Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of gun supporter at the Virginia capitol is no different, Martin claimed.
Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."
Republicans only recently came out against the gun rally, but Wise said it's too late, but par for the course.
"I want to think about this for a second," he then pivoted to explain. "I want us to imagine that a group not of right-wing, white people, but a group of black folks, a group of Latino folks, Muslim folk of whatever color, say, 'we're going to gather at an American statehouse, maybe in front of Congress, with weapons to protest laws we don't like.' Do we think for one second the president of the United States and other leaders and commentators would go, 'This is a very bold statement of Constitutional liberty? No. They would be calling it insurrection, terrorism. But, when white folks gather with a bunch of guns and essentially threaten civil war, we go back and say, isn't that funny? Isn't that interesting? We would never respond the same way if these folks were Black or brown, and anyone who is honest knows it."
Watch the full panel discussion below: