A Shocker From NPR: ‘Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible’

The liberals at National Public Radio can’t really imagine guns being necessary for anything...unless perhaps it’s to keep Southern segregationists at bay.

On Thursday afternoon’s Tell Me More talk show, host Michel Martin brought on Charles Cobb, who wrote the book This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible. She called it a “hiding in plain sight story” and asked why he wrote the book:

COBB: I'm very conscious of the gaps in the history, and one important gap in the history and the portrayal of the movement is the role of guns in the movement. I worked in the South. I lived with families in the South. There was never a family I stayed with that didn't have a gun. I know from personal experience and the experiences of others that guns kept people alive, kept communities safe. And all you have to do to understand this is simply think of black people as human beings, and they're going to respond to terrorism the way anybody else would....

MARTIN: Why do you think we don't know more stories like this?

COBB: Well, I think because the story of black people in general and the civil rights movement in the United States is incompletely told. So there's a lot we don't know, and the movement, meaning the southern freedom movement, has become so defined. The narrative of the movement has become so defined by nonviolence that anything presented outside of that narrative framework really isn't paid much attention to. I like the quip that Julian Bond made when I was talking to him about this book. He told me that really, the way the public understands the civil rights movement can be boiled down to one sentence. Rosa sat down, Martin stood up, then the white folks saw the light and saved the day.

Tell Me More has been canceled, since NPR can't get enough stations to pick up its show devoted to minorities, so maybe that would explain the usual liberal caution being thrown to the wind here.

In this 12-and-a-half-minute segment, Martin called Cobb an "author, professor, and activist," but didn't explain more about his biography, that he worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or that in 1976, he joined NPR as a reporter, focusing on coverage of Africa.

[HT: Dan Gainor]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis