When people say they are opposed to Negroes "resorting to violence" what they really mean is that they are opposed to Negroes defending themselves and challenging the exclusive monopoly of violence practiced by white racists." How more honestly can you speak truth to power than by speaking that truth with the force to back it up. are immediately heard and often greeted with violence (see Civil Rights South, WTO, etc.) Then you must switch from passive non-violent protest" to assertive "non-violence" with the understood power to defend yourselves, and the inplied understanding that force will be used if necessary.
What makes this book interesting is that it is not a handbook for action but rather a chronicle of some of the horrific violence and abuse the Black community of Monroe suffered at the hands of Whites. Its a chronicle of a town where Williams asks for the assistance of the Governors office to protect his community from an imminent attack only to hear this: " When I called back the Governor's office he replied, 'You mean to tell me that you're not dead yet?' And I told him, 'No, I'm not dead, not yet, but when I die a lot of people may die with me.' So he said, 'Well, you may not be dead, but you're going to get killed.' I kept telling him that we wanted protection, trying to avoid bloodshed. He said, 'If you're trying to avoid bloodshed you shouldn't be agitating.' " Events such as these that Williams relates throughout the book are shocking, and when he makes his argument that violence in the name of self defense is justified, it becomes difficult to argue with him. " He goes on to write: Why do the white liberals ask us to be non-violent? Its this flexibility that Williams writes about when he says: " The tactics of non-violence will continue and should continue.
It is also the quote used by Rob Williams for the title of his book, Negroes with Guns (1962). Second, he believes that there are circumstances that a person must defend themselves against injustice and mob rule (which happens to include the police and government officials at the national, state, and local level). Negroes with Guns is an important text for any student of American Civil Rights.
When people say that they are opposed to Negroes 'resorting to violence', what they really mean is that they are opposed to Negroes defending themselves and challenging the exclusive monopoly of violence practised by white racists".
When the law repeatedly failed to do either, Williams reveals how self-defense thwarted many situations that could have resulted in the deaths of innocent black citizens of Monroe.
Well-written, frequent breaks in the writing (which is kind of my thing), blunt, straightforward, and a very quick read.
If interested in tracing the genealogy of the Black Radical Tradition, one cannot overlook this book.
thinking about how to make youth know their humanity, instead of knowing their oppression.
Robert Franklin Williams was a civil rights leader, author, and key figure in promoting both integration and armed Black self-defense in the United States.