2:43 min

Brittany Packnett: This is how we talk about the black victims of gun violence in America

Mic invites contributors and staff to offer commentary and context about news and timely issues.

Every time there’s a national conversation about gun violence in America, we hear the same racist dog whistles: What about black-on-black crime? What about what’s happening in Baltimore? What about what’s happening in Chicago?

In an exclusive video op-ed for Mic, activist Brittany Packnett is crying foul on all those disingenuous shows of concern for black lives.

“If you actually cared about Chicago and Baltimore, you would have been there for our communities from day one and not just when it’s politically expedient for you to mention us,” Packnett says. “You would have been at the town halls and the marches we’ve been hosting in our own communities to stop gun violence without you.”

When it comes to the National Rifle Association racial double standards, Packnett is pulling absolutely no punches.

“If the NRA truly cared about black and brown communities, they would have stood up for Philando Castile,” she says. “Philando Castile was a legal gun owner, and when he told a police officer that he had his gun in the vehicle, he was shot and killed in front of his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter.”

When we talk about the black victims of gun violence in America, what are we really talking about? How do we get it wrong — and what can we do better? Brittany Packnett breaks it down for us in her latest opinion video for Mic. Watch it above.

Anthony Smith
Producer, opinion