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Renisha McBride and the American Gun Slinger

Renisha McBride’s murder, in that she was shot down like a dog at the hands of another god’s rights, protect my property, gun and home owner fits perfectly with the frontier mentality of America. A mentality that is rooted in the mythology of the American West and sits at the heart of American racism influencing the decisions of private gun owning citizens to law enforcement.

Despite the distance of history the DNA has not changed- it’s coded. White Americans, like the man who shot and killed Renisha Bride, have been indoctrinated to cast themselves in the role of the early white settlers who set out to conquer the American West or as the mythic gun slinger who can shoot there way out of any form of danger.

As it was in the dark of night out on the wild plains of the homestead or wagon train so it is in the confines of suburbia, white settlements that have been established as enclaves of protection amongst the crumbling decay that is the barren wasteland sucked dry from vampire capitalism.

White America is hyper vigilant, forever under and ready for attack and of course armed in preparation to protect themselves from the approaching savage that is somewhere out there, waiting on the periphery.

Many of us none the wiser, played this “game” as kids. The story of a people’s attempted genocide of another recast as a game for children. We called it “Cowboys and Indians”, unknowingly dressing ourselves in the roles of the oppressed and oppressor yet our childish minds somehow comprehending that there was something “not cool” about playing the part of the Indian. The mythology of their alien savagery already indoctrinated on to our person by our cultural mythology as portrayed in film and history books.

We don’t have to look far, The “Battle” of Little Big Horn, The Alamo, Davey Crockett, Daniel Boone, Wyatt Earp– each narrative reinforcing a recurring image of White Settlers trying to survive in a wild, hostile land against a primitive savage people. At that time the primitive savages were Native Americans defending their land from alien invaders. In more recent history the primitive savage is in the form of Black people named Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Ferrell and more recently, Renisha McBride, a Black woman who was just looking for help after being involved in a car accident.

She was summarily shot down in the back of the head, unbeknownst to her having stepped into the confines of the wagon train called suburbia, a place meant to keep savages out, not let them in. “Justifiably” shot down by yet another in a long line of American gunslingers.


About Joseph

natty dread bastard child of the first world. something like a literary trap beat.


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