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Racist Republicans and Gun Nut Militias Flout the Founders

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to you all – well, to you some, in any case. The warm salutation is not for you unconstitutionally racist Trump voters. And it certainly isn’t for you gun-crazed militia men descending upon Virginia. It seems that, as far as NBC and Slate can tell, both groups are made up entirely of horrible human beings who wouldn’t know freedom and equality from a hole in the ground.

Descent into Madness

Monday, Jan. 20 is VCDL Lobby Day in Virginia, and Slate has asked an important question: “Why are militia groups descending on Virginia?” The answer requires some background information. Governor Ralph Northam has long yearned for a disarmed citizenry, but without the Democratic Party holding a trifecta in the state government, he has been kept from his dream. Now he has exactly that, and once again he and his gun-grabbing pals are pushing various bills designed to infringe upon the right of Virginians to keep and bear arms. The response? More than 100 cities and counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, militias have formed, and pro-gun folk from near and far meet at the state capitol to protest the infringement of a constitutionally protected right.

Liberty Nation’s own Scott D. Cosenza will be attending, though it’s unclear if he will also descend upon the event or if he plans to approach from some other angle. In any case, he will keep us informed of the significant goings on.

Slate claims that these gun laws are “widely supported by Virginians.” They cite polls showing that 86% of voters support universal background checks and that 73% want extreme risk protection orders – or red flag laws – which would allow courts to “temporarily” revoke the right to be armed. Yet if those polls are an accurate sampling of Virginians, one must wonder from whence this horde of protesters came and why it is that nearly all of Virginia’s 95 counties are now officially Second Amendment sanctuaries.

The author clearly has a point he wishes to share with the reader: These militia members and other gun nuts are both deranged and dangerous. Perhaps they have been driven mad by inhaling too much gun smoke – or by watching too much Gunsmoke. In any case, they’re a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorists – a nuisance. What makes them think they can infringe the right of Democrats to tell others how to live and what to own? In a word, racism.

The opening paragraph lists months of hoaxes, threats, and fury toward Democrats from the pro-gun crowd. By just the second paragraph we see the allusion to racism:

“Some proponents have even resurrected words like nullification and interposition, terms first used extensively by Southern secessionists prior to the Civil War and more recently during the ‘massive resistance’ to federal laws requiring desegregation in the 1960s.”

How easily the author paints the defenders of liberty as bigots and firearm ownership as an evil on par with slavery.

It should be noted that Slate didn’t deem it necessary to define nullification and interposition – the ideas that the state or a group of states could either nullify federal laws considered unconstitutional or interfere with the enforcement of them. These ideas, whether constitutionally valid or not, are about states stepping in to defend citizens from a tyrannical federal government. For Slate, however, it was enough to simply tie the terms to slavery and segregation.

A Constitutional Crisis

Think the obstruction of government operations by the potentially soon-to-be-outlaws of Virginia is bad? That’s just a drop in the bucket. NBC revealed a much worse and wider spread form of racism, a real constitutional crisis: voting for Donald Trump. “Trump voters motivated by racism may be violating the Constitution. Can they be stopped?” was the title of one NBC News article. And yes, the idea behind this story is that voting for Trump is racist, and that racist voting is illegal, as it violates the Constitution.

“If the Trump era has taught us anything,” the author posits, “it’s that large numbers of white people in the United States are motivated at least in part by racism in the voting booth.” Some folk deny the racism, likely out of fear of alienating the mass of racist voters, and others try to rationalize it. But Terry Smith, a visiting professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, argues that it’s wrong, illegal, and that the government can and should do something to stop it.

Smith cites the fact that racist appeals in union elections are illegal and points to a 2016 Supreme Court case, Pena v Rodriguez, in which the court ruled that if a juror expresses overt bigotry, the verdict of that jury should be considered invalid. And so, “voters who pull the levers to harm black people are violating the Constitution.” Because overt racist appeals invalidate union elections, so they should also invalidate presidential ones.

That Trump is clearly a racist is established early in the article, and the author goes on to explain that nothing but racism could have driven voters to choose him for president:

“Trump’s unprecedented, compulsive, easily documented lying during the 2016 campaign made him an irrational choice. It’s reasonable to conclude that voters were willing to swallow the falsehoods because they liked what they heard: overt racist appeals and incessant lies about rising crime rates. Research has since suggested that plenty of Trump voters were indeed strongly motivated by racist resentment and anti-immigrant animus.”

Well, Trump voters, did you “pull the levers to harm black people”? If you’re skeptical that someone would really believe such an argument, you aren’t alone. LN’s Joe Schaeffer has his suspicions:

“Don’t you think at some point this is more of a psychological warfare article rather than a true opinion offered in good faith? They know people are fatigued to death by all this racial obsessing and they keep upping the ante, keep pouring it on as a way to demoralize and deflate. Just seeing the headline can have that effect, even if just in a subtle way. It is meant to agitate via negative energy. I mean, this is textbook Communist Playbook 101, and NBC is doing it.”

As unbelievable as the author’s perspective might be, there are almost certainly some left-wing lunatics who actually believe it. Still, as Joe said, “Donald Trump is a racist and so is anyone who voted for him” is a very useful narrative.

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Read more from James Fite.

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