The host of the NRA’s news show, Cam Edwards, publicly praised people for looking out for each other by walking the streets of New Orleans with guns after Hurricane Katrina.
What really happened, according to Media Matters for America, was that the people who were “looking out for each other” were, in fact, white vigilantes looking to gun down black people for the simple crime of being black.
What Edwards actually did was “create the false impression that guns are more often used to prevent rather than commit crimes.” Edwards wants people to think that what happened in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans was people merely defending themselves, their families, and their friends.
A federal indictment of Ronald J. Bourgeois, Jr., said that he shot three black men who were in the streets of the Algiers neighborhood because of their race. He had previously discussed shooting down black people who didn’t live in the neighborhood, saying that “anything coming up this street darker than a brown paper bag is getting shot,” which is part of why he was charged with a hate crime and conspiracy to commit a hate crime, among other things. He also lied to federal agents investigating the shooting.
The Nation reported at the time that whites had sealed off the neighborhood by blocking the streets and sidewalks, convinced that people coming to the relatively dry area from the more flooded parts of New Orleans would bring crime with them. Algiers Point, where the shooting took place, is a primarily white, upscale neighborhood within the Algiers neighborhood. The larger neighborhood is mostly black, and white people living in the Point are isolated and have a kind of “siege” mentality.
The Nation says that the city “fractured along racial fault lines” in Katrina’s aftermath. It paints a picture of the larger racial problems that still exist in America, where white people assume anybody who “doesn’t belong” (read: “black in a white area”) is automatically a criminal.
The NRA’s Edwards merely fuels the racial fire with things like this. It’s a tacit endorsement of white people killing black people, and an implied assumption that black people are likely criminals. He specifically said, according to Media Matters:
“Algiers incidentally was one of the neighborhoods in New Orleans that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina saw armed neighborhood patrols, basically. While police were not around, neighbors were looking out for each other by walking the streets armed with firearms and making sure that there was no looting, no robbing, no burglaries there in their neighborhood in that chaotic aftermath after the storm. Seems like clearly that attitude of being able to protect yourself and the ones you love remains in place in Algiers even though the storm damage has been cleared up.”
Because anybody who’s guilty of the crime of being in a white neighborhood while black should, absolutely, be gunned down. It’s time for the NRA to shut up.
Watch all of Edwards’ comments here: