2nd Amendment activism Matt Taibbi

Activism, Uncensored: Are Black 2nd Amendment Advocates the Ultimate Taboo?

“Guns up! Shoot back!” As News2Share chronicles via a pair of Mississippi events, black pro-gun marchers exist in a no-coverage zone

By Matt Taibbi and Ford Fischer / Substack

“If people aren’t going to do their job, then we’re here to do it for them,” said Nick Bezzel, of the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Pistol & Rifle Gun Club, after being told for the second time today that officials in Brookhaven, Mississippi wouldn’t meet with him and other armed black activists.

Bezzel was with a group of demonstrators, including Black Panthers, who were upset over a case involving a 24-year-old Federal Express driver named D’Monterrio Gibson. On January 24th earlier this year, Gibson was shot at by a man named Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Case, while attempting to make deliveries.

The two Cases were eventually charged with assault, but bonded out quickly. Gibson and the accompanying group wanted elevated charges, for instance attempted murder or a hate crime. Ford Fischer’s News2Share cameras captured the scenes of activists being told a planned meeting with a District Attorney was called off, and being thrown out of the area by the Brookhaven police chief just as they were leaving.

Two days later, a coalition of black pro-gun groups, including Black Panthers, the Black Riders Liberation Party, the aforementioned Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt Gun Club, Sisters of the Underground, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, the Black Power Militia, the Black Power Coalition, and others, gathered on Juneteenth in Natchez, Mississippi at the site of the “Devil’s Punchbowl,” where some historians say up to 20,000 black people died during and after the Civil War.

News2Share captured those scenes as well, which included a collective signing of a “Declaration of the Regulated United Black Militia.” Some protesters brandished a placard with a “Declaration of Self-Determination by Black Peoples and Organizations,” while others replaced “Hands up, don’t shoot!” with a new chant: “Guns up! Shoot back!” Other chants included:

Black people in America ain’t taking it no more, is that right? That’s right!

We believe in an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb, and a life for a goddamn life!

These are different times… Guns up, shoot back! I said, goddamnit, black power!

As Ford narrated:

Despite the obvious newsworthiness of these several militias from around the country gathering to sign a “Declaration of the Regulated United Black Militia,” no other media covered the event.

There are a lot of taboos on commercial television, which for instance doesn’t like to show scenes of poverty (unless it’s being chased by police), rarely interviews non-voters, almost never does military contracting fraud stories, and seldom shows results on the ground of American military/drone strikes, even if they’ve already appeared on the airwaves of other countries.

Perhaps the most dependable taboo in American media, however, involves black Second Amendment advocates. As Ford and News2Share have documented over the years, there are many such groups, and they sometimes march in conjunction with groups like the Boogaloo Boys. In fact, the biggest taboo of all might be showing such groups demonstrating together:

Whatever your feelings about guns — I personally am not a fan — the psychology of the contrasting coverage of pro-gun demonstrations is fascinating. News audiences are clearly meant to associate white pro-gun protesters with a dangerous and probably organized national race-hatred movement, while black pro-gun protesters either don’t exist or are a fringe movement not worth covering. Under no circumstance must such groups be shown together, even when they organize co-demonstrations. The first installment of Activism, Uncensored from last June, for instance, showed such a joint demonstration in Virginia Beach:

It’s often hard to gauge whether certain movements are gaining or losing strength nationally, or are simply organizing more effectively thanks to the Internet. However, it’s clear the national press doesn’t have a settled-upon strategy for covering armed black protesters. Most commonly they appear in reflection, shown as an exaggerated phantom of conservative news coverage, with the New York Times blasting Fox News for over-depicting “fringe hate groups” during the Obama years a classic example. These groups do exist, however, and their shows of strength in places like Natchez are clearly newsworthy. What’s behind the taboo?

Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Divide, Griftopia, and The Great Derangement, was a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2007 National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary.


  1. It is Sooooo true how corporate media make sure only “their” side of the story is given. They will not change unless we force them to!!!!!

  2. I’ve always said that I’d rather get rid of all guns on the planet. but if a-holes like cops can have them, regular people like Black people should be able to have them too.

  3. Thank you Mr. Taibbi for this article that forces people to question why the Mainstream Media (“MSM”) tends to portray white folks who carry firearms as having questionable motives, perhaps racist and overly nationalistic, while simultaneously (for the most part), turning a blind eye to the second amendment activism carried out by peaceful, organized black groups across the country.

    Consider these 2 facts:
    (1). “William Worthy– a journalist who visited Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s home– reported that once, during a visit to King’s parsonage, he went to sit down on an armchair in the living room and, to his surprise, almost sat on a loaded gun. Glenn Smiley, an adviser to King, described King’s home as “an arsenal.” [“MLK and His Guns” by Adam Winkler, on Huff Post, on Jan 17, 2011]
    (2). Malcolm X was a renown black civil rights activist who advocated that black folks should arm themselves with firearms, in the event they needed to defend themselves.

    This is because both of these civil rights legends understood that Self Defense is a “Natural Right” that precedes the creation of The Second Amendment (ratified in 1791) and The U.S. Constitution (ratified in 1788). Their common struggle lay in advocating for equal rights and equal treatment (including self defense rights guaranteed via The Second Amendment) for African-Americans across the nation.

    The MSM for years, seems to seek to drive a wedge between black Second Amendment advocates and white Second Amendment advocates, by highlighting the disparity in “social acceptance” (including acceptance by Cops, in general) between when a white guy is found to be carrying a gun versus when a black guy is found to be carrying a gun (a prominent recent example is the tragic death of Mr. Philando Castile– a hand gun owner who was killed by Minnesota Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez). But rather than advocate for the need for Cops and Civilians alike to treat all gun owners equally (irrespective of race or ethnicity), MSM seems to capitalize on this disparity and unfairness in the treatment of gun owners, in order to advocate for curtailing the gun rights of everyone.

    Umesh Heendeniya
    Hernando County, Florida

    1. @Umesh Heendeniya
      Racist garbage. That is not at all the point of this article. The point was that racists like you are terrified of Black people with guns. Thanks for outing your self and helping make the point.

  4. Gun control in America, like nuclear non-proliferation — is a dead duck.

    Let’s not waste our time.

    Just as no small nation can be really sure it can defend itself from the US without at least a few deliverable nuclear weapons, Black people and real leftists (as opposed to media figures like AOC and Sanders) need to be able to defend themselves with firearms.

    Yes, this means America will become even MORE violent, the idea is that oppressors will start to experience casualties.

    Genuine peace is not attainable without the triumph of a socialist people’s’ government, after the overthrow of the oligarchic kakocracy now in place. Until that is accomplished, mass shootings will continue to be the leading cause of child death here.

    Some of the one/two person advanced weapons like MANPADs and RPGs showered like candy on Ukraine might also find their way happily into revolutionary hands here. Ukraine is famous for its illicit weapons bazaars, and Dopey Joe obviously hasn’t thought that situation through.

    The illicit, Koch Concubine Court has lit the fuse.

    Body armor and tactical gear are becoming increasingly popular among leftist progressives of color, gun rights advocate says

    The explosion is inevitable.

    1. @BabaYaga
      I think I’ll move to a small tropical south Pacific island, and the idiots in this country can kill each other over money. Just don’t take anyone else with you.

      1. They will be coming for the peace you seek soon, if they haven’t already.

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