Armed! And proud of it!
As a white male, from a Christian family in America I know I have white, male, Christian privilege and I am aware of my rights carrying a weapon under the concealed carry laws set down by the U.S. Supreme Court. With the knowledge of the recent shooting in St. Louis between a white cop and an African American male who was unarmed I have become conscious that the concealed carry law is a white, male, Christian privileged law.
I make this statement based on a conversation I had with an African American man in my Men’s Group in Chicago, he reminded me and the other white men in attendance that if he possessed a gun with a permit that is concealed he is a definite target by law enforcement as they commonly practice profiling. He stated, because of his race he would be shot on sight without even a thought of whether it is justifiable or not.
I am concerned that white, male, Christian’s will be involved in more shootings in the future based on this knowledge and that many white, male; Christian’s find it difficult to have any conversation about our privilege in any forum.
Chicago was going to have a racism workshop for all white men being in attendance and the workshop was not taken seriously by the white community at all so much so that the workshop was cancelled from lack of interest.
I have been in attendance at three Multicultural programs titled Issm’s and Issues (I&I) workshops that were presented by Mankind Project that presents the New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) a weekend designed by men for men and several years I experienced my wounding others from the model they used because of my rampant racist and sexist rants that I am possessed with from a past growing up in a privileged community in the North Shore of Chicago in the 1960’s through the 1990’s.
My common complaint for many years was that I was friendly with black, brown and Jewish people and thanks to the Civil-Rights laws passed in the 20th Century that racism and Anti-Semitism in America is dead. I believed that Black, Brown and Jewish people were fairly treated and that I could easily pathologies the Black, Brown and Jewish communities as an economic, political, educational and religious problems; not being at all concerned about my own white, male, Christian privilege.
I am a terrible racist and Anti-Semitic that announced to a mixed crowd in a racism workshop in Chicago a NWTA leader being white in appearance should pass himself off as white in society because he would easily be confused as a white man, he countered angrily that he is African American and that I was a sick racist pig which I laughed at him. I wasn’t conscious or even interested in changing my attitudes and beliefs because I expected that others should change and that I was fine the way I was.
I then for many years told my family, friends and others around me that I had Native American heritage and proceeded to steal Native American ceremonies for my own enrichment. I was convincing enough that a local Newspaper did a story on me about a ritual I created called “Rattle Smudging” and I called myself White Grizzly and wore a braid and Native American garb to pass myself off as a Lakota Sioux Medicine Man all of this behavior because I hated myself and my life and wanted to be an “Under Dog” to the Native American experience. I wanted to be liked. I wanted people to take me seriously and to honor me as a man.
I am conscious of my past behaviors and am writing this letter to other white, male, Christian privileged men that my first letter about concealed carry was a fearful rant that wanted to trigger a negative response from others so that I could feel important in the community. Now I am afraid of men such as me being in possession of weapons from hand guns to automatic assault rifles with large magazines and who also possess hate and fear in their hearts that has been passed down generationally for centuries.
I am pleading with the white, male, Christian communities that training to shoot and to handle a weapon is not enough education. Learning to live and accept everyone as different and equal is a lifelong pursuit that takes balls of steel and hearts of Giraffe. Setting boundaries by owning weapons is telling non white, non Christian men that because I have a big gun you should change your beliefs and lives to fit me.
I love being a man. I love being powerful and compassionate towards others. I don’t own a weapon and I was in the United States Army in 1982. When I had that M-16 A1 rifle in my hands I felt invincible. I felt that if there was any threat at all I could aim my weapon at the problem and make it go away. The problem is I am the problem. When you hold your weapon in your hand have you ever felt powerful as I do? Have you experienced or are you experiencing the feelings and emotions I have about Black, Brown, and non Christian peoples?
Consider your progeny and what you will leave as a message to the young ones. Know that I feel the call of the warrior inside me and the warrior can easily become the rogue and cause harm to the innocent. We are all One and the One is Divine.