Rev. Samuel Mosteller, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) leader who, in response to recent police shootings of African-Americans, said “I am going to have to advocate, at this point, that all African-Americans advocate their 2nd Amendment rights,” has been suspended from his position, reports 11 Alive . . .
Within 24 hours, he was relieved of his leadership position. In a letter, National SCLC president Dr. Charles Steele, Jr. explained his decision.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded and maintains it’s position against violence of ANY type. We are founded on the bedrock of non-violence and we encourage those principles as we seek social justice and social change in American society and around the world.
Although our organization does concur that the justice system in America has too often failed communities of color, particularly Black youth, in reviewing the comments made by the Rev. Mosteller on Wednesday, March 31, we have found that his comments do not represent, nor reflect the principles and position of this organization.
Rev. Mosteller agreed to three repercussions: 1) indefinite suspension as State President, effective immediately, 2) participation in an internal investigation, and 3) undergo internal training program.
AWR Hawkins at Breitbart News sums it up:
In other words, Mosteller has to be re-educated.
The SCLC, founded by Martin Luther King in 1957, was often criticized in the 1960s by younger activists who criticized its lack of militancy at a time when African Americans were literally being kidnapped and murdered for daring to exercise their basic civil rights. Now some civil rights advocacy seems to make the SCLC a little, well, gun-shy. The organization would do well to remember its own history. As Nicholas Johnson wrote in his 2014 book, Negroes and the Gun,
[The] black tradition of arms takes root early and ranges fully into the modern era. It is demonstrated in Frederick Douglass’s advice of a good revolver as the best response to slave catchers. It is evident in mature form in “1963, when Hartman Turnbow of Mississippi fought off a Klan attack with rifle fire. Turnbow considered this fully consistent with the principles of the freedom movement, explaining, “I wasn’t being non-nonviolent, I was just protectin’ my family.”
The black tradition of arms has been submerged because it seems hard to reconcile with the dominant narrative of nonviolence in the modern civil-rights movement. But that superficial tension is resolved by the long-standing distinction that was vividly evoked by movement stalwart Fannie Lou Hamer. Hamer’s approach to segregationists who dominated Mississippi politics was, “Baby you just got to love ’em. Hating just makes you sick and weak.” But, asked how she survived the threats from midnight terrorists, Hamer responded, “I’ll tell you why. I keep a shotgun in every corner of my bedroom and the first cracker even look like he wants to throw some dynamite on my porch won’t write his mama again.”