The proposed “marches on gun shops” to bring attention to Chicago’s spike in violence could lead to an unlikely destination and thus an unnecessary conundrum for Black leaders.
Recently, there have been a lot of tweets and scuttlebutt out there concerning a proposed organized effort (led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.) to protest gun shops around the nation in protest to the recent violence seen in cities such as Chicago.
I commend Rev. Jackson for his years of service to America and the Black community. Those that have heard me on the air know that I don’t do the ugly names that get hurled at him and notable others. I also don’t attach over-generalizing motives to all of his actions.
Just the same, I believe in the validity of the Second Amendment – although as a Pittsburgh native and a Chicago resident, I understand the debate over appropriate urban gun oversight. That said, I hope the Reverend doesn’t get into a faux war with small business owners that happen to be gun shop owners.
It would be akin to taking on all of the liquor stores in our communities in the hope that we can stem the tide of substance abuse and unhealthiness in Black America.
How successful has that effort been? Of course, couple those efforts to close community liquor stores with us watching the most successful grocery chains in our communities sell alcohol to us 40- ounces at a time from aisles sitting right beside the frozen juices, distilled water and frozen vegetables.
We don’t say much about that contradiction.
A symbolic boycott of the gun shops will likely be as effective as the Congressional Black Caucus grilling Attorney General Eric Holder over the recent spike in shootings in Chicago, including the beloved South Side communities. Reaching for low-hanging fruit solutions to address the youth violence decimating our communities (such as probing the Department of Justice for possible – and unnecessary – big government involvement or taking on small business owners over decades-long challenges) does nothing for the high-wind drama that we collectively continue to catch.
Black leaders apply double standards and inconsistent methodologies to our issues – namely, protesting those that are outside of our circles of friends and influence while condoning the dysfunction ongoing within our comfort zones of confidants. As long as they do that, we will continue to capture attention in the media, yet continue failing to capture any long-lasting solutions.
Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “The March on Gun Shops Double Standard” on Politic365