Friday, October 19, 2012

Black People, Black Guns and Black Politics

Via Bill

I got into the pro-rights movement by accident.  I just wanted to take what the government had taught me and help the people in my community live safer with training.  I didn’t know that people of color, specifically Americans of African descent in most cities that I was trying to help were discombobulated about guns.  It was the swimming pool all over again.

When I was in basic training at Parris Island, SC to become a US Marine, all recruits had to get classified to what level they could swim or operate in the water.  It was the largest indoor pool I had ever seen.  It had been a rough week for me and I couldn’t do anything right I thought.  I was so glad when they told us to put on swimming trunks and jump in the water.  I knew it would one of the few places, that the Drill Instructors couldn’t get me for a few minutes.  I love water.  Like going to the chapel, this was going to be a peace break.

Well, over a hundred young men, jumped into the pool.  That was quite a sound.  I swam to the deeper end and floated effortlessly for several minutes as I noticed that the room was growing quieter.  Underneath me, I saw men in scuba gear patrolling like reef sharks.  When I finally looked to the wall, where we had all launched I noticed that there were at least seventy black men, dripping water and shaking from the experience.  I looked around and wondered did I miss the whistle.  Trying to whisper to my bunk mate who was also out of the water; “Why are you out of the water?”  He cautiously whispered back, “The brothers don’t swim.”  I thought to myself, “Damn, what am I a mutant?”

Well, here I was a certified law enforcement firearms trainer, with citations from the Federal Law Enforcement Training center and the NRA for expert shooting.  I was not the only black man with a gun.  My grandmother was a heckuva shot with her no named, rusty, dusty, single barreled shotgun.

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