Black Americans have always been left out of the Second Amendment, says author Carol Anderson

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states that Americans and well-regulated militias have the right to own and bear weapons without infringing. However, with the police and other historically anti-black institutions taking fatal action against black gun owners, it can be said that people of color have never had the same right.

We must remove the Second Amendment from its sacred foundation… sitting in the middle of the Bill of Rights, we have the right to control black people… this anomaly has done enormous damage. We have to treat the Second Amendment the same way we treat the three-fifths clause. Both were founded on the inhumanity of blacks. -Dr. Carol Anderson, Emory University

“The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America” is a new book by Dr. Carol Anderson exploring the history of the Second Amendment in the context of the black community. She writes that the amendment was drafted in the interest of black oppression and that its protections never applied to black Americans.


Listen: Carol Anderson on the Racist Origins of the Second Amendment.


Guest

Carol Anderson is Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America”. She says the Second Amendment was specifically formulated to support the removal of blacks during the days of slavery. “The militia is the key word there,” she said. “In the war for independence, the militia was unreliable… What the militia did consistently well was suppress slave revolts. The right to bear arms has never applied to people of color, Anderson says, because it was created to deny them freedom. “Its very genesis was designed to contain, control and deprive black people of their rights. “

Anderson says that historically black gun owners have felt the need to arm themselves because of the constant threat of white violence and non-existent police protection for communities of color. “The key element here… is the anti-Blackness in American society that defines black people as the default threat… as something that challenges the safety of the white community.”

The only way to reform the Second Amendment is to repeal it, says Anderson. “We must remove the Second Amendment from its sacred foundation… sitting in the middle of the Bill of Rights, we have the right to control black people… this anomaly has done enormous damage. We have to treat the Second Amendment the same way we treat the three-fifths clause. Both were founded on the inhumanity of blacks.

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