North Texas Daily

Organized community militias could protect minorities

Organized community militias could protect minorities

Organized community militias could protect minorities
June 09
15:30 2022

Content warning: This story includes heavy language pertaining to firearms and gun violence. Viewer discretion is advised.

Black people have been targets for the misguided frustrations of privileged classes for centuries. This May, a white nationalist walked into a predominantly Black community in Buffalo, New York, and shot 10 civilians in a supermarket.

Police senselessly abuse African Americans and then receive light consequences or short sentences at best. Black people must take matters into their own hands: they must organize their own policing forces.

In the face of an increased amount of publicized hate crimes and police brutality, minorities have turned to purchasing firearms to give themselves the feeling of being safe. Between 2019 and 2020, there has was a 58 percent increase in African Americans buying guns, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Still, while purchasing guns can make an individual feel safe — it isn’t enough. Black communities need to educate and organize themselves into an armed police force to better protect themselves.

In 2020 alone, reported hate crimes against African Americans have increased by 35 percent. As of last year, Black people on average are 2.9 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts, according to Mapping Police Violence. Every time a police officer is acquitted, every time a murderer walks away free of charge, the government is proving its incompetence.

While President Biden has signed an executive order regarding police reform, his reach only extends to federal policing bodies, not the local police forces that are directly responsible for the endangerment of Black citizens.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has also failed to pass nearly two years after Floyd’s murder, so it is safe to say systemic change can’t be trusted to be executed in the hands of all local and state governments.

Still, standing down is not an option. African Americans must utilize the privilege that our oppressors abuse: the right to bear arms and form militias. This must be manifested through the creation of community patrols — run by members of the community they serve, or through the personal ownership of guns.

Some may argue that the mass purchase of guns is nothing more than fear-based consumerism, which could lead to further social instability within the country. The armament of a specific demographic, especially a minority group, intimidates most into fearing a violent revolution. Some also argue that the existence of guns within the United States has damned the country into an endless cycle of violence.

Perhaps purchasing arms is consumer-fueled paranoia. Still, this fear is not without cause. Extremism is on the rise and desperate times call for desperate measures. Purchasing arms is not an act of aggression, but an act of evolution.

Proper gun control is a lost cause: if government officials truly cared about the lives of civilians and not the dollars that gun lobbyists donate to their campaign, gun control would have been enforced long ago. If the police cannot be trusted to have our best interests at heart — if the government has forsaken us — then we have no other option but to create our own systems of protection.

Shooters target the most vulnerable pockets of a community: schools and grocery stores, but never a residential area, where homeowners would have immediate access to their weaponry. Why would a shooter attack someone who would shoot back?

Black armament is not a foreign concept either. In 1967, armed Black Panthers followed police cars in California. When the police stopped Black people, the Panthers would shout out legal advice, but it was their guns that kept police on the right track. Those police patrols did more for the safety of Black people than the Californian politicians of the time.

The Panthers ultimately met their demise at the hands of counterintelligence operations by the FBI. Community militias alone pose no threat to the federal government. So long as community militias are not inherently nationalist or aggressive to any other race, they would pose no problem to the country. At its essence, a militia would be solely defensive.

Arming ourselves alone is not enough to properly ensure safety. While an armed Black person is more intimidating than their unarmed counterparts, police officers would use that intimidation as an excuse to gun us down even further. Knowing our rights and organizing ourselves is key. No longer should we live as prey, to be gunned down in our homes, our grocery stores, our streets or our parks. Decisive power lies within an organized community.

Guns have victimized Black people for centuries in the hands of our oppressors. Our protection should be in the hands of the only people who have our best interest: ourselves.

Featured Illustration By Jazmine Garcia

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Hana Musa

Hana Musa

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