Civil Rights

Gun Rights and Civil Rights Go Hand-in-Hand


Initially Posted Feb. 5, 2015. Original text below:

"We are proposing armed self-defense as it relates to the situation with black people here in America when it comes to dealing with police departments," says Charles Goodson, founder of the Huey P. Newton gun club, an open carry group based in Dallas. 

Reason TV attended a meeting of the gun club and spoke to Goodson and others about their goals and how they hope to accomplish them. And historian Thaddeus Russell talked about the long, intertwined history of the gun rights and civil rights movements, from slave revolts to Reconstruction-era resistance to the Klan to the Black Panthers.

"One of the great untold stories about the civil rights movement was that it required violent resistance from blacks to be effective," says Russell.
Approximately 7 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Music by Tim Sky and Flausch Gau.

Scroll down for downloable versions of this video, and subscribe to Reason TV for daily content like this.

NEXT: Remy: I Need a Hashtag!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. What’s the world coming to when there are people who want to break the law and they won’t let you do it?

  1. Civil War re-enactors get their re-enactor boners on as they plan a 150th anniversary recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral service in Springfield, Illinois.…..story.html

    1. Judge Napolitano is coming to the event so he can properly celebrate Lincoln’s death.

  2. Gun Rights and are Civil Rights

    1. word to your mother…

  3. Related, from 2012.

    In Va., gun sales are up, crime is down


    1. Well, criminals are getting proper jobs now, thanks to Obama’s enlightened policies,


  4. “One of the great untold stories about the civil rights movement was that it required violent resistance from blacks to be effective,” says Russell.”

    I think the right to self defense is a fundamental right of all individuals, and, besides, the NAP by itself bars using coercion to interfere with the trade, possession or carrying of any thing that isn’t being used to violate any other’s rights. Having said that, I don’t buy this quote. Blacks in the US have always been a minority with less resources and martial training. Our history is replete with situations where armed resistance to white aggression were responded to with devastating massacres by better armed, organized, equipped and more numerous whites. Blacks didn’t turn to non-violent appeals to the national conscience out of mawkish sentimentality, but because other options were less viable.

    1. Blacks didn’t turn to non-violent appeals to the national conscience out of mawkish sentimentality, but because other options were less viable.

      I agree. The black activists from that period of time took a page from Ghandi to forward their movement. Which is ironic/funny as Hell given the fact that Ghandi hated black people. Look it up.

      1. I remember my high school history teacher giving us the choice between (a) watching the movie Gandhi or (b) learning about Canadian history.

        Sorry, Canada!

        1. In the teacher’s defense, it was *World History,* and you can’t just give every detail about every out-of-the-way part of the world.

          1. Canadian National Anthem, English version:

            O Canada!
            Our home and native land!
            True patriot love in all thy sons command.
            With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
            The True North strong and free!
            From far and wide,
            O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
            God keep our land glorious and free!
            O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
            O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

            Canadian National Anthem, French version translated into English:

            O Canada!
            Land of our forefathers,
            Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
            As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
            So also is it ready to carry the cross.
            Thy history is an epic
            Of the most brilliant exploits.
            Thy valour steeped in faith
            Will protect our homes and our rights.
            Will protect our homes and our rights.

            1. I may as well add the Montenegrin national anthem here:


              1. And South Africa has the most weepy national anthem:


                1. Except the Dutch/English part at the end.

            2. Don’t forget Anvilania

          2. NO SPOILERS!

            I’m just getting to the end of a book on the history Tristan de Cunha. It’s gripping. Don’t fuck this up for me, man!

              1. Fuck you.

                Your punishment shall be me singing the national anthem at you, in French,

            1. Everyone died in the plane crash. Everyone on the island was just a dream.

              1. She was an angel.

                1. O dites voyez-vous
                  dans la lumiere du jour…

        2. Well, if you were in high school and had to choose between a movie staring the exellent acting of Sir Ben Kinsley and an overview of the dullest country in history, which would you choose? Definitely not the story of those beady eyed, floppy headed bastards. 😉

          1. True, but I would have preferred Sexy Beast.

            1. Fair enough. That was a great movie. The getting kicked off an airplane and subsequent explanation scene alone was worth the price of admission.

          2. Heh, I took a History of Canada class in college to fulfull some requirement. But I was actually interested in it, so… there’s that.


            1. Being interested in Candana outside of hockey and the meaty toppings on an American style pizza(and the McKenzie Brothers. Can’t forget them) should be punishable by death. Bob and weave, bitch!

              1. I went to college in Buffalo where it was like a five-minute drive to drink legally at 19 – I couldn’t help but want to learn more about such an advanced culture.

    2. “Blacks didn’t turn to non-violent appeals to the national conscience out of mawkish sentimentality,..”

      How about the religious sensibilities of the better organized reverends/pastors?

      1. Maybe, but I think it was actually more of a strategic decision.

        1. Non-violence is often the espoused strategy of those who would call themselves “Reverend” or “Deacon”..

    3. After reading what you wrote, I figured that that quote you commented on was in some sort of context. Then I watched the video, and sure enough I was right.

      I really think you should watch the video just to see how much of a presumptuous ass you are.

      Likewise I think anyone who reads your post should do the same for the same reason.

      1. You’re right I didn’t watch the video, just read the write up here (I’ve also read quite a bit of Russell’s writings on this subject). If there’s a context that makes that claim sound better perhaps you could have shared it with us? Of course then you wouldn’t have got to act like a jerk with an ax to grind, so there’s that.

        1. Yeah, Bo, I just can’t figure why people would be hostile to you?

          1. Because I don’t take sarcasmic’s rude insults in good stride?

              1. I don’t get what your problem is. I’ve read Russell on this before, and I don’t buy his argument. I just don’t, it seems weak. It’s basically based on Charles Cobb’s recent book and just takes some historical anecdotes about some Southern blacks successfully resisting racist aggression with armed responses and then lays the old ‘you need a threatening Malcolm to enable the peaceful Martin’ argument. It ignores the many times in history where armed resistance by blacks was met with large scale massacres by better armed and organized whites, and how black armed response was often used by racists to challenge civil rights activists (they loved to play out the idea that blacks were violent and threatening).

                So I just don’t buy it. I didn’t insult anyone, I just said what I think. And sarcasmic comes in with his insults, and then you, Crisco and such shortly behind. You get that upset and unprincipled if someone disagrees with you?

                1. As you’ve been told, many times, whether you are right or not has nothing to do with it.

                  You’re universally hated for your mannerisms and inability to interact with people without infuriating them. After putting up with your pedantic bullshit and inability to admit (or at least back off) when you’re wrong, people quit trying to engage you in rational conversation and just attack you instead. And justifiably so. If the situation always devolves to the same place, why bother with attempting to argue with you?

                  1. And you’ll notice Bo’s comment:
                    “I don’t get what your problem is”
                    See, it’s YOUR problem, not Bo’s. Bo is only here to enlighten all of us regarding his superior intelligence!
                    And we’re such cretins that hardly anyone here tolerates that stinking pile of shit!

                    1. See, it’s YOUR problem, not Bo’s. Bo is only here to enlighten all of us regarding his superior intelligence!

                      Well, his mommy says he’s a likeable fellow (and good looking too). The fact that no one likes him just means they’re jealous of his likeability (and good looks). He’s so damn likeable (and good looking) that everyone hates him! It’s their fault! He can’t help it if he’s so likeable (and good looking)!

                2. And sarcasmic comes in with his insults, and then you, Crisco and such shortly behind.

                  Here’s the thing, young punk. When everyone is saying the same thing, then maybe it’s not them. Maybe it’s you.

                  Problem, problem, problem, the problem is you
                  Oh what what you gonna do, problem, problem
                  Problem, problem, problem, the problem is you
                  Well, what you gonna do with your problem
                  The problem is you, problem


          1. My, but you’re excitable. Do you need absolute agreement that badly in your life?

            1. Oh! Look! Insufferable twit being insufferable!
              What a surprise!

    4. It wasn’t just the “State” that was out to get black people. Individuals enjoyed going after them as well, more than a few died.

      Why do you think the sniper rifle, was so popular with racists? Why not use a revolver?
      Going to war, is one thing, defense is different.

    5. “Blacks didn’t turn to non-violent appeals to the national conscience out of mawkish sentimentality, but because other options were less viable.”

      This is incorrect. There is no cohesive “blacks” to speak of. The Deacons For Defense and Justice organized 21 chapters of armed black men (many veterans of the Korean War and WWII), and Robert F Williams (author of “Negroes with Guns”) turned his chapter of the NAACP into a headquarters of armed resistance against pograms (racist violent riots) in SC. Many blacks throughout the South were getting very militant, and King openly leveraged this with the Establishment. It’s not even hidden in his speeches. King even had armed guards, an arsenal, and Rosa Parks carried a gun, and wanted to see “Kluxers” bleed. ‘Non-violence’ referred mostly to the action of protest for many blacks, but little else. Often, people actually living in these communities thought that the CORE and the NAACP were pretty ineffectual, and where they did prompt change in a community, it needed to be backed up with armed militancy once they left. For instance, the Deacons’ armed confrontation with the Klan was instrumental in forcing the federal government to enforce the1964 Civil Rights Act,and help them neutralize the Klan. Fact is, like most populist leaders (Lenin, King, etc), he was a Marshall looking for a parade to jump in front of, and a much more appealing option to deal with to the Establishment.

  5. “Gun Rights and Civil Rights Go Hand-in-Hand”

    They sure do…

    1. What I’d give to be on that jury.

      1. That would make two of us..

        1. Make that three.

          1. Just 9 more and y’all will be empaneled!

    2. Robinson is expected to claim self-defense, saying he did what any citizen would have in assuming he was the target of a home invasion ? grabbing a gun and firing a half-dozen shots in the direction of those he assumed were home invaders.

      But the person struck by a Robinson bullet was DEA agent Barry Wilson, one of more than a dozen law officers surrounding the house. The bullet broke bones in Wilson’s right elbow and forearm. His recovery likely will take more than a year and he is expected to lose some use of that arm, according to testimony in a pretrial hearing.

      Unfortunate. Perhaps you’ll rethink busting down someone’s door in a military style raid to recover a “small amount of marijuana for recreational use”.

      1. Future headline (and past Onion headline):

        Drugs Win Drug War

    3. This guy did the right thing. I just don’t know why it matters if he knew if they were DEA or not. LEO’s must swear an oath to the Constitution, so the thugs invading his home were not only armed and hostile, they were impersonating officers.

  6. I didn’t WTFV, so I might be off-base, but I have a little trouble with black open carry as a “civil rights” issue (where it sounds like civil rights is standing in for anti-racism)

    Violence against blacks comes from two main places in this country and they are black-on black crime and trigger happy police.

    In the first case black people arming themselves against threats in their often poor communities only makes sense, and there is a civil rights issue in that blacks are frequently unjustly stripped of their 2A rights because they get caught up in the legal system. But that goes for anyone, not just blacks, though it happens to blacks more than other demographics for a variety of reasons.

    In the second case blacks arming themselves against threats from the police is very dangerous, as picking that sort of fight is going to get people killed. The avenue for reform there has to come politically, as bad as it has been up to this point.

    Undoing the WoD and the job-killing policies adopted by many cities would also help greatly by loosening the grip of gang culture and providing more opportunity for blacks to find employment.

    1. In that open carry is a civil rights issue, it’s a rights issue for everyone, not just a particular demographic. The need to frame basic rights issues in racial terms, where [pick your minority] has to be affected erodes the concept of equal justice for all. That’s not to say that minorities are not frequently made to suffer because of political policies and regulations that impact their communities negatively, but I don’t see that it’s racism as much as one-party rule, cronyism, political financial issues, (particularly union money) sub-culture clash, and drug war propaganda.

      1. “The need to frame basic rights issues in racial terms, where [pick your minority] has to be affected erodes the concept of equal justice for all.”

        I think you might be confusing an ‘exclusionary’ effort to tie our freedoms to a minority with an effort to show that the self-same minority also suffers as a result of government malfeasance.
        IOWs, this is not an attempt to use the minority to frame the issue, but to extend the tent to include that minority.

        1. IOWs, this is not an attempt to use the minority to frame the issue, but to extend the tent to include that minority.

          Perhaps it is my nature to mix it up. People have always been just people to me, race has never mattered at all. I welcome movement on any of these issues of governmental malfeasance however it has to happen. I guess it just seems to me that taking racial angles where there are just fundamental rights issues or governmental problems (school choice comes right to mind) obfuscates the fact that our government is just plain fucked up as people rush to frame an issue as one of disproportionate impact. That’s not to say there aren’t issues of disproportional impact, I just wish that it wouldn’t take that fact to help black communities out of the problems that inept and crony government has created in so many places.

          1. I have no reason to disagree and the attempt to get kids decent education from an ‘equal rights’ view pisses me off.
            But I still hope the kids get a decent education.

          2. Racist!

  7. Ot: There has been at least 10(make that 15 since I started typing) rounds shot off from a handgun not less than 2 blocks from my current residence in the last 20 minutes. i hear sirens, but not a one has been heard closer to, or even near the gunfire. Should I care? Or, say “Fuck it. Not aimed at me, not my problem”, and go to bed?

    1. Stay away from the window, and go to bed.

    2. Based on what I’ve read here, it’s best to avoid interacting with cops unless really necessary.

      1. There are only 2 instances in which one should willingly call the police:

        1) There is a dead body in your home or on your property.
        2) You need a police report after a robbery or car accident in order to file an insurance claim.

    3. Stay away from the window, get to a central part of the house (basement if possible) and break out the firearms.

    4. Make sure the doors are locked.

      1. Oh, and any news?

        1. No. I took the fuck it route. Midtown KC is a rough place to live. Nothing too out of the ordinary in my neck of the woods. Especially on a Friday night. Believe me, if I found a bullet in my roof tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. Good night, commentariat.

          1. Erasmus vs. Luther|2.8.15 @ 12:30AM|#
            “No. I took the fuck it route. Midtown KC is a rough place to live. Nothing too out of the ordinary in my neck of the woods.”

            No news is good news. And bullets are kinda small.
            Hope you have a peaceful sleep.

    5. Handgun? At least 2 walls of buffer

      1. Nah, I’m not worried. It sounded like a 9mm. Growing up as a Midwestern country boy and all, I know my firearms. That caliber of gun wouldn’t penetrate a wet paper bag outside of 50 yards(I’m exaggerating, of course). For better or ill, I’m still alive and kicking.

  8. Forgive me the “i”. Piss off!!!

    1. Used to live at the corner of armour and troops 15 years ago. Very familiar.

      1. Troost that should be.

        1. Thug Life!

          I live just a few blocks West of Cleaver and Troost, Westport area. KC is so fucking weird. Old Plaza Money lives just a few blocks away from some of the most violent neighborhoods in the country. Pockets of affluence and ghetto are randomly dispersed around each other throught the city proper. It keeps one on his toes.

  9. Hope you’re fine EvL, and OT:
    West coast longshoreman have been involved in a work slow-down for several months. Some of the sellers of imports who time their inventory closely have been bit (not my company; I’ll keep a bit of inventory as protection against thugs).
    You can see the costs to ship owners here:
    Typically, last year, there were two or three ships waiting for berths rather than the 10 in the roadsteads visible there. Those ships move cargo or lose tons of money.
    Even if you favor unions, the longshoremen are not faves; thuggish, and willing to show it. There was a lunch/bar place on 3-street in SF (Tug Boat Annie’s) which was run by Annie, and she wouldn’t chalk the lunch special on the board until she found out what had been stolen.
    So now, the threat is a total stoppage.
    Look at a west coast map; Prince William Sound can take up some slack. If only there were a Mexican government with an ounce of sense, they have a perfect opportunity to prosper and stick it to the US union thugs all at one time!

    1. And if you are concerned that the poor L’shoreman are starving, well:
      “The earnings are about six times as much as the minimum wage in California and more than double the 42,000 USD ”

    2. I hike on the hill above the Port of LA/Long Beach frequently. When the fog cleared the other morning, I counted at least 9 cargo ships outside the breakwall.

      1. Pretty sure it was this you-tube:
        When I was a yute, a farmer told me why he was gonna shoot my dog if she chased his cows again; ‘if those cows ain’t eatin’, I’m losing money’
        BTW, it was the same farmer where I tried to keep his rat population down; he didn’t care.
        Well, if that ship ain’t ‘shipping’, it’s losing money.

      2. Same here Puget Sound. Rare to see cargo ships sitting full in Elliot Bay. Been several as of late.

        Longshoremen, underappreciated, woefully underpaid. Port of Seattle, highly efficient operation. Port of Seattle has its own taxing authority.

        Fuck ’em.

    3. Some of my suppliers have taken to air freight in order to keep things moving. It was a minor nightmare in the run up to the Christmas retail season for a lot of sellers.


    I was in an Andy Kaufman mood this evening, and google brought me to a New Yorker piece. I was astonished by the bolded sentence in the first fucking paragraph:

    The most interesting thing about this story may be the way I became involved in the project. Someone I know was a guest at the Nation Institute dinner and he bid at an auction for a prize. The prize was an invitation to go to the Andy Kaufman exhibit and meet and have lunch with the former film editor who was Andy’s girlfriend during the last years of his life?the prize was intended as a present for me because of my book and my history of knowing Andy. The person who won the auction didn’t realize what he was buying, thinking that it was just a photograph of Andy, because of the way it was presented at the dinner?a large photograph. I assume this person was probably intoxicated at the time, as many people are at these kinds of dinners. I try to avoid events where there’s a lot of alcohol use. I guess that would include most events in Manhattan. Abstinence from alcohol was the only good thing about the recent Republican candidate, the Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

    Who gives a shit about your feelings on the GOP presidential candidate in a piece about Andy Kaufman? You’re writing for the New Yorker, meaning you automatically dislike whoever the GOP candidate is.

    1. The person who won the auction stole that prize from him was obviously a GOP operative, and a drunk…

    2. I’m confused. How would we know what people who wrote for the New Yorker felt about Republicans if they didn’t sprinkle it into their regular stories?

    3. Yeah, Manhattan is the only place where arty dinner events are going to be boozy. *Rolls eyes*

    4. It’s funny, don’t you get it?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.