Monday, 27 October 2014

This America (Racism and guns)

Some years ago the Evangelical Christian magazine "Sojourners"  talked abut racism as "America's Original Sin".
They nailed it. The early Massachusetts Colonists regarded the native population as "savages". 
The Declaration of Independence is a noble document, but it is  marred deeply by its designation of native Americans not as men and women made in the image and likeness of God, but (again) as "savages".
As our constitution was created,  the godly framers decided that for electoral purposes slaves would be counted as 3/5ths of a white male voter, see:
Later on, the  infamous Supreme Court decision known as "Dred Scott" extended this racism to African slaves, see:
Then there was a Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and  Reconstruction;   followed in time by "Jim Crow" laws, lynching, segregation (de jure in the South, de facto in the North).
Despite the various Civil Rights laws under Lyndon Baines Johnson, institutional racism persists.
Sojourners magazine was right up to a point.  Racism is the American Original Sin.
But I need to say more than that.  I believe that Racism is in our national DNA.
In our current and dreary election cycle I have not heard one candidate refer to our endemic racism.
Alongside racism we are a people who are deeply devoted to the ownership and use of guns.  Thanks to the various gun rights lobbying groups  (and the craven response of Democrats and Republicans alike in the Congress and in our Fifty States)  we have become addicted to the ownership and use of guns.
I have to wonder "how many more school kids will be shot and  killed before the American DNA will mutate  from gun violence to peaceful reconciliation" .  I will not hold my breath.
This may baffle or shock my British friends, but the  following cartoon illustrates my point.("Kroger" is an American supermarket chain).  American "open carry" gun-nuts have been allowed to bear their weapons in Kroger's Supermarkets.

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