Over the past two weeks or so, groups of predominantly, if not all white gun activists have participated in demonstrations in which they’ve toted assault-style weapons into high-profile business establishments such as Target and Chipotle. The most extreme reaction they received for their threatening demeanor was being asked to leave. These actions smelled purely of testosterone driven pranks by some guys who wanted to see how far they could push things with as little risk as possible. After all, what is the risk of groups of white guys in Texas ambling around, armed with semi-automatic rifles? Apparently, zero.
Now, imagine if a group of young black males took to the local Target armed with assault-style rifles. There are any number of possible outcomes. While not probable, it is possible that the same outcome of minimal to no response could have resulted. But history suggests that this display of bravado would be potentially deadly for black men. We know that being black increases one’s chances of being profiled. Being black increases one’s chances as being perceived as suspicious and therefore guilty before being proven innocent. This condition of hyper-suspicion also results in black men being killed for having weapons that don’t exist. It’s as if the phrase “I thought he had a gun” is taught at the police academy.
In a time when mass shooting are carried out overwhelmingly by white males, white males can still walk in public armed with assault-style weapons with little or no consequence while Trayvon Martin can’t walk though his own neighborhood unarmed without being shot to death by an unbalanced stalker who is later exonerated. In these Texas “open carry” demonstrations, there was no confrontation with the police… because no one called the police. Even in spite of a statement from Chipotle citing the unease of their restaurant patrons at the sight of armed men in the establishment.
That’s white privilege in a nutshell. White people of all persuasions give each other a pass for wildly anti-social actions while suspicion is enough grounds for black people to pay the ultimate price. The white people who objectively observe this as the truth are told that the only reason they feel this way is because of their white guilt. Let me set something straight: the real white guilt lies with those who insist that “there’s no more racism.”