I have a question. Do #BlackLivesMatter or not?!? That's not rhetorical either. I ask because we are reminded yet again about the value of Black life in North America. It wasn't a State mercenary (this time), but an individual white supremacist who terrorized Black church-goers in Charleston, South Carolina. The 21 year old Dylann Roof slaughtered eight people inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, including the pastor and state senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney. One more person died at the hospital.
When I learn of situations like this, my mind almost immediately goes to how we can mitigate future tragedies, if not prevent them altogether. After all, it’s up to Black people to give meaning to the term 'Black Lives Matter'. And we are well within our power to do just that; by making it too dangerous to terrorize us. By arming and defending ourselves with deadly force, if necessary, the white supremacist power structure - and its proponents - will have to think twice before attacking us. History teaches us that these heathens value their lives more than promoting their hatred.
There's another issue at work here though: gun control. I think it is no accident that this coward chose a religious institution - a gun-free zone - as the site of his terrorism. He had free reign to fire, reload, fire, reload, fire, reload and continue firing at unarmed people. These are the fruits of a gun-free zone: defenseless and terrorized civilians, heart-breaking headlines, grieving families.
Brother Malcolm told us that when "the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes; it's time for Negroes to defend themselves." That time is now. A single person equipped to defend themselves certainly could have ended this assault much sooner than it did. And we've seen case after case of exactly that - civilians mitigating mass shootings. If even one of the victims were armed, that heathen surely would not have been able to repeatedly reload and take more human life. The mere knowledge of armed parishioners inside AME Church might have pre-empted the massacre entirely.
That having been said, I can already hear the statists. "But it’s illegal to carry a concealed firearm into a church." This is true. Escaping the plantation was illegal, too. Sit-ins at lunch counters were illegal, too. Dodging the draft was illegal, too. Capitalist lawmakers have, for centuries, condemned many virtuous acts. Though, when addressing the life & death issues we face, working people in general and Black people in particular cannot be constrained to what is "legal." Laws are written by the ruling class for the benefit of the ruling class. And it makes absolutely no sense for us to do only what our class enemies deem acceptable.
Enshrined among the most basic human rights is self-defense; a right rendered useless without the means to exercise it. Lethal threats present themselves anywhere and everywhere; clearly, as not even a place of worship is safe. Hence the need to abolish all gun-free zones. They serve only to disarm peaceful people, creating fish-in-a-barrel for cowards like Dylann Roof to massacre at will. But as policymakers hide behind their armed security, giving speeches and pushing more useless gun control - We The People can take immediate action. Let's arm ourselves. Let's defend ourselves. Let's act like #BlackLivesMatter.