context or economic realities. That is, and fundamentally always will be a schism between the right in American politics and black folks.

Developing more recently is an even more dangerous hyper-segregation – that between folks on the left and folks on the right. The article below characterizes it as urbanized versus suburban – but I don’t think that is entirely accurate because there are suburban communities which reliably vote left. While there aren’t any major urban areas which vote right – that probably is more a result of the impact of minority voters.

Political and marketing analysts figured out some years ago that they could predict your political alignment by whether you shopped or ate at Walmart of Cracker Barrel – or sipped lattes at Starbucks, and provisioned at Whole Foods.

That political schism, now seems also to define where people want to live.

The Cook Report: Whole Foods versus Cracker Barrel: How Americans Are Self-Sorting

When weary voters saw the news that Washington had struck a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling, it’s doubtful that many of them took out stationery to write Congress a thank-you note; it’s not clear how many of us even believed it had happened. Last week, according to a Pew Research Center survey, a whopping 72 percent described the recent negotiations in disparaging terms such as ridiculous,disgustingstupid, and frustrating. Long before the last-minute, $2.1 trillion deal, voters had thrown their hands up in despair at the extremely polarized state of our politics. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in General, The Post-Racial Life

 

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RealClearPolitics – Video – Schultz To Obama: Stop Compromising

Ed Shultz gives Obama some good advice.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Stupid Democrat Tricks, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Juan Williams Gets Canned at NPR

Always felt William’s role at Faux News as the House Negro would get him in trouble with any serious news outfit. That ticking time bomb has finally exploded.

NPR fires Juan Williams over anti-Muslim remarks

Veteran journalist Juan Williams was fired from his job as senior news analyst for National Public Radio late Wednesday because of comments he made about Muslims and terrorism on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel.

NPR said in a statement that Williams’s remarks – including that he gets “worried” and “nervous” when he sees people dressed in Muslim-style clothing on airplanes – “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

Williams, 56, made the remarks after the show’s host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him whether he thought the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” “The cold truth is that in the world today, jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet,” O’Reilly said.

Williams, who is African American and writes and speaks frequently on race, told O’Reilly that he agreed with his assessment.

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country,” he said. “But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Williams then brought up a statement made in a New York courtroom this month by Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who pleaded guilty to trying to detonate a bomb in Times Square and was sentenced to life in prison.

“He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Williams said…

Muslim advocacy groups and liberal commentators reacted with outrage to Williams’s comments on “The O’Reilly Factor” and called for his ouster. Conservative bloggers, in turn, blasted the dismissal as political-correctness spiraling out of control.

“NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said in a statement issued before the firing was announced. “Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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