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‘Can you imagine a group of black men walking around with masks and guns?’ Virginia rally sparks questions of racism and privilege

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It’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and for several hours now countless mostly white, mostly male pro-gun, anti-gun control activists have been marching throughout the streets of Richmond, Virginia, claiming to merely be exercising their Second Amendment rights. Many appear to be dressed in military garb, including camouflage, masks, and donning various types of firearms over their shoulders or at their side.

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Some Virginians have been so concerned about the possibility of violence that Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and banned guns from the capitol. His ban survived a state supreme court challenge. Some say the ban does not appear to have been enforced.

Thousands are marching, including some white nationalists, far-right militia members, anti-government extremists, and neo-Nazis. As NBC News reports, members of some of those groups from across the country have been planning on attending.

To get a sense of scale here’s a photo from an ABC reporter:

https://twitter.com/Cpatrickis/status/1219271623699767296

Many online noted the reception from pro-gun advocates might be far different if the activists were Black instead of white, given the nation’s history – and that of Virginia.

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The Virginia Mercury’s Ned Oliver posted this video at 7:35 AM:

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One social media user asked, “Can you imagine a group of black men walking around with masks and guns?”

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Government ethics expert Walter Shaub offers this insight.

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Days ago President Trump essentially endorsed the rally in a tweet and then did so again minutes ago.

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Some are asking questions like, “Imagine if Black folks just decided to have a ‘gun rally’ like this.”

Take a look at these responses from social media users.

https://twitter.com/TheKidSkoob/status/1219263488448704513

https://twitter.com/Kathmandu513/status/1219253860696502272

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https://twitter.com/IB_terrence/status/1219259636483862528

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https://twitter.com/ohnoitsmariah__/status/1219254829165375490

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Watergate prosecutor breaks down why Trump is now ‘more dangerous than Nixon’ — and an ‘existential threat to democracy’: Watergate prosecutor

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Jill Wine-Banks, now 76, has vivid memories of Richard Nixon’s presidency and the Watergate scandal: the Chicago-born attorney was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Watergate prosecution team and reported to Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski. In recent months, Wine-Banks has had much to say about the Ukraine scandal and the impeachment of President Donald Trump — and when she appeared on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show on MSNBC on Monday night, February 24, she explained why she believes that Trump is more dangerous than Nixon.

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Texas man assaulted girlfriend for speaking Spanish: police affidavit

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‘This is outrageous’: Legal experts condemn Trump for demanding Sotomayor and Ginsburg recusals

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"Justice Sotomayor issued a reasoned dissent noting a pattern among the justices of allowing the Trump administration to ignore the appellate courts and skip to the SCOTUS to secure their desired outcome."—Kristen Clarke, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

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