February 16, 2006

A Government of Men

So, pretend for a minute that I liked hunting.

I go to the home of a rich buddy, i.e. a place with alot of private land, with some other dudes, have one or two alcoholic beverages, and then pick up a shotgun to go duck hunting.

If I then, say, SHOT one of said dudes, one would think that the local constables would:
  1. detain me
  2. check my blood alcohol level
  3. probably charge me with reckless endangerment
This is all assuming that they guy didn't die from being shot in the face.

Moreover, if I happened to be employed in law enforcement myself, I'd like to think that I would voluntarily submit to being detained and being tested and, since the guy is my friend, let the chips fall where they may.

You know, actually take responsibility for my actions.

Because accepting responsibility isn't just a matter of raising your hands and saying "my bad" after you cap someone with a hunting rifle. Accepting responsibility is ultimately about accepting consequences.

Of course, my name isn't Dick Cheney.

Now I know that, if my name is Dick Cheney, I can actually leave the state without undergoing any questioning or testing of any kind. And, honestly, what prosecutor or judge in his right mind would ever try to bring any kind of charges against someone named Dick Cheney.

Oh, yeah. Right. "A prosecutor or judge who feels that no man is above the law would."

John Adams, the very first Vice-President of the United States, once wrote that America must be a government of laws, not men.

How times change.

February 05, 2006

The Original

In Monroe, North Carolina in the 1930's, many young Black girls worked as domestic servants & whatnot in the white households on the other side of town. These girls were often forced to walk home at night on unlit country roads, where they would routinely be terrorized by white men driving along the same way.

Rob Williams was a teenager at the time. He and a couple of his buddies started camping out in the woods along those same roads at night. And when a truckload of rednecks would ride pass and try to harass a young sista just trying to make it home, Rob & his buddies would stone the rednecks.

The harassment stopped.

I believe he got his first gun from his grandmother.

As you can see, very little had changed about Mr. Williams by the time he'd grown up.

In 1962, he published a manifesto called "Negroes with Guns" which eventually found it's way into the hands of another young man named Huey Newton.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

This month, PBS is airing a documentary on the life and times of Rob Williams, entitled, (surprise-surprise) "Negroes with Guns". I had the great fortune of seeing this film at the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival, and I'm so happy to see that it actually got some sort of wide distribution.

If you want to get a better idea of the origins of the Black Power movement, I highly recommend it. Click the link in the title to find out when and where it's playing in your town. Or just go to PBS.org.

You can also still buy Mr. Williams' book, here from Amazon.com: