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Racism is truly one American issue that just won’t dry up and blow
away. No matter how many laws are passed, how many politicians rail
against it, or how many Americans — of all races — seem ready to
consign the issue to obscurity, there are always opportunists ready to
throw some gas onto the dying embers of imagined “racial injustice.”
Witness the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People’s (NAACP) plan to sue gun manufacturers, announced last week with
The NAACP’s chairman, former Rep. Kwesi Mfume, has said that gun
makers contribute to the alleged racial injustices committed against
blacks because gun crimes inadvertently affect blacks as a minority
group worse than any other group.
That much is true. Blacks do suffer more violent gun crime, as a
group. But that’s where Mfume’s facts end.
He has concluded, amazingly, that it is inherently racist for Colt,
Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and Remington to manufacture and sell firearms
because all firearms have the potential to kill only blacks and,
hence, that is de facto racism.
Huh? Don’t they also have the inherent capability — in the wrong
hands — to kill whites, Hispanics, Asians, Indians and visiting
Of course they do. But more often than is ever reported, they also
save something like 3 millions lives each year.
Mfume’s assumptions about black murder rates don’t even match
government data. The latest research available shows that the onus for
so much metropolitan crime on all races lies not in guns but in a
number of issues. Government welfare policies that keep families
in poverty, urban decay, poor education, and hopelessness are the
largest contributing factors to urban crime. Guns are merely tools used
to kill; they are not the underlying causes for why people murder
other people. Consequently, when you take away the underlying causes of
crime, you take away crime as well.
Specifically, though, if Mfume seeks to “blame” anyone for the high
murder rates among African-Americans in inner cities, he should stop
pointing a finger at the gun makers. Sadly, blacks themselves are their
own worst enemies in the inner cities.
According to the FBI’s latest figures (1997),
blacks kill other blacks
94 percent of the time, making their ethnic group seven times more
likely than whites to be murdered.
Furthermore, blacks are eight times more likely to commit homicide
than whites, even though our inner cities comprise all ethnic groups.
The FBI’s figures also show that blacks murder whites at a higher
rate than vice versa. In 1997, eight percent of interracial murders
were black-on-white, compared to just three percent of white-on-black
But it’s no wonder many Americans believe Mfume’s rhetoric about guns
and race and murder rates. The media covers people like him instead of
allowing Americans to learn the truth. Consequently nothing changes,
the wrong people are demonized, the wrong issues are blamed, and more
people die. It’s worse than ignorance; it’s criminal.
Perhaps if Mfume were a concerned activist instead of an opportunist
seeking to feather his own nest, maybe he’d make better use of his
pulpit at the NAACP.
For example, why doesn’t he work to remove dependency on the
government’s failed welfare system? Or launch a national campaign to
curb black illegitimacy — the worst of any ethnic group in the nation?
Why can’t he concentrate on getting young blacks off of drugs, which is
one of the biggest contributors to the murder rate of young black
males? Why isn’t he more interested in ending the causes for all this
violence and salvaging thousands of talented and gifted black children
so they can share the American dream?
Now those would be worthwhile goals. In fact, those were the
kinds of admirable goals the NAACP used to stand for. They make much
more sense than spending resources on politically motivated lawsuits
that are designed to enhance the power and influence of the select few
at the top of the NAACP leadership, not to help their constituency.
Of course, if people followed the Constitution’s directive on
equality, the NAACP wouldn’t be necessary.
It is a blessed shame that America’s biggest cities — for all of
this country’s accomplishments, achievements, and contributions to the
quality of life around the world — have become cesspools of violence
and hopelessness. What is worse, however, is the shameless conduct of
minority “leaders” who refuse to focus on real solutions.