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23 Reasons Why The NRA Is Racist

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23 Reasons Why The NRA Is Racist


Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

In the October edition of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) magazine America’s 1st Freedom, NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre takes on what he calls the “false notion” from the “gun-ban media” that “somehow the NRA is racist.”

Outlets covering the NRA and race should consider these examples — starting with LaPierre himself — in evaluating his claims:

  1. After Hurricane Sandy struck New York City and other parts of the East Coast in 2013, LaPierre was criticized for writing an op-ed in which he falsely claimed that “looters ran wild in south Brooklyn” and fearmongered about “Latin American drug gangs.” Conservative commentator Joe Scarborough described the claims as “so laced with racial overtones.” Progressive commentator Touré pointed out that LaPierre “spoke of supposedly rampant crime and murder in some place he called South Brooklyn. … Put aside that no reporting bears that out. I live in Brooklyn, I have for a long time, and there is no place referred to as South Brooklyn, but I think it’s safe to say that when he says that, much of the country envisions a place clogged with black people.”
  2. During the NRA’s 2015 annual meeting, LaPierre referenced the end of the Obama administration and told the crowd, “Eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.” Reacting to the comment, Pulitzer-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote, “LaPierre traded his dog whistle for an air horn.”
  3. During a 2014 speech, LaPierre adopted conservative media’s racially charged claims about the (nonexistent) “knockout game” phenomenon — in which black youths supposedly assault unsuspecting, mostly white, victims on the street for fun — to hype gun ownership.
  4. Activists and some gun owners castigated the NRA for its feckless response to the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black, law-abiding gun owner, by a Minnesota police officer in 2016.
  5. Despite its purported hyperfocus on terrorism, the NRA’s news show was silent after a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a group of anti-racist demonstrators, killing activist Heather Heyer and wounding 19 others, during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, VA, in August.
  6. NRATV, one of the NRA’s media outlets, recently hired conservative commentator Bill Whittle, who has a long track record of making race-baiting comments. Whittle has promoteddiscredited theories that posit black people are less innately intelligent than members of other races and claimed that African-Americans commit voter fraud on behalf of Democrats as a condition of ongoing slavery. Whittle also once said that people in inner cities are “unemployable — unemployed and unemployable — they’ve been on assistance their entire lives, they’ve never had to work before,” and that these people should get jobs because a job “beats the laziness” out of people and “disciplines” them into “civility.”
  7. While appearing on NRATV, Whittle claimed there is no “genuine black oppression as there was in the past” and that President Barack Obama “set race relations back 100 years in this country.”
  8. Another recent NRATV hire, Grant Stinchfield, who anchors the NRA’s “news” show, once wrote on social media concerning gun violence: “Blame minorities killing each other not law abiding conservatives.”
  9. Following Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, Chuck Holton, an NRATV correspondent who is a daily guest on the gun group’s programming, wrote on Twitter that the “party’s over” and it’s time to scrub “Obama’s mocacchino stain off of America!” using a term for a chocolate coffee drink.
  10. In 2016, Holton claimed on an NRA program that white privilege is “just simply the culture that we have created, that our fathers and grandfathers have worked hard to create,” before saying that it would be nice if blacks joined whites in “respecting authority and taking responsibility for your own actions.”
  11. In July, Holton warned on NRATV about the prospect of Black Lives Matter members committing mass murder and rape against whites in the United States.
  12. Long-serving NRA board member Ted Nugent devoted an entire 2015 column at conspiracy website WorldNetDaily to praising the word “nigger,” including its use as a racial slur.
  13. In 2016, Nugent posted a racist meme on Facebook about a fake moving company called “2 niggers and a stolen truck.”
  14. Nugent attempted to smear Philando Castile on social media by promoting a false report that Castile was a suspect in an armed robbery implying Castile did not have “enuf brainmatter (sic)” to avoid being shot.
  15. Nugent responded to a critic on Facebook with a Spanish name by calling the man “beanochimp.”
  16. Amid controversy over Nugent’s labeling of murdered black teenager Trayvon Martin as a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe,” Nugent made racist claims in several media interviews, including saying people should profile African-Americans in the same way members of a community might profile a breed of dog that was biting children, that African-Americans could solve “the black problem” if they were more honest and law-abiding, and that the African-American community has a “mindless tendency to violence” and an inability to “read or speak clearly.”
  17. Nugent infamously called Obama a “subhuman mongrel” in 2014.
  18. The NRA did not publicly condemn or dispute any of Nugent’s comments, and he was re-elected for another term on its board in 2016.
  19. NRA News, the prior name for NRATV, attempted to rewrite the history surrounding a series of incidents after Hurricane Katrina in which white residents in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans shot at least 11 black people in racially motivated attacks.
  20. In August 2016, the NRA told its supporters to read a “laugh-out-loud funny” newsletter that was published by the late Jeff Cooper, a former NRA board member. Called “Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries,” the newsletter frequently defended slavery, often featured racial slurs, and compared black South Africans to orangutans.
  21. A leaked 2006 NRA graphic novel was filled with racial overtones including via images of “illegal alien” gang members included to promote gun ownership.
  22. In 1996, an NRA researcher attempted to blame race rather than gun availability for high rates of gun violence in the United States, leading then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to respond, “The NRA has consistently refused to admit the obvious: The number of guns on our streets increase the number of murders of police, children and others. Now they are going to a new extreme. To say it’s not guns, but the genetics of race, is a tawdry and evil form of race-baiting.”
  23. The NRA broke its records for election spending in 2016, giving more than $30 million in support of Donald Trump.




    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 28, 2017

      James, you continue to be clumsy in your expression, and insensitive. Perhaps you’re a troll in the employ of that man without a soul—Vlad Putin.

      What is in your darkened heart that motivates you to post this? Is this how you show a sense of connection with your black fellow human beings? Did your parents teach you to be heartless and display a degree of ignorance borne of little if any meaningful contact with black people?

      How many times must I rebuke you for your callous and insensitive heartless manners before you get it in your head that you are incapable of being discreet and diplomatic?

      Is this photo-shopped to express what is in your heartless heart? Or maybe the intent of the post, which likely escapes you, is a gauche way of the person holding the sign to express not a stereotype but a message that just because a person robs a store does not have to be an automatic death sentence by police at a scene.

      Jim, if you’re going to insist on being too lazy to consider these things I point out, you would do better to keep silent. Otherwise, you’re just a can of gasoline looking for a fire to pour out its contents onto.

      1. Jim Samaras September 28, 2017

        I’m sorry if it offended you Aaron. If photo shopped to perpetuate the negative stereotype I apologize but if your attitude is to justify that kind of stupidity just because he’s one of your landsmen then you should be ashamed of yourself. Really? I don’t know how you grew up but robbery of any kind always deserved whatever punishment the adult in the room deemed appropriate. In this case upon closer inspection it looks photo shopped but many robberies are armed and deserve to be dealt with at the discretion of the responding officer

  1. idamag September 28, 2017

    The lack of outrage over the shooting of that young man in front of his girlfriend when he told the policeman he had a license to carry shows the double standard and the racism of the NRA when they did not condemn it. Had it been a Black police officer shooting a white man the story would have generated the outrage that should have been for the Black guy.

    1. Beethoven September 28, 2017

      You use an idea that I have expressed in quite a few comments. The best way to analyze a situation is to set out the facts as accurately as possible based on the available media reports. Then, keep all the facts unchanged, except where a white person is involved, change that to a black person, and where a black person is involved, change that to a white person. Then ask yourself, or the people you are communicating with, how they feel about the situation. If they respond differently when the races are reversed, they are racists.

      1. idamag September 28, 2017

        Like the young man gunned down in the Walmart store. He was carrying a toy gun and talking on the phone. Had that been a white guy carrying a toy gun and was shot by four Black Policemen, the story would have been different.

  2. Beethoven September 28, 2017

    Wayne LaPierre may indeed be just as racist as the author of this article claims. But his statements do not necessarily prove that he is racist. Rather, his statements prove that, like Donald Trump, he will say whatever will stir up his racist base membership, so that he can stir up more gun purchases to benefit the gun manufacturers who are providing him with lots of money.
    As for Ted Nugent, there can be no question that he is about as racist as anyone in America, and about as ignorant and unintelligent as the worst caricature of a beer-guzzling trailer-park redneck.

  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 28, 2017

    Yes, the NRA is drowning in a sea of Racism and Racist sentiments.

    LaPierre may not be actively involved in implementing policies which further aims to retard the spiritual and social advance of blacks and other people of color in America, but he sure does “purposefully” add an element of uncertainty in order to encourage others to carry out racist acts.

    Complicity in instigating and/or promoting racism makes one a racist at heart. Attitude is just the first step before committing a racist act at some point.


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