On Thursday, Cornel West shared his thoughts about the Sandy Hook massacre on Tavis Smiley’s radio show. West expressed frustration over the media’s willingness to demand gun control when violence occurs in suburban havens like Newtown, but largely ignore minority victims in urban areas.
“We can’t just shed tears for those on the vanilla side of town,” West said. “But it’s a good thing that we now have a discussion on gun control. We need one on drone control. Not a peep, not a mumbling word when black folk get shot,” West added. “But now, Newtown, Connecticut, vanilla side — low and behold we got a major conversation. That’s wonderful. Each life is precious, but it just upsets me when we’re so deferential.”
One is pressed to imagine what a conversation about gun control might look like in the context of inner city violence. Cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other big cities are home to two-thirds of all firearm homicides in the US. These cities also have the most restrictive and prohibitive firearm policies in the nation. What’s left to discuss?
What is left to discuss is the efficacy of such policies, which is exactly why gun violence in these areas are ignored. The media and grand standing politicos have no interest in evaluating whether radical gun restriction is effective, as the conclusion might undermine their anti-firearm agenda.
While Cornel West is right to ask why inner city gun violence is ignored, it is not for the reason he thinks. The racial angle plays a secondary part to the true priority: finding new places to continue the march toward the wholesale outlawing of firearms.
(Photo: Jeff Metzner – “Fear Of A Black Republican,” SSP LLC)
Follow Elizabeth on Twitter