Skip to main content

The Second Amendment




This horrific story, from the March 1, 1946 edition of the Chicago Tribune, highlights for me an important aspect of the Second Amendment--it used to be applied differently to people based on their race, even though the question of citizenship had been settled a good 80 years before this tragedy in Tennessee. 

The very idea that there was a "house to house" search designed to confiscate weapons indicates to me that this whole right to bear arms thing has never been as sacred as some would make it out to be. I don't know how you could read that story and not wonder why this point isn't made more often--the right to bear arms is a matter of white privilege and it always has been. Dead in police custody. Does that ring any bells?

The newspaper article above is the imperfect, immediate account of what happened. Here's the exact same incident in historical context:

The Highway Patrol marched into the black area of town and began searching businesses and homes. By the time they were finished, homes were ransacked, and merchandise was scattered over businesses’ floors. More than 100 blacks were arrested. The guard, by contrast, stopped a group of armed whites from entering the black section of town.

During the night of February 28, two of the black prisoners were killed by Columbia policemen. The policemen claimed the two men had grabbed guns from the white officers and started shooting. The policemen said they had fired back in self-defense, killing two and wounding a third.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent lawyers Thurgood Marshall and Walter White to Tennessee to organize a defense. They in turn hired Nashville attorney Z. Alexander Loobyand white Chattanooga lawyer Maxwell Weaver.  

Twenty five blacks were tried on the charges of shooting the white policemen. The all-white jury, in a surprise verdict, found only two of the men guilty. Charges against these two were later dropped. Of the other black men charged in the riot, only one was found guilty. The mother and son whose radio started the riot were never tried. No whites were ever charged.

The jail deaths were investigated by a federal grand jury which ruled that it was “justifiable homicide.” The Columbia riots, along with other acts of violence against blacks, received nationwide publicity. In response to pressure from the NAACP and others, President Harry Truman created the President’s Committee on Civil Rights.

Where have we heard the term "justifiable homicide" before? Two men, shot down by police, and no accountability, nothing. This reminds me of how Freddie Gray somehow died after being handled by six different police officers, some of whom have gone to trial and have been found not guilty...












Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Democrats Are Trying to Save America

Never forget that Trump is a bum. A cheating, lying, stealing bum. He's the kind of bum that gives actual bums (who are usually down on their luck and doing the best they can) a bad name. He's a bum on purpose, you see, and that's the kind of bum that the American people want to see thrown out of office. He's never going to be presidential because he's just a goddamned bum, you see.

But, sometimes, I think the media is worse:
As Washington braces for this week’s expected vote to impeach President Donald Trump, partisan battle lines hardened on Sunday, with Democrats defending impeachment even if Trump isn’t removed from office and Republicans denouncing the integrity of the constitutional process.The Democratic-controlled House planned to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against the Republican president, and the decision whether to make Trump the third U.S. president in history to be impeached was expected to play out along party lines. There is some d…

Spoiler Alert

Tulsi Gabbard is going to work very, very hard to re-elect Trump:
Tulsi Gabbard has been slowly edging toward leaving the Democratic Party and, it now seems more likely than not, launching a spoiler candidacy to peel disaffected left-wing votes away from the Democrats. Her “present” vote on impeachment, followed by a disavowal of what she called the “zero-sum mind-set the two political parties have trapped America in,” sets the stage for Gabbard to play the role of 2020’s Jill Stein.Left-wing anti-anti-Trumpism played an important role in the bizarre 2016 outcome.Die-hard Bernie activists, fired up with anger at the release of DNC emails stolen by Russians that purportedly showed the party had rigged the primary, demonstrated against the party outside its convention hall and tried to drown out the speakers inside with boos. Stein attacked Hillary Clinton from the left, then audaciously staged a grift-y fundraising scheme supposedly to hold recounts in the states she had labored to flip…

Trump Will Burn it All to the Ground

It is difficult to see how the latest war in the Middle East will end. I don't have any answers, and, really, no one else does, either.

Here's what people should pay attention to--this happened just as evidence of Trump's orders to the Department of Defense landed on the front page. This happened after the major holidays and just as we are beginning the 2020 primary season in earnest on the Democratic side (the GOP has decided to prevent another Pat Buchanan moment, circa 1992, from happening).

Every life that is lost is because of Trump's decisions.

Every penny that this increases the price of gas is a tax on the poor and allows people who regularly have access to Trump to maximize their profits.

Every American traveling overseas is less safe.

Everyone who cares about peace will be shouted down and marginalized because that is the media's job.

Every attempt to hold Trump accountable will probably fail because the GOP is complicit in all of his crimes.

Everyone ch…