As Gun Free UT suggests that campus carry is all about whites dominating people of other races, UT-Dallas graduate student Antonia Okafor — an African American woman — counters by pointing out that her focus in carrying a gun will be self-defense, not to advance the supremacy of any one race over another.
Okafor’s statements come in response to what she calls Gun Free UT’s “desperate final bid to halt the implementation of Texas’ new campus carry law.”
According to the Austin American-Statesman, on November 10, Gun Free UT issued the follow criticism of campus carry:
America has all along been about the sheer display of white male power (with guns): over Indians, over slaves, over females, over Mexicans, over Asians, over African Americans, and over Arabs, now [sic] The return of the vigilante movement is a giant, collective white push back against the Civil Rights Movement and against the unintended consequences of globalization, migration, and demography. … This is a battle over our individual right to determine the nature of the community of trust within our classroom, well established by constitutional law. This right has now been challenged, assaulted by a toxic ideology of white racism and libertarianism.
It was to this particular statement that Okafor was responding when she said, “As a black woman and a graduate student at UT-Dallas, I have no interest in displaying white male power to slaves, women, African-Americans, or anyone else, and I’m certainly not interested in pushing back against the Civil Rights Movement or promoting an ideology of white racism.” She added, “I am, however, interested in being able to defend myself should the need arise.”
Okafor also cited an anti-campus carry statement from UT-Austin’s Department of African Diaspora Studies; she cited it, then shut it down with logic. The African Diaspora Studies department said, “African Americans are disproportionately affected by the saturation of our society by firearms. [We] demand that firearms be banned in all spaces occupied by Black people on our campus.”
Okafor responded to this by saying:
The statement from the African studies faculty is a great argument for campus carry. Criminals who might target me because of my race or my gender–just like the criminals who might target someone because of the person’s religion or sexual orientation–have no qualms about breaking an honor-system-based gun ban. Campus carry isn’t about arming dangerous bigots; it’s about ensuring that I’m able to defend myself if confronted by one.
I’m not concerned about the racial ideology of someone who has gone through the training, testing, and extensive state and federal background checks to obtain a concealed handgun license. I’m worried about the racial ideology of the criminals and lunatics willing to ignore the state laws and school policies that currently render me defenseless.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.