Gun Show Vendor Sells ‘Running Nigger’ Targets

Welcome to post-racial America, where the fact that we elected a black president means there’s no more racism in the country anymore. The fact that a gun show vendor in South Dakota was selling shooting targets with a black silhouette that said “running nigger” on them, and sold 500 of them before being kicked out, kinda suggests otherwise.

According to KSFY, one of the vendors at the Collector’s Classic Gun Show in Sioux Falls “snuck in” the offensive targets over the weekend.

The targets, which depicted a black man’s silhouette under the words “Running N*gger,” were being sold for 10 cents each.

The vendor defended the targets on camera when a KSFY photographer confronted him.

“Why are those on there?” the photographer asked.

“Why aren’t they? They’re just targets,” the vendor replied.

“Aren’t they offensive in nature?” the photographer pressed.

“To who?” the vendor remarked. “Are you Negro? You know, there are some black people, and then there are some Negroes.”

The vendor added that he had “sold 500 of them this weekend. So what difference does it make?”

I’m sure it goes without saying that he has lots of black friends. He even lets them use his bathroom. And you’re the racist, not him, because you keep bringing up race.

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  • Pierce R. Butler

    … sold for 10 cents each.

    Those not kept as collectors’ items will no doubt pay off handsomely as investments, perhaps earning as much as $1 apiece (if in “fine” to “mint” condition) on Ebay.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    If guns are for defense, as we are repeatedly told by the NRA (and gun show attendees) why is he practicing shooting a fleeing target?

    Yes, I valiantly defended my home … by shooting the burglars in the back. Like a real hero.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Racism is over. I mean, he eventually got kicked out. Plus, it’s you people who are the real racists. Us Second Amendment loving Conservative Americans look at the picture and don’t see an urban American; you do. Plus, we’re taking back the N word.

     

    theschwa “If guns are for defense, as we are repeatedly told by the NRA (and gun show attendees) why is he practicing shooting a fleeing target?”

    “Fleeing target” still has “target”.

     

    Besides, it could be armed with Skittles.

  • lldayo

    I’m sure it goes without saying that he has lots of black friends. He even lets them use his bathroom.

    I bet he even let them pose for a silhouette for a *ahem* “art” project.

  • eamick

    He even lets them use his bathroom.

    But not too often—ripping out and replacing the plumbing and walls is awfully expensive, after all.

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    It’s all the fault of that horrible hip hop music the kids insist on listening to. And Dan Savage.

  • lorn

    I don’t know, this would seem to come under the ‘let your freak-flag fly’ aspect of free speech. The one sure thing is that the government shouldn’t get involved. If the gun show organizers want to kick the guy, or just his offensive targets, out they are within their rights to do so.

    If I were running the show I would seriously consider letting it ride. I would be tempted to drop by the local print shop and have some targets printed up with white hooded people on it and sell them. We could have a competition to see who can come up with the targets the get-the-goat of the other side. Sort of make it a thing. Bring in traffic.

    Running nigger –> Clansman –> Picture of Obama –> picture of Ronald Reagan –> Rainbow flag –> Confederate flag …

    If everyone gets their ox gored, but nobody gets hurt it’s okay.

    Please remember that these are images on pieces of paper. While notionally indicated as targets there is no imperative to shoot them. You could hang them on the wall, framed, light a candle under them, bow down to it. Or crumple it up and use it to start the charcoal for a BBQ. Once you buy it you an do as you will.

    We need to stop having deeply emotional reactions to symbols and to develop a sense of humor about our revulsion and attachment to those symbols. Failing that we are just weaker versions of Muslim extremist killing people for desecrating a Koran or drawing Mohammed. We are talking about pieces of paper with marks on them.

  • Broken Things

    We are talking about pieces of paper with marks on them.

    In Daniel Dennet’s “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking”, he asks the reader to consider the following sentence: “Love is just a word.”( Compare this with those atheists that insist that atheism is defined by its dictionary definition and nothing else.) Dennet’s point was that love, while certainly a word, cannot be thought about in any meaningful way apart from the all of the cultural. emotional and experiential meaning entrained with the definition. Comparing it to Islamists waxing violent over pictures of Mohammed conflates their religiously motivated and, to my mind, manufactured revulsion with the very real history and experience of black people vis-a-vis white people and guns. I agree that the creator of the image is within his first amendment rights, but let’s be clear that he is actively promoting violence originating in one subset of the population against people in another subset. Drawing a picture of Mohammed advocates violence against no one.

  • lofgren

    Are you Negro? You know, there are some black people, and then there are some Negroes.

    This bit was funny when Chris Rock did it. It’s a shame that he had to stop (and now says he wish he had never done it in the first place) precisely because people like this asshole completely missed the point and thought it was license to say the same thing.

  • kellyw.

    lorn, no. Those aren’t just marks on paper and those weren’t just words that SAE members spoke. That shit has real world consequences for actual human beings. In what universe is it ok to advocate killing other human beings for the color of their skin? Instead of being appalled or outraged at the complete lack of empathy and compassion displayed by those bigots, you go off on a tangent about free speech. That’s telling.

  • lorn

    Broken Things @ 8:

    Daniel Dennet is wrong. He abstracts the idea far too much. Asserting the word love incorporates all, or even a majority of existing cultural contexts is silly. Getting meta about words proves you like to think abstractly. It does not mean your ideas have any traction in real life. It is an exercise in sophistry. It is also meaningless in this context.

    Atheism has a denotative definition, and an array of connotative definitions and associated implications. When one uses the word it is a good bet the denotative context is mostly true. Which portion of the connotative definition, if any, apply is anyone’s guess. Despite the bloviations of a few loud voices insisting otherwise the word still has a rather narrow meaning: a lack of belief in gods.

    kellyw @ 10:

    “That shit has real world consequences for actual human beings. ”

    No it doesn’t. To say that you really have to see people as being empty-headed pushovers.

    Trivial interactions are not going to have strong effects. No doubt some racist might buy such targets but that is an existing condition. I have a hard to imagining that racist will become stronger racist if the shoot such targets. I find it even more unlikely that racist forced to use anti-racist target sheets, whatever they might look like, would become less racist.

    Non-racist told to use them are not going to suddenly become racists. Those insulted by such things are likely refuse and double-down on what they feel are anti-racist attitudes. Two groups showing opposite effects. Humans are not so easily programmed, or deprogrammed. People don’t change. Generally racist are going to stay racists. Non-racists will stay non-racists. The change in numbers is largely a matter of racist generations dying out.

    Studies with video games and pornography, with exposures much longer and more profound, do not show any strong correlation between exposure, attitudes, and behavior. People with issues on those fronts still have issues after exposure but people lacking issues don’t develop problems.

  • lofgren

    lorn, I think I see what you are trying to say, and like you I might consider letting it ride only because I’m not sure if the headache and bad press would actually be worth whatever good might be accomplished by kicking the guy out.

    But we’re talking about incredibly racist marks on paper, and they are clearly being sold with the intent to goad racists to harbor violent attitudes. Part of raising these younger generations to be less racist is sending the strong message, over and over again, from now until forever, that shit like this is sick, revolting, and socially unacceptable. The ever increasing pervasiveness of this message is why we have made as much headway in combating racism as we have so far. We cannot ever stop sending this message. We will have to teach each new generation that this kind of attitude is unacceptable from now until the end of the humanity.

    I don’t think anybody suggested that the government should step in and take action. Maybe I missed it. But this vendor and anybody who purchased the target unironically should be shamed repeatedly and often.

  • Nick Gotts

    I have a hard to imagining that racist will become stronger racist if the shoot such targets. I find it even more unlikely that racist forced to use anti-racist target sheets, whatever they might look like, would become less racist. – lorn@11

    Stone me, but you’re stupid. It’s not just, or even mainly, about the hardline racists who would buy this stuff. It’s about the message selling such items sends – and is almost certainly intended to send – that racism and its public expression are acceptable, that the feelings of black people don’t count or should deliberately be hurt.

  • Anri

    lorn @ 11:

    Trivial interactions are not going to have strong effects

    lorn makes a good point here.

    If he were wrong, then raindrops could produce flooding, and snowflakes could produce avalanches (or Antarctica).

  • http://www.decrepitoldfool.com georgewiman

    After the Trayvon Martin shooting, a black friend of mine began to gravitate toward more violent thoughts and shares, including a series of posts about shooting cops that got him kicked off Facebook for a while. Now he’s back, always packing, with a hashtag of I Shoot First (which I am deliberately not hashtagging here). Recent events, including this one, have not exactly pulled him in a more moderate direction. He’s not exactly wrong, and as a white guy I’m in no position to be giving him advice that he didn’t ask for. I don’t face the hazards he does, for instance, from a traffic stop. I’m really worried but I don’t know what to say.

    I’m pretty sure he is not unusual.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    lorn says: Asserting the word love incorporates all, or even a majority of existing cultural contexts is silly. Getting meta about words proves you like to think abstractly. It does not mean your ideas have any traction in real life. It is an exercise in sophistry. It is also meaningless in this context.

    .

    Yes, how silly to think that one should think abstractly when discussing the word or concept of “love”. Or “Atheism” for that matter. Fortunately, abstract words never have traction in real life.

    .

    Regarding a lesser quibble, there is a difference between advocating government intervention and advocating behavior in an individual (such as the organizer, the vendor, or the customers).

  • samgardner

    Failing that we are just weaker versions of Muslim extremist killing people for desecrating a Koran or drawing Mohammed. We are talking about pieces of paper with marks on them.

    So, expressing disapproval of certain speech = killing people for certain speech?

    lorn, if we were legally prohibiting the sale, I would agree that’s wrong because of the first amendment. This is about the provision of a specific venue for the sale, though. I don’t think complaints make us somehow “weaker versions” of terrorists.

    As mentioned earlier, these sorts of trivial interactions send a message of acceptability to racist views, and we do need to counter that.