Racial integration lives at a Southern gun show
I attended a gun show this weekend. Normally, my social activities aren't worthy of note, but this one is because the show spoke so perfectly to who we really are as Americans — and we are not the racist, hate-filled, stupid killers of leftist caricatures.
To set the stage, I need to go back to the early 1980s, when a longtime friend of mine confessed to me that he was gay. I wasn't surprised, having figured out the truth years before. I then told him my greatest fear about his being gay, which was that I would lose him to the gay lifestyle. I predicated that he would soon define himself by his sexuality rather than by his interests, skills, and values. He denied that that would ever happen, but within a year, he was "a gay man," rather than a smart, funny, interesting man who happened to be gay.
Forty years later, leftists are doubling down on stripping individuals of their unique attributes and, instead, defining them by external characteristics over which they have no control or, alternatively, by their sexuality or "gender identity." The notion that the content of a person's character should be his defining quality is anathema to the left.
A historian is no longer someone who is interested in history, regardless of color, sex, or sexuality. If he's Black, he is now a Black historian, and his "Blackness" defines the filter through which he views history. You can substitute gay, transgender, feminist, Hispanic, Asian, or any other leftist identity group for the word "Black" in the preceding sentence, and you'll have the same outcome.
The left has a different measurement for White. If you're White, you're not a historian who happens to be White. Instead, you're a White supremacist, a racist, an imperialist, a colonialist, or some other "bad thing." You're not a person; you're a walking, talking, hate-filled member of an inferior racial group that is genetically drawn to evil. How nice.
The gun show, however, revealed a collection of people drawn together, not by race (or genetic evil), but by a shared belief that every American has an inherent right to self-defense. At a rough guesstimate, the people at the show attended roughly in proportion to their racial representation in my Southern state at large. There were couples, families with children of all ages, older people of all ages, and groups of friends, all brought together by a shared love for the Second Amendment.
The salespeople did not have signs saying, "No Blacks served here" or "No Whites served here." Instead, whether Black or White themselves, they were happy to talk about and sell their wares to anyone interested. I was interested and ended up buying an exquisite handmade knife made the old-fashioned way.
The event was an utterly congenial gathering of like-minded people. It was what most of America was before 2008. The big question is whether, in 2021, Americans will push back against the leftist effort to destroy our common American culture.
Right now, leftists seem determined to revisit Charles Manson's "Helter Skelter" idea. For those of you too young to remember events in 1969, that was when the Charles Manson cultists brutally slaughtered seven people. Manson intended that the murders would spark a violent race war, which he called "Helter Skelter." He imagined that Blacks would kill every White person in America. At the end of the slaughter, Manson and his all-White followers would emerge from hiding and become the rulers in this new world.
Right now, we're seeing a primarily White leadership class diligently fomenting racial schism in America. These leaders — Biden, Pelosi, Schumer — seem to imagine that, after they've created the circumstances in which Americans do battle, they will be there to rule over some purified class of survivors. I don't see that happening, but I do see a lot of horrors accruing as leftists systematically divide us, unless we Americans forcefully push back on this segregationist view and focus on our shared interests and values.
And that gets me to the gun show. Shared interests, especially shared interests in constitutional rights, are the way to get America back on track. It's not about what we look like; it really is about what we value.
Image: Internet meme by Docrock.