Carol Anderson's 2016 book, "White Rage," winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, is one of the best contemporary books I've read that explores the foundation of anti-Black racism in this country. It's a measured look at life immediately following the Civil War — a harrowing read and a sobering example of what you don't learn in school.
Her new book, "The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America," examines how the Second Amendment has historically been used to keep Blacks in America powerless. Guns are fine, but only for white people. She writes about Philando Castile, a Black Twin Cities man who was shot while reaching for his driver's license after letting the police officer know he had a "legally permitted, right-to-carry concealed gun. That was all the cop needed to know: Officer Jeronimo Yanez began shooting."
Castile's death echoed again and again in this country — he died just one day after cops in Louisiana pinned down and shot to death a Black man who was selling DVDs outside a convenience store. Yes, he had a gun. No, he didn't reach for it. Just having the gun was enough.
The message, Anderson writes, is loud and clear: "Even for the NRA, Black people did not have Second Amendment rights."
EVENT: Carol Anderson will present "The Second" in a virtual event at 7 p.m. June 3, in conversation with Lissa Jones. Tickets start at $5. Register here: bit.ly/2SiyrGQ.