tv Viewer Call-in with Carol Anderson The Second CSPAN April 30, 2022 11:45am-12:16pm EDT
and book tv.org. well joining us now is carol anderson. she's a professor at emory university the author of five books. the most recent is this one the second race and guns in a fatally unequal america. professor anderson you've written about voter suppression. this book is very specific. where did it come from? it really emerged out of the killing of philando castile. because here you had a black man in minnesota who was pulled over by the police and the police officer asked to see his id.
following nra guidelines philando castile alerted the officer that he had a license to carry weapon with him, but he was reaching for his id as the officer. ask the police officer immediately then put five bullets into philando castile not for brandishing a weapon not for threatening him. but for merely having a weapon and then the nra went silent. now the nra the defender of the second amendment goes silent when a licensed gun owner is gunned down for no other reason than having a gun the nra that called federal officers jack booted government thugs after ruby ridge and after waco go silent and so the question was do black people have second amendment rights. that's where this book came from. and what's the answer to that question? no. sounds no, the it's to understand the history of the second amendment that it was
really born out of anti-blackness. it was born out of a fear of black people. it was born out of a description of african americans as being dangerous a threat to white society. it came out of a fear of slave insurrections. it came out of a fear that free blacks would help those who were enslaved and so it was how do we protect the white community from the black threat and in fact you write in the second that the second amendment was designed and implemented to abrogate and deny the rights of black people. at what point in our history where african americans allowed to own guns? technically it was after the civil war and after the 14th amendment gets ratified that brings the the second amendment into states into the states. technically, but what you had happening you had the black codes coming in after the civil
war that was about disarming african americans who had been armed during the civil war getting their guns away from them and having massive domestic terrorism raining down on them to force that compliance it and what you also see happening are are basically massacres when african americans try to defend themselves when they they're fighting for democracy like at colfax, louisiana or in hamburg, south carolina, and they are slaughtered it is sending the signal welcome to book tv and our coverage of the tucson book festival our guest carol. anderson is a professor at emory university. she chairs the african-american studies department at that university in atlanta, and we're talking about her most recent book the second racing guns in a fatally unequal america. this is a call-in program. we'd like to hear your voices as
well. 202 is the area code 748 8200 for those of you in the east and central time zones 202 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain in pacific time zones, and if you'd like to send a text to professor anderson you can do so at this number for text messages only 202. 748-8903. please include your first name and your if you would. do you have any idea what percentage of african-americans today own guns? i don't have that that percentage off the top of my head. no. are you a supporter of the second amendment? i'm a supporter of rights. i think that the second amendment really needs to go the way of the three-fifths clause. that it was born. it was born out of anti-blackness born out of
racism and that the anti-blackness makes the implementation of the second amendment so difficult because it's like black people are the designated threat the default threat in american society and so bearing arms then exponentially increases that threat but when they are unarmed they are vulnerable there is so much work to be done about the second amendment that is beyond the second amendment after the murder of philando castile. did you have any knowledge when you begin your research about this topic? no, i didn't. i mean i went hunting going do african-americans have second amendment rights and that sent me back into the 17th century and i started looking at the slave codes and started seeing the language around the slave codes about you know, they cannot have weapons. they cannot have guns. they cannot have ammunition and and saying that even free blacks cannot have guns cannot have ammunition and saying as well
that if somebody white strikes somebody black that enslaved or free that they did not have the black person did not have the right to self-defense. i mean, so you're seeing these mechanisms being put in place. no arms. no right to self-defense and you're also seeing the creation of this militia that is designed to put down slavery votes has the nra ever spoken about philando castile. basically what they said was they said two things. eventually, they came out and said well after being pressured by their black membership. well, we believe that everybody regardless of race creed religion should have the right to bear arms. and then eventually they said well, we really can't make a statement until the investigation is over. i mean so the nra the defender of the second amendment went
really milk a toast really bland really blah, really. what was the discussion during the civil war especially in the south about arming slaves with guns to help fight? so during the second world war i mean, so one of the i mean sorry during the civil war wrong century during the civil war you had initially the north and and lincoln were reluctant to arm black people even free blacks in the north because he was afraid that what that would do is that it would push the border states into joining the the confederacy because the border states had held back like kentucky like oh, yeah, we know we're a slave statement. we don't know if we're going to be doing this this fighting against the us thing and so held back, but you have this pressure
incredible pressure coming in from black folks and frederick douglass who were demanding the right for african americans to be able to join this war and fight for freedom. in the south you had absolute reluctance total reluctance as you can imagine of arming the enslaved for this war to to maintain slavery. so although you have the myth of black confederate soldiers. it's a myth what you really have? is that when you see those pictures, those are the enslaved who were brought with the officers with the white officers. those were the enslaved who were supporting the officers in terms of of their boots and of their equipment and things like that those weren't soldiers and it was only like in march of 1865 when the confederacy is on its last leg gasping for air that they said, okay. finally we can arm the enslaved
but by that time it was too late. carol anderson those of us have a certain age. you spoke about photos remember photos of the black panthers in the 60s with arms? what was their role in helping further this or hurting the cause yes, so what we see here with the black panthers. is that the black panthers were really came out of the concern about the police violence that was raining down on the black community. you had police killings you had police beatings you had false arrests you had the planting of evidence and you saw no accountability in the system for that police violence. and so the panther said we are going to police the police and and they knew what the laws were california was an open carry state and there were certain guns that you could carry they knew what kinds of guns they could carry they knew how to carry them. they knew where to point them. we're not to point them and they
also knew how far away from the police they had to stand. the police were making an arrest. so these panthers come out the cars when there's an arrest going on and they're carrying their weapons. they're not pointing them as a police, but they're carrying their weapons. the police did not like this and so they ran to don mulford who was a conservative assemblyman and the california legislature. and said, we need your help because every time we pull the panthers over we can't arrest them because what they're doing is not illegal. we need to make what they're doing illegal. and mulford was like cool cool, and he had help from the nra. he had an nra representative helping him draft the mulford act which was a way to ban the kind of open carrying that the panthers were doing and you had republican governor ronald reagan saying i'm eager to sign this legislation the moment it
hits my desk. and so this kind of twist the way that we often think about who supports gun rights because you have the nra working with a conservative assemblyman working with a republican governor. to limit access to guns but the trigger of course, no pun intended was the black panthers. it was black folks carrying those guns that then leads to gun control laws before we go to calls i have to ask you about your previous book because it's another topic that we're all talking about in the news today, which is on voter suppression one person. no vote. it is and i'm going to link one person no vote with my previous book white rage because white rage argues that when african americans make a significant advancement toward their citizenship rights. there is a massive policy backlash to undermine and undercut those rights what we saw in the 2020 election is we
had a 66% voter turnout rate in georgia in the runoff. we had almost a 92% black voter turnout rate that flipped the senate and that flipped george of blue. the response was not to welcome and embrace this incredible outpouring of support for american democracy. the response was the big lie the lie of the stolen election and then a wave of voter suppression laws designed to undermine and undercut that access to the ballot box. that's what we're seeing. we're seeing white rage operationalize through these voter suppress. lost. well you live in georgia it the situation in georgia? it's georgia. it is what we're seeing it. was that massive turnout that flipped, georgia blue. and in the response has been a current law sb202 that looks at stopping the access to the ballot box the ways that african
americans and latinos and asian americans and poor folk access the ballot box during that pandemic year where they're like democracy hangs and the balance and so if i have to stand in line 11 hours, i'm going to do it and and if i have to, you know figure out my absentee ballot and get to one of those dropboxes. i'm going to do it. and what you also saw with sv 202 was lowering the guardrails that protected democracy from being overturned by trump's attempt. remember when trump called in to brad raffensberger? all i need you to do is find me 11,790 votes, right? and so it's lowering those guardrails that prevented that from happening. i mean, that's what we're seeing in georgia as the response to this incredible engagement of george and citizens. so in your view professor anderson your most recent book the second race and guns in a fatally unequal america. it ties into this abrogation of rights, correct? absolutely, i mean and and i'm
going to link it again with the voting rights piece because part of what you're all so seeing the political violence that emerged out of that 2020 election the threats to election workers the then the demand that you have these poll watchers who can get up close and personal and you're having these states also at this current moment in like in, georgia. removing the requirements for gun ownership. so lessening lessening the laws for access to guns liberalizing that in ways that where you also have the the head of the republican national committee saying, you know, january 6th, that was just legitimate political discourse. so it's making political violence. palatable legitimate important necessary and casting it in that way. and so when you have this this
language of political violence you have this loosening of gun laws, and then you have this burgeoning demographic that is determined to vote. yeah, yeah. well, let's take some calls for carol anderson. ronald's in hollywood, florida. ronald, please go ahead we're listening. yes, my question is about the critical race theory. i'm from the state of florida and there's a proposal that people don't even need to have concealed weapons anymore. and as you know trayvon martin. our case triggered a lot of these things and the other part of my question is i don't believe that the constitution. include people of color if you look at the supreme court and
you look at other things where where laws that were passed they were exclusionary of black folk. and so i just wanted to get your opinion. on that. thank you. thank you, ronald. thank. so sent to me there were several components in that question one with trayvon martin. is that what you saw was the operationalizing that black folks do not have the right to self-defense when you look at that case. you have a black teenager walking through his neighborhood with skittles and iced tea and you have a white hispanic man, george zimmerman who sees this black child. it says, oh he there's something suspicious about him and he's calling it into 911 and he's saying they always get away and so he takes out his loaded weapon and he stalks this child
through the neighborhood. there is a confrontation between the two and the unarmed child ends up with a bullet in his chest. the story becomes poor george poor george. he was only trying to defend himself as if trayvon martin didn't have the right to defend himself. and you see george zimmerman walks is found not guilty stand your ground, which is the florida law it emerged out of, florida. it says that if you perceive a threat. you have the right to use lethal force where if and it's like wherever you have a right to be. when black is the default threat in american society that perception of threat then basically puts the crosshairs on black folks. so that's what the trayvon martin peace does in terms of critical race theory here.
you have the kind of erasure of teaching real american history so we can understand who we are and how we got here. it is dangerous. it is absolutely dangerous to be able to do that. and the role of the constitution in black folk, one of the things is that you see black folks being pulled into the constitution particularly after the civil war where you get the 13th amendment that banishes slavery you get the 14th amendment that deals with birthright citizenship saying if you are born here, you are an american citizen and that is to overturn the dred scott decision and it's also say equal protection under the law and then the 15th amendment saying that the state shall not a bridge the right to vote on account of race color or previous condition of servitude. next call for carol anderson comes from jim and darlington,
south carolina jim. you're on book tv. we're listening. thanks for taking my call. i was just gonna ask the author of the recent law that was passed down in georgia. that didn't require conceal carry permit to carry a concealed weapon. usually the permits are issued now multiple states have gone to that scenario and permits are issued to people that want them so they can have reciprocity if they're traveling. but you know the presumption of law enforcement is you know, that everyone is armed and sadly we have gotten back to the skin standard instead of the character standard and you know it the separate society and racism etc in the previous amount of the united states. we thought we'd gotten past that and a lot of us had gotten passed it and still have gotten past it but then now that we
have the maturity of the marxist ed. didn't populists as taking over the government and etc. it's you know, instead of having a proletariat bourgeoisie. they're replacing race, and i was also curious if the author had a driver's license. because if you have a driver's license. i would should be able to have to show id to vote in the united states because even if you don't have a driver's license, and you have many opportunities to go down to the clerk's office with certain documents or even have a family member file an affidavit to get an id. so what is the problem with have an id's to vote? i don't think it's very suppression. that's need jim will. we'll hear from professor anderson in just a minute, but i wanted to ask you are you a gun owner jim? yes, sir.
and and i haven't them in a gun safe. and i hunt once a year or twice a year. and they don't hurt anybody. it's just like having multiple cars in your garage. the human has to be an agent of action to hurt someone whether it's with a gun or with a knife or a hammer or a stick. so, you know, the disarming of america is just in strategy of the radical left like we've seen past history to pacify the populace and unfortunately, we'll leave it there and will hear from professor anderson now, thank you. so there were several components in there one. i have to say that a hammer has another function a car has another function a knife has another function a gun has one function and the the sense of it's the way that dylan roof is
basically. who has gone down nine nine folk in bible study? and he is captured alive. he has demonstrated that he is willing to commit mass murder and he is captured alive, but tamir rice who was a 12 year old boy in cleveland playing in the park in an open carry state playing in a park with a toy gun and granted it didn't have the red tip on it that said i'm a toy, but he's playing in the park by himself. he's not pointing the gun at anybody. he's not threatening anybody and when the police rolled up on him, they shot him within two seconds saying he's dangerous. he was a threat we felt threatened that is part of the reality that we have to deal with with the ways. that guns are used and and the way that threat is is depicted and seen in this society in terms of the voter id laws. we have to understand that they
are predicated on a lie. the lie is massive rampant voter fraud. justin leavitt did a study he's a law. ceraba, california. he found that from 2000 to 2014 out of one billion votes cast. there were only 31 cases of voter impersonation fraud. so in 15 years 1 billion votes 31 cases, but it is that that becomes the the president the preface for for saying we've got to have this voter id. it is the way that the states have crafted voter id where they have made it really clear that they're going to have disparate disparate access to voter id. it's alabama alabama said you've got to have government issued photo id and then alabama said but your public housing id doesn't count now that's solely government issued but 71% of
those in public housing in alabama where african-american and then what governor bentley did after saying your your government your public nothing id doesn't count was to shut down the department of motor vehicles in the black belt counties, which required folks to go 50 miles to the to the next county over to get a driver's license, but if you don't drive because you don't have a driver's license and you don't have public transportation alabama's rank 48th in the nation in public transportation. how are you supposed to get to the driver's license bureau the way that voter id works is it sounds so reasonable except the way that it is done. it is absolutely discriminatory and absolutely unreasonable. jasmine gloucester, virginia, please. go ahead with your question or comment. jasmine you with us please
yasmine, you got to turn down the tv and completely make your family life and property and by license gun owners in the brianna in louisville and most recently sleeping young man and in minnesota as it relates to no knock warrants. to get enough information there. i think it was a question about no knock warrants. yes, jasmine. can you just very quickly repeat that legally? protect life and property the legal right to protect life and property and no knock warrants any comments for that. yes. i do. so one of the things that i lay out in the book is that we've got these things that we think are these kind of standard bears of protection like stand your ground like open carry and like the castle doctrine. so what you're talking about is the castle doctrine where you have the right to protect your home from an intruder.
and it's in and but what we saw with brianna taylor for instance is that it was a no-knock warrant where the police are able to just enter your home without an identifying themselves. and that's what there was the banging on the door. they're saying who is it? who is it and and the police aren't identifying themselves and then they burst through the door her fiancee shoots and and a hell of bullets rained down into the apartment brianna taylor's apartment. they ruled that it was just the fireable because the police did identify themselves although all of their body cams were off and only one witness after the third interview says, yeah. i heard them identify themselves. we saw the same thing with catherine johnston who was a 92 year old grandmother in atlanta early in the morning. she hears her burglar bars being removed from her house. she picks up her rusty revolver
to protect herself. and and as as the folks into her house, she shoots to defend herself a neighbor had been raped she was afraid. instead a hell of bullets rained down in the catherine johnson and this 92 year old grandmother is shot dead. we see this over and over and over. it's basically saying that black folks don't have the right to defend themselves to protect their property. they don't have the right to self-defense. they don't have the right to the castle doctrine. and we'll close with this comment from bev and middleburg heights ohio read her most recent book the second. excellent. i used it in a course. i taught to adults about the founding fathers. thank you. thank you. thank you. one of the things that i think we really have to be able to to get to is to see the complexity of the founding fathers when we
teach a really flattened history. it doesn't it doesn't do us justice as a nation. it doesn't do justice to history when we understand the complexity that we have slave owners who are trying to write a constitution of freedom. we have those some of those in the north are really bucking up against the demands that some of the slave owners are at the constitutional convention are demanding. and the compromises that are made and the consequences of those compromises how you had some of these folks who were willing to to basically barter away the lifeblood of the united states of america if they weren't able to defend and enforce slavery. so why we get the three-fifths clause why we get the 20-year extension of the atlantic slave trade why we get the fugitive slave clause and frankly why we get the second amendment if we
us. we're here to discuss with harlan omen the fifth horseman and the new mad how massive attacks of disruption became the looming existential danger to a divided nation and the world at large lots of of issues in there harlan. thanks for joining us. harlan is a strategic thinker and innovator whose career spans the world's a business