Jason Whitlock, who was last seen blaming an NFL football player’s murder/suicide on the existence of guns in our society, wants you to know that the NRA is like the Ku Klux Klan.
On CNN contributor Roland Martin’s podcast posted to his website Monday, Jason Whitlock, the columnist who inspired Bob Costas’ commentary on gun control during halftime of Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game on NBC, revealed his peculiar take on the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Whitlock spoke out against the NFL’s handling of the aftermath of Jovan Belcher’s suicide and gun issues in his Sunday FoxSports.com column. During Martin’s podcast, he likened the NRA to the Ku Klux Klan and tied the group to the dangerous street culture that unfortunately dominates “so many black youths.”
“Sports gets so much attention, and people tune out the real world, that I try to take advantage of the opportunity to talk about the real world when sports lends itself to that and try to open people’s eyes,” Whitlock said.
“You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture — I believe the NRA is the new KKK. And that the arming of so many black youths, uh, and loading up our community with drugs, and then just having an open shooting gallery, is the work of people who obviously don’t have our best interests [at heart].”
When “sports journalists” (an oxymoron in most of the instances that term is applied) foray into issues more weighty than games played by grownups we usually get hilarity like this. Whitlock probably doesn’t know this, but gun control laws were actually promoted by the Ku Klux Klan as a way of keeping blacks disarmed and incapable of defending themselves, their families and their property. In fact, the original draft of the federal Anti-Klan Act of 1871 made it illegal to “deprive any citizen of the United States of any arms or weapons he may have in his house or possession for the defense of his person, family, or property.” That part of the law was ultimately deleted as it was seen at the time as federal overreach (a novel concept), but the intent was to protect blacks by extending to them the right to be armed.
The very first gun control law ever enacted in America was in the Virginia colony in 1640 which disallowed blacks, even free blacks, from owning guns.
In the infamous Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, which upheld slavery even in states with laws against it, Chief Justice Roger Taney held that blacks could not be considered citizens because if they were citizens they would have gun rights. “[I]t would give them the full liberty to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”
So to compare the NRA, which has always supported gun rights for all citizens, to the Ku Klux Klan which supported gun control laws to keep their victims defenseless is not only unfair, it’s a monstrous case of historical ignorance.