by G. Brown
Some things just go together…peanut butter & jelly, socks & shoes, Ashford and Simpson. Some things simply don’t go together—peanut butter & sardines, knife and spoon, Blacks and the NRA. That last coupling was just inserted as a jump off get in to the topic…do Black people join, like, care about or ignore the NRA?
It’s not a new convo, but it is a topic that’s seeing a resurgence since Tamika Mallory has voiced her concerns about the organization. Mallory is one of the co-organizers of the group Women’s March who told HuffPost in an interview that “recent actions of the NRA prove the organization only cares about defending the Second Amendment rights of white gun owners.” Again, nothing new among minority gun owners, but Mallory says the group’s recent ads are targeting progressive activists.
One of the two ads that have Mallory and other activists fired up is a one minute recruitment video that features conservative talk-show host Dana Loesch talking about all the resistance to the current President and linking Trump’s majority disapproval to former President Barack Obama….
The NRA’s ad left gun owners and even Republicans taking shots at them for the divisive rhetoric and incendiary tone behind lines like “They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler.“—-Who the hell are “they”? What schools are teaching kids that Trump is Hitler? Many of those outraged by the ad fired back at the NRA on their Facebook page.
One man who would not release his name for fear of his own safety, but did identify himself as a gun owner called the ad, “Orwellian nonsense designed to make you cheer and fist pump for your ‘freedom’ like dogs drooling when the bell gets rung.” He added, “Much of their [the NRA] core membership seems impervious to logic and reason, sadly.”
Mallory and her group are not impervious to logic though and see the ad as “very dangerous” because she says it “specifically calls for members of the NRA and other gun owners to take up arms to address protesters or to push back against protesters , particularly people of color.”
Mallory also says, “The NRA does not believe in protecting black and brown lives…They are not an organization that represents all people. Because if, in fact, the NRA was an organization that represents all people, why would you not have a response to Philando Castile?” Mallory’s assertion led to some fireworks with the NRA before the 4th of July when the group responded in another ad—this time four minutes long, titled “We Don’t Apologize for Telling the Truth” and specifically called out Mallory.
Mallory’s response? Her group has called a protest for next week (July 14 & 15) . The terrifying possibilities include, what if NRA members show up as well with that rallying cry from those ads still scrambling their brains. Even worse, what happens if Black and minority NRA members show up—are they expected to go head to head with the female protesters many of whom are women of color?
Which brings us back to our opening statements…do Blacks who belong to the NRA? If we are to believe theFa NRA’s Facebook page, then the answer is yes. And some stats from other groups like Ammoland.com says that “40% of NRA members are women…another 40% are minorities (mostly Asian and Hispanic). Stats say gun ownership is on the rise among Blacks, but many are remain reluctant to join a group many still see as that bastion of White supremacists and alt-right supporters who hate Blacks and other minorities. The NRA is trying to change its image…but recruitment ads like the recent releases don’t exactly convey that sentiment as much as stoke fears that Blacks may be the “they” referred to by Loesch?
What do you think…is Mallory right? Is the NRA still the group that’s not there to help Blacks and people of color? Or are Blacks still judging the NRA based on ideas from the 50’s and 60s?