Years ago, I wrote a lengthy essay for the Washington Post in which I explained that I see no value in expending even a drop of energy or emotional/ intellectual labor on arguing with wilfully obtuse white people about systemic racism, Black Lives Matter or literally anything else related to social justice. Nearly every day since that piece was published, I’ve witnessed at least one—but usually several—exchanges between white people and the Blacks they love to pretend they don’t hate that reaffirms every single thought I wrote down. Even an online argument is worth the time of zero Black anti-racism advocates, so I can’t even imagine the frustration of people who take the time out of their day to argue with these idiots in person.
Of course, sometimes you just fall into the argument over something as mundane as a Black Lives Matter face mask.
A white man who the Daily Dot identified as the owner of 76 Arms & Ammunition, a gun store in Harrison, Arkansas, was captured via Instagram video arguing with two people—at least one of whom is Black—about how BLM is comparable to Nazis in World War II Germany. The episode of White Fragility Owns a Gun Store reportedly began because the woman holding the camera was wearing a BLM face mask.
The video opens with the store owner in the midst of a white-splanation on how the swastika was a symbol of peace before it went on to become a symbol of hatred and genocide saying, “the Nazi symbol, in India, is a good luck symbol.” The Daily Dot noted that “Indeed, the swastika was known as a symbol of well-being and good fortune and used for millennia by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains,” but that doesn’t matter because this man’s remedial-ass history lesson is really just part of a reaching-ass display of laughable false equivalency and a picture-perfect example of why arguing with white people is useless.
“You’re telling me that equality is the same as fascism?” the woman filming the interaction asks as the below-mediocre white man is struggling to articulate to the astonishingly patient Black man that BLM is an organization of fascism, Marxism and whatever other isms he learned from his favorite Republican porn sites like Fox News, Newsmax or right-winger YouTube.
“Black Lives Matter, the organization, is a fascist, Marxist organization,” he said before reaching to the peak of Mt. Caucasity for his next bit of unsolicited advice. “You need to change your symbolism and create another group.”
If the store owner cared to know, he’d educate himself on what BLM actually is before speaking on it. If he did that he’d know that the BLM organization—called the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF)—doesn’t even organize protests much anymore and that it exists mostly as an organizer and fundraiser for Black agenda things aimed at serving underserved Black communities. He’d also know that while some protests do turn violent, the vast majority do not.
But none of that matters because the owner of 76 Arms & Ammunition isn’t even educated enough to understand that he is comparing to Nazis an organization that has not, even during the worst moments of civil unrest, murdered more than 6 million people and rounded up millions more to place in concentration camps.
“We need to say something other than Black Lives Matter because that offends you,” the woman can be heard saying just before the store owner ordered her to take her not-so-Nazi mask and leave.
After the video of his snowflakes-with-guns display went viral on social media, 76 A&A released a defensive Facebook post explaining that it isn’t racist, it just hates the negro groups.
“Today we asked a young lady to change her mask because we felt it represented a hate group,” the post reads. “She got offended and started to call us racist. Anyone who knows us, knows that we are not. So when you see that the owners of 76 Arms & Ammunition are racist, please take it with a grain of salt. All are welcome, but we do not want hate in our shop.”
“She got offended” is quite the statement coming from someone who just got his camouflage boxer-briefs in a bunch over a BLM mask, but OK.