grandstanding

Congressman Lewis, you stage a sit in and expect us to cry uncle? I’m not buying it.

This afternoon, Congressman John Lewis staged a sit in along with other Democratic Congressmen. The topic was gun control.

He said in a statement, “There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.”

A sit in. The imagery is powerful. Men and women fighting for a cause that will affect a specific group of people. Most Americans associate sit ins with the civil rights movement. It was an effective tool against bigotry and tyranny of a then-unjust government oppressing black Americans.

The rhetoric is typical and the narrative is obvious.

He wants U.S. citizens to see gun control legislation as a way to protect Civil Rights.

As a well-known, long-term congressman, Representative John Lewis has made a name for himself in the civil rights movement. A man that walked with MLK Jr. himself, Congressman Lewis is well respected for his work on this issue. So I consider it completely irresponsible for him to try to make the claim that gun control legislation will actually protect our civil rights.

As a black, woman I am sick of this narrative. This purposeful twisting of African-American history and values in an effort to dupe the black community into believing that the right to self defense is somehow harming them, not helping them. I had to fend off similar attacks in my own work as a campus carry activist.

The media, much like Congressman Lewis, consistently spin the facts in an attempt to rewrite black history, a history that is riddled with the restoration and/or protection of civil rights resulting from the right to bear arms.

There are several examples of the black man taking up arms, or attempting to take up arms to defend his civil rights; from Martin Luther King Jr. applying for a permit to carry and protect himself and his family after a bombing attempt on his home only to later be denied that right by the local government, to newly freed slaves arming themselves as a way to defend themselves from hate groups such as the KKK, a notorious gun control group.

Don’t get it twisted. Black America, law abiding citizens, see what you are doing Congressman Lewis. And we won’t buy into it any longer.

Black women continue to be the fastest growing gun owner population in my home state of Texas. Gun control prevails in the streets of Chicago, but yet men, women and children are killed needlessly every single weekend because of the fact that those who need a gun most, for self defense, are denied that right. Groups such as the National African American Gun Association are showing the growing favorable sentiment of promoting self defense within all minority communities.

One recent and prominent example. The pro-gun, LGBT advocate group, The Pink Pistols, have made clear after the Orlando shooting a couple of weeks ago. In a statement for a piece recently written for Bearing Arms, a representative writes:

“In the days since Orlando, my pro-gun LGBT group, Pink Pistols, has tripled in size. While I’ve been advocating – loudly – on behalf of this issue for years, it’s clear it’s time to come out and say it on a national stage: If you’re gay or transgender, you can’t sit and hope that laws will protect you. They won’t. And you can’t rely on the police. Orlando is proof you could bleed out in the time it takes for them to arrive.”

So we make it clear. This is about self defense. This is about my civil rights.

Thanks, Congressman Lewis, but no thanks.