Frankly, I am tired of talking about Quentin Tarantino’s film, Django Unchained. But, here I am, talking about it again. Why you ask? Well, because the brilliant minds behind the events of the January 19th “Gun Appreciation Day” are working on innovative ways to reach out to communities of color. And, Larry Ward, current president of conservative leaning media company Political Media, has been working feverishly to aid this cause. So, what brilliant motto did he come with? “What would Django do?” For the record, yes. This is real.
Ward’s inevitable goal is to turn the outreach campaign into a nonprofit organization bearing the same name.
And, recently, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Ward explained that he hadn’t yet received the green light from Taratino or The Weinstein Co. to brand his project with their name.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Ward said. “We’ll make sure we aren’t violating copyrights, and if we are, we’ll have to change the name. But Django is perfect for what we’re trying to do, which is to promote gun rights to minorities. We’ll tackle the issue on the Democrats’ own turf.”
Ward got the bright idea from Jonathan David Farley’s article on Absoluterights.com. In the piece, Farley noted several black figures in history whom he credits with supporting gun rights. Prominent black leaders like Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X are all mentioned in his quaint walk down the black gun lover’s memory lane.
“Historically, guns have been the African-American’s greatest friend. The great Ida B. Wells, who, like me, had to flee Klan supporters in Tennessee after writing a newspaper article, said that “a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home….””
Sadly, Farley fails to mention that both King and Malcolm X were murdered with a weapon which, he claims, they held in such high esteem. To add, he notes that, you know since racism is a thing of the past, black people would do well to remember how important guns are to American culture.
“Racism in America is now gone like an exorcised ghost, but African-Americans would do well to remember our history when it comes to gun control. Instead of turning schools into zero-tolerance zones for guns, we should let the NRA teach special classes in gun use, sort of like Drivers’ Ed, and there should be ROTC in all schools.”
Yes. Again. This. Is. Real. I laughed at it repeatedly when I first read it. I thought maybe it was one of those reports from The Onion or something. But, much to my chagrin, Ward and Farley are real human beings who truly believe that there are logical ways to gain market share in the black gun-ownership-game. Because, you know, the black community needs more guns. They completely neglect to mention or acknowledge the devastating statistics associated with gun-related murder in the black community. Instead, they rely on black folks’ kinship with beloved characters like Wells, King, and X to help support their efforts toward improving black perception of guns. And, it’s likely supporting their efforts to line their pockets as well.
Ward, at one time, equivocated on the issue of gun ownership in the black community by aligning it with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hence his decision to have the celebratory date so close to MLK’s birthday and national holiday.
“I believe ‘Gun Appreciation Day’ honors the legacy of Dr. King…I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.”
So, let me get this straight. Ward believes that the pacifist Dr. King would agree that there would have been no slavery if we simply armed African slaves? Okay. Right. Because they would have simply shot everyone?
Well, there was no US Constitution or Bill of Rights for the first 200 years of this land’s colonization. And, when African slaves were forcibly removed from their home continent, there was no Constitution granting rights to individuals. To add, MLK likely would not have existed at all or have had the same cause had blacks been given rights as human beings equal to their white counterparts prior to the Civil Rights Movement and the formal end of Jim Crow. So, his line of reasoning leads straight toward Delusion Land.
And, the kicker of it all is that they chose to play on the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” A saying worn on many a black woman’s church scarf or young adult ministry t-shirt, the phrase WWJD is synonymous with the black church family. Therefore, this under-handed co-optation of this inherently black heirloom is nothing but despicable and self-serving. This is not to say that other Christian families don’t have rights to the phrase. But, it is to cast light on the fact that Ward and Farley intentionally chose this phrase (eerily inserting Django in the Jesus part – because he was so Christ-like) to pull on the heart strings of black people.
The real question is: will it work? My guess is absolutely no. But, seriously gun peeps. You all really need to do better.
For the sake of conversation though, I will answer your question Mr. Ward and Mr. Farley. What would Django do? I think he would shoot you. And I think we can agree on that.