Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, are boiling. Mostly black protesters have taken to the streets, demanding justice for the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot six times by police on Aug. 9. Meanwhile, mostly white police have responded aggressively to the protests, shooting tear gas into the crowd and arresting nearly 200 people.
Today one fringe group based in Dallas is taking the protests a step further. The group, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, named after the famed Black Panther leader, is calling for “armed self-defense” for all black citizens.
To promote the initiative, the group is using Twitter and the hashtag #BlackOpenCarry, which began gaining traction today.
“The recent murders of unarmed black, brown, and whites across the United States of America has eradicated trust in the police,” the group writes on its site. “Individuals across this nation have been stripped of due process, subjected to state-sponsored police terrorism, and continue to suffer the fate of being terminated extra-judicially.”
They add: “We assert the right of the people, particularly those of color, to bear arms and protect themselves where local, state, and the federal government have historically failed to do so.”
Obviously, this is not a particularly mainstream initiative. About two dozen members of the group organized a rally yesterday in the streets in Dallas—where they carried assault rifles—but the idea doesn’t yet seem to be gaining ground in Ferguson.
Interestingly, though, the movement appears to be getting a tip of the hat (on Twitter, at least) from both blacks and whites who love guns.
It remains to be seen whether or not the #BlackOpenCarry movement will help unite races in the long run. But right now, it’s interesting to watch who’s coming out to support it.