I just wonder if they realized that they were doing it. You see, Ida B. Wells rather famously called for every black home in America to have a Winchester rifle, and I frankly wish that more African-American families had listened to her. We might have had a smoother path to civil rights and proper enfranchisement if they had.
Anyway, here’s the relevant quote, which is from an essay attacking lynching*. Read the whole thing if you’re ready to get infuriated again about a part of the Democratic party’s history that it absolutely refuses to apologize for, or even acknowledge if it can possibly avoid it. Heck, read the whole thing anyway.
Of the many inhuman outrages of this present year [1892 AD], the only case where the proposed lynching did not occur, was where the men armed themselves in Jacksonville, Fla., and Paducah, Ky., and prevented it. The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense.
The lesson this teaches and which every Afro American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give. When the white man who is always the aggressor knows he runs as great a risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life. The more the Afro-American yields and cringes and begs, the more he has to do so, the more he is insulted, outraged and lynched.
*It is also a fascinating reminder that false accusations of rape, contrary to the latest academic fad, have been going on for quite some time. I always wonder how scholars who specialize in African-American history react to that particular position…