By Antonia Okafor – Special to the American-Statesman
In a desperate final bid to halt the implementation of Texas’ new campus carry law, the University of Texas professors behind Gun Free UT are feverishly trying to bury the issue beneath a mountain of racially divisive rhetoric.
On Oct. 29, Gun Free UT released a statement from UT-Austin’s Department of African Diaspora Studies, arguing, “African Americans are disproportionately affected by the saturation of our society by firearms,” and concluding, “[We] demand that firearms be banned in all spaces occupied by Black people on our campus.”
On Nov. 10, Gun Free UT issued a mission statement/legal strategy declaring: “America has all along been about the sheer display of white male power (with guns): over Indians, over slaves, over females, over Mexicans, over Asians, over African Americans, and over Arabs, now [sic] The return of the vigilante movement is a giant, collective white push back against the Civil Rights Movement and against the unintended consequences of globalization, migration, and demography…This is a battle over our individual right to determine the nature of the community of trust within our classroom, well established by constitutional law. This right has now been challenged, assaulted by a toxic ideology of white racism and libertarianism.”
As a black woman and a graduate student at UT-Dallas, I have no interest in displaying white male power to slaves, women, African-Americans, or anyone else, and I’m certainly not interested in pushing back against the Civil Rights Movement or promoting an ideology of white racism. I am, however, interested in being able to defend myself should the need arise.