Is it Time for Black People to Reconsider a Black Nation Within a Nation and Armed Self-Defense?

Is it Time for Black People to Reconsider a Black Nation Within a Nation and Armed Self-Defense?

Overview

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In light of the racial violence facing African-Americans — as was most recently seen in the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers in Baton Rouge and outside Minneapolis — voices in the Black community are once again calling for the establishment of a Black nation within a nation, and Black gun ownership.  Neither idea is new, but both are gaining interest and are on the radar screen.

“As far as self-defense, we are a defenseless people and surrounded by a hostile society here in America. I personally think that more than any people, Blacks and African people need to be armed,” Gen. Babu Omowale, national minister of defense for the People’s New Black Panther Party and co-founder of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, told Atlanta Black Star. “We look at our history in this country. We don’t even need to go back to slavery. Go back to 1863 when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  Since that time we’ve been constantly attacked by white society and white supremacy.  We’ve never been left alone, so I think it is important for Black people to arm ourselves” he said.

“Being surrounded by white supremacy like we are, we are in the most volatile position of any race in the world,” Omowale noted.  “We are here with the most powerful people in the world, the white supremacist nation.”

Throughout the nation’s history and the civil rights era, self-defense and armed resistance were an important part of the Black struggle for freedom. For example, the Deacons for Defense provided assistance to civil rights workers against the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan. And while Martin Luther King adhered to a philosophy of nonviolence, he relied on armed guards for protection.