There is much instruction going on regarding the ways men of color should comport themselves around suspicious others. Others who perceive these men as a threat — even though there is no independent evidence of said threat. “Don’t run in public.” “Don’t run with anything in your hands.” “Be ready and willing to endure surprise interrogations by total strangers.” Sound advice? That proverbial “ounce of prevention”? A historical review of these prescriptions reveal sometimes good, sometimes mixed and sometimes tragic results. What is the “acceptable” numerical value when it comes to the mortality rate on the outcome of these actions? Let us enter into an agreement that any number above zero is unacceptable. But because that number is above zero there’s no time like the present to readdress that set of instruction. What is the most effective and simplest way to reduce the mortality rate towards zero? What is the game-changer?
By arming themselves with hand guns men of color immediately achieve a paradigm shift. That heralded “level playing field”. If protecting oneself from aggressive suspicious others (usually cowards perpetrating as bullies) by using the same antiquated technology, a handgun, is the law, then it follows that adherence to said law cannot be construed as controversial for men of color. If nothing else, it gives them a fighting chance. To unilaterally disarm puts one at considerable disadvantage. Yet for the price of an iPad men of color can begin to re-calibrate the balance of power. Who among us doesn’t see the complementary viability of this simple, effective strategy?
Of course men of color should go about this serious responsibility in proper fashion. Training is essential. If you’re going to take up arms in self-defense (i.e, shoot someone) you may as well be good at it.
And for those who have military training why waste a perfectly good skill? When we enter a sport we tend to dominate it (Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods).
And a thorough understanding of local handgun laws goes without saying. Also, spring for that “coordinating” holster for God’s sake. Smart can be fashionable.
The statistics are staggering with respect to the history of violence against black men. In a nation not yet outraged by the disparity of the numbers, as it is often said, the writings on the wall: If you’re a man of color in America, stay safe, get a gun. It’s the very smart thing to do. Even though this is the 21st Century, to unilaterally disarm is absolutely inadvisable.
Certainly there are those who nervously disagree. This fact is as unintentional as it is unavoidable. Black and brown men arming themselves en mass? Is it wrong? Right? Progressive? Family outings to the shooting range is an acceptable tradition in many families. Oh, relax! Don’t worry. It’s all perfectly legal and our constitutional right. Until there are hidden personal audio-video recording devices that can capture random encounters initiated by suspicious others and throw hours of live media files up to the cloud men of color must OBEY THE LAW. It’s a brand new day, my friends.
Ironically, arming oneself is not really all that game-changing. So to contort or comport one’s behavior in any other manner seems like “hard work” not “smart work”. Men of Color: Get a gun, STAND YOUR GROUND, shoot FIRST, OBEY that law. Stay safe. THIS is the American way.