By Jeff Thomas
Ever heard of ALEC? You are a regular reader of this column, and independent studies show that you are smarter and more informed than the average person. But you don’t know the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is influencing legislators in Louisiana and from New Orleans, including Jeff Arnold, Walt Legier, Cameron Henry and John Alario. Let me hip you to the hip stuff. ‘Cause you are very familiar with the work of ALEC.
“The American Legislative Exchange Council works to advance limited government, free markets, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public.”
Funded solely by the biggest companies in America, like Walmart, Koch Companies, AT&T, State Farm and UPS, ALEC has produced meaningful and impactful legislation like the Stand Your Ground Laws that are trending across the country now. And one of the newest and most popular laws is the open carry law that is becoming law across America. Walmart, the largest gun seller in America, is paying to create legislation that will spur gun sales by allowing anybody to carry a gun almost anywhere.
Concurrently in America, African American men are viewed as violent lawbreakers who must be controlled by our nation’s cops. President Obama spoke this weekend about the distrust that exists between many in the African American community and the local departments. And as long as the general perception of African American men is that they are a danger and menace to be harshly and immediately removed, then police shootings of unarmed black men will continue.
While ALEC continues to influence legislation, the proliferation of stand your ground laws and open carry laws grow and that will endanger the safety of African American men across this country. The shooting of John Crawford III in Ohio is strong evidence of the phenomenon surrounding race and guns in America today. Crawford is the man that was talking on his phone while carrying a BB gun in Walmart. He picked up the gun off the store’s shelf and continued to shop.
Another shopper in the store called 911 and colored his call with his own racial bias. The caller lied to the 911 operator and claimed Crawford was pointing the gun at children in the store. The police rushed in and immediately killed Mr. Crawford as he spoke on the phone completely unaware of his being perceived as a threat. In the future, the 911 callers will simply call for the coroner to pick up the body of the dead African American man. Simply needing to feel threatened and legally carrying their own gun, George Zimmerman clones will be able to just shoot the “threatening black man”.
Ironically this killing in Walmart was in Ohio which is currently an open carry state. So even if Mr. Crawford had been carrying a gun, he was not breaking the law doing so. But ALEC continues to push this dangerous new legislation. Instead of protesting another senseless killing of an unarmed African American man, be proactive today.
Contact your local legislator and insist that they protect the rights of all Americans and enact laws that protect not threaten the lives of our communities. Find Your Legislator Here