Sep 20 2010

Why Does It Seem That Black Men Are The Only Ones Jailed for Owning Guns?

Huey P. Newton

This country has been obsessed with jailing black men who own guns for centuries. The iconic images of the Black Panthers defiantly burnishing guns led to their ultimate destruction.

I found this short interview with Plaxico Burress formerly of the NY Giants (my team growing up in NYC) particularly poignant.

He articulates something very important when he maintains that he was sent to prison “for owning a gun” and that he didn’t “commit a crime he broke a law.” All of us are lawbreakers in one way or the other.

I often ask people when I am doing workshops: “Raise your hand if you have never broken a law.” Inevitably a couple of people raise their hands. I then ask them if they have ever sped or jaywalked or any number of other things that are technically against the law. They usually have. By that standard, America is a nation of 310 million lawbreakers.

I have noticed lately however that the white Tea Party adherents seem able to carry around unconcealed weapons with impunity. I don’t see their mug shots being posted on television or in other parts of the media.

Anyway, it’s worth reading the entire article about Plaxico Burress’s life behind bars.