U.S. Constitutional Authorization of Militias / Vigilantes

The Second, Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, Carol Anderson, 2021

“A well regulated Miltiia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (unless you are black).

The second Amendment was, thus, not some hallowed ground but rather a bribe paid again with Black bodies. It was the result of Madison’s determination to salve Patrick Henry’s obsession about Virginia’s vulnerability to slave revolts, seduce enough anti-Federalists to get the Constitution ratified, and stifle the demonstrated willingness of the South to scuttle the United States if slavery were not protected.

The role of the “well regulated militias” of interest to the South was “quelling domestic insurrections”.

It was obvious, whether North or South, that no militia was going to stop a foreign invasion. the (Revolutionary) war proved that beyond a reasonable doubt. What the militia could do rather well, however, as George Mason noted, was keep slave owners safe.

Throughout American history few have ever tried to differentiate between “a well regulated militia” and a mob of white vigilantes.

On Citizenship

As historian Martha S. Jones noted, “No single piece of congressional legislation was felt more…than the Naturalization Act of 1790.” That “whites only” barricade created a rightless, race contingent nether world for everyone else, including free Blacks.

The Haitian Revolution of 1791 which struck terror into the hearts of American slaveholders is covered in some detail. After the British and Spanish proved unable to put down the rebellion, Napoleon sent 20,000 of his best troops to restore order. The rebels carried out a scorched earth guerilla defense that left 80% of French troops dead on the island. The rebellion succeeded.

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