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Thread: Let's get it out. OC while black.

  1. #1
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    Let's get it out. OC while black.

    Hello everyone, I have been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now and I feel like I know some of you already. So.... I have been CC for over 8 years now and reading these posts lately has me very interested in the OC movement. I am a family man, former military, currently living and working in VA. I CC all day, every day for self defense for my family and while I would like to start OC'ing, I am a bit apprehensive due to the color of my skin. I definitely know how to deescalate a tense situation but my fear is, it doesn't get that far before I'm taken out by some mighty security guard or a rookie cop. I don't like to think like this guys, but I want to see my boys grow into men. So any suggestions, comments, bring it. BTW, my mother is 100% Austrian, but I look like a black guy.

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    It's not the skin...but rather how you carry yourself...

    Quote Originally Posted by Setzero View Post
    Hello everyone, I have been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now and I feel like I know some of you already. So.... I have been CC for over 8 years now and reading these posts lately has me very interested in the OC movement. I am a family man, former military, currently living and working in VA. I CC all day, every day for self defense for my family and while I would like to start OC'ing, I am a bit apprehensive due to the color of my skin. I definitely know how to deescalate a tense situation but my fear is, it doesn't get that far before I'm taken out by some mighty security guard or a rookie cop. I don't like to think like this guys, but I want to see my boys grow into men. So any suggestions, comments, bring it. BTW, my mother is 100% Austrian, but I look like a black guy.
    First allow me to welcome you to the forum.
    Secondly, let me address your question by saying that if I met you on the street my biggest reaction is going to stem from how you are carrying yourself...not your weapon. I have met some folks (of various skin colors) who simply make me nervous and uneasy by the way in which they present themselves. For example, if you come across as cocky and looking to provoke a confrontation...than I am going to have a lot of difficulty with that!

    Perhaps the biggest thing I had to overcome when I started to OC is worrying about what others thought. Now I can say that when I walk into a store or establishment I just go about my business. If someone asks me why I am carrying...fine I talk with them about it (if it is a genuine question). I always try to be polite and courteous with folks...this helps a lot.

    Well, that is my two cents worth...enjoy your freedom!

  3. #3
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    I hope you choose to OC. One of the goals here is to make OC no big deal. If a person feels there is an additional barrier to his OC because he is black, we have more work to do, and you are more qualified than I to do it.

    I understand that some will give you a harder time for OC because of their thought processes. So this makes OC a tougher decision for you, and you're the one who has to make it for yourself.

    Good luck in whatever you choose.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    I understand your apprehention. Once again, the human race's propensity to stereotype rears its ugly head. When someone hears the term "Open Carrier", the image of a slightly overweight, midle aged, white guy pops into almost 100% of folks minds. This is because the sheer majority of OC'ers fit right into that demographic.

    When confronted with things that are outside of the nice little box people have made to put them in, many folks get uncomfortable. ANY OC'er is familiar with this. Folks are accustomed to civilians who are unarmed just like them. When encountering a person who is lawfully armed, it doesn't fit into the category of "normal" that people have constructed, therefore, it often makes them jumpy, nervous, and irritable. It requires the general public to do something it finds distasteful: THINK. People who walk around in condition white hate to be brought out of their self imposed oblivion and troubled with the process of conscious thought.

    It's shameful, but having dark skin only compounds this tendency. The term "guy carrying a gun" brings up visions of cowboy hat wearing John Wayne types. (I don't know an OC'er who hasn't been snidely called a John Wayne wannabe by those uncomfortable with OC.) When you add another variable that doesn't fit into the public's predisposed notion of a "guy carrying a gun", it really throws them for a loop. Now you have a "black man with a gun". Lookout. Now you don't fit into the box labled "normal everyday unarmed person", and you don't fit into "typical white John Wayne wannabe", either. You become "black man with a gun".

    The general public has very little experience with dark skinned people who are responsibly armed. When folks hear "black man with a gun", the box they choose to open contains visions of gold chain wearing, oversized basketball jersey, sagging pants grasping, gang bangers with a glock tucked into their waistband. Stereotypical? You bet. It's what the oblivious public chooses to do instead of think.

    How do we change this misperception? The only way I know to counteract a stereotype is to jump out of the box people place you in. We need ALL kinds of people to represent the ALL kinds of people we truly are. Carrying a firearm for self defense is for EVERYONE. We need more minorities to be SEEN exercising that right. In my local gathering of OC'ers, we have a very diverse crowd. We've got a Native American, an Asian, and a woman in addition to the numerous middle aged white guys. It makes me feel good to be a part of such a diverse group.

    I know that having darker skin will lead to folks being more uncomfortable with you carrying a firearm. I believe it's probably due to lack of positive examples. I see many black people in gun stores I frequent, so I know there is a HUGE population of responsible black gun owners that exist. The problem is with their "visibility". How can they set an example if they are not seen? They aren't seen because of their apprehention about the possible negative reactions by the oblivious general public that refuses to think. If you let yourself be deterred from OC'ing because of the negative consequences, all it will do is leave the negative examples to reinforce these pointless and incorrect stereotypes.

    I have a lot of respect for the very few black OC'ers I have ever encoutered. Their choice to represent their demographic of the wide range of gun owners is commendable. The guy who slung the AR over his shoulder at that rally in Arizona overturned many people's boxes. We're all in the same boat on this one. Black, white, male, or female.....we all face the scrutiny of an uncomfortable public. It's a shame that some of us face deeper scrutiny because of the color of our skin, but I think you'll have no lack of support from fellow gun owners.

    Open Carry is truly for everyone. We need more minorities to help combat the stereotypes dividing open carriers within our own ranks without mentioning the stereotypes dividing open carriers from the general public. I don't think you'll receive as much grief from folks as you might anticipate. I think fellow gun owners and concealed carriers will be much more accepting than you think. Conversely, I think the uninformed general public will be a little more uncomfortable than encountering we "John Wayne wannabe's". I hope the few negatives fail to dissuade you from taking part in an activity that would provide everyone with something rare and underappreciated: A black man being seen responsibly and lawfully carrying a firearm. Will you get harsh looks? Probably. We all do. Will the cops harrass you? Maybe. It happens to many of us. Hopefully, you'll choose to toss your apprehention of these occurrences out the window. It's a personal choice leading to possible consequences. As the general public has learned, making conscious decisions often makes one uncomfortable. I, for one, hope you join us. You're always welcome to come to St. Louis and have a Starbucks coffee with the Open Carry crowd here!

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    I suppose it is hard to understand fully, being a white guy. But personally I would strongly encourage you to OC.

    As mentioned above we need as many people as we can on board to show the rest of the country that we aren't the crazy gun nuts they think we are. That includes as diverse a crowd as possible.

    While the color of your skin should not matter, and to most of us it does not. Sadly the stereotype and stigma remain and likely will cause you a bit more hassle than you deserve.

    Your demeanor and attitude will be the dominating factor, I believe. Regardless of your skin color a calm, friendly and respectful attitude goes a very long way to disarm peoples apprehension.

    And you never know... you just might make some LEO friends along the way.

  6. #6
    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    You Tube

    Go to you tube and search "open carry". You should find a video of the Tea Party where there is an african american ocing not only a pistol, but an AR-15 as well while the president was giving a speech.

  7. #7
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Setzero View Post
    Hello everyone, I have been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now and I feel like I know some of you already. So.... I have been CC for over 8 years now and reading these posts lately has me very interested in the OC movement. I am a family man, former military, currently living and working in VA. I CC all day, every day for self defense for my family and while I would like to start OC'ing, I am a bit apprehensive due to the color of my skin. I definitely know how to deescalate a tense situation but my fear is, it doesn't get that far before I'm taken out by some mighty security guard or a rookie cop. I don't like to think like this guys, but I want to see my boys grow into men. So any suggestions, comments, bring it. BTW, my mother is 100% Austrian, but I look like a black guy.
    Welcome.

    The people that have come before you (and me) have done a lot for the cause of OC in Virginia... especially in Hampton Roads where it sounds like you're probably located. Come on over to the Virginia section, maybe give the name danbus a google or send him a PM if you're interested.
    Last edited by t33j; 08-23-2010 at 03:18 PM.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    It's definetely more about conduct and overall behavior than color. Most of us here would agree that the idea of civil and constitutional rights apply to everyone. I would also add that rights carry with them responsibilities. We who oc are for the most part true citizens. By that I mean we contribute to our society in a positive way, and protect our rights so our children may enjoy them as well.

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    I wish I had some really neat stuff to say about this topic, but I do not, I firmly believe it is a cold hard reality that as a black man, you significantly increase the risk to yourself by openly carrying a firearm.

    I grew up in a community with less than a 4% minority population, we were not taught to hate and frankly persons of color were more of a curiosity than anything else, not meaning that to sound bad at all, but I was in 7th grade before I had a black male classmate and for what it is worth, he and I became friends. Fast forward 20 years and I am with a person of color who was training me for a new job and we stopped for lunch at his favorite diner, I learned what it is to be the only one "different" that day and saw the stares and heard the comments, the subtle ones "you don't belong here" etc.

    Fast forward to today, I work in the hood, 90% of the folks I encounter on a daily basis are black and I see the difference in how I am treated vs how "they" are treated and it is undeniably different. It is not supposed to be, but it is and I will not pretend for a minute it is not. I did not think so as a child because it never mattered to me, I felt it should not be therefore must not be as a young adult, but as a man of over 40 years , I will not pretend it is something it is not, not even for a second.

    Every day I go about my business armed and worry free, I will not get pulled over in my car because of the color of my skin, no ladies will switch sides of the street as I walk along, if I hold the door for someone I will not be viewed as having some odd motive, and I can smile and say hi to every person I greet without suspicion or doubt. If I happened to be a 25 year old man of color with only a different hair style, I would not enjoy these simplicities as they do not exist.

    The only thing that has really changed is it is popular to condemn racism and justify why "you" are not the one involved in it and go on tirades about how terrible it is while denying that it really exist.

    If you are a person of color, I recommend HIGHLY that you do not assert any of your rights in a strong manner without another present to record the responses and you be ready for various forms of disdain. Do not forget the reversal where folks are going to say your only doing it because you are black and you just want your rights violated so you can sue etc.

    I wish we lived in the free country we were designed to be, I wish you and I were judged only on out honesty and merit, but sir we both know that is not true yet and it is still a work in progress. I support your right, but I will not be standing next to you and you already know the odds of you being left alone are not the same, evaluate the risk, take the precautions and then live as a free man, not a free black man, just a free man.

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    Oh, this is going to get good! Where's my lawn chair and popcorn?

    First off, thanks for your service. You'll hear it a lot as do many of us, but no one can ever truly say it like a young man did in Ft. Benning, Ga: Thanks for leaving your family behind to come and protect mine.

    You have every right to be wary of OC in regards to the color of skin; some locales you'll have major issues. Please know that you can dress in an attire that will off-set that completely. Dress in a conservative and professional manner. I'll give you a couple of examples.

    Jeans, nice shoes or tennis shoes, tucked in polo shirt.
    Slacks, nice shoes, button up or polo shirt (tucked in).
    Cargo shorts, tennis shoes or flip flops (FF's are non-combat effective folks), and a polo tucked or untucked. Some t-shirts will suffice, you'll know which ones by simply looking in the mirror.

    No-go attire: street look (not the conservative street look, I mean the walked out of the worst part of STL street look), anything resembling gang-banger attire (do rags), pants around mid-thigh (same with shorts). Dressing in this manner, the color of your skin won't matter at all, it's going to draw attention no matter what.

    Carry yourself with that military bearing and you shouldn't have any issues. If you have an encounter, remain professional and remember your military bearing and courtesies. Just like when you served, these folks will have a job to do, just make sure you know your rights.

    So what are your thoughts given the input you've received from a few folks Setzero?
    Last edited by heresyourdipstickjimmy; 08-24-2010 at 02:58 AM.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I'm Hispanic and I live in a border state. That is not going to stop me from OCing where possible. I'm also not going to go out of my way to dress "nicely." I'm going to continue wearing jeans, boots and an untucked t-shirt. Except when at work. Then it's jeans, boots and an un-tucked polo. Unless I am able to get some of those kickass company t-shirts. Then it's back to un-tucked t-shirts.

    Whereas brown isn't black, nothing would change if I were black or any other ethnicity.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Thanks for your service.

    OC if you want. Be prepared for the looks and the confrontations, most of us get that even though we aren't black. People who are racist hate you whether you carry or not, and no one gives a damn what they think anyway. Antis will hate you for having a gun whether you are black or not, and no one gives a damn what they think either.

    Carry openly for the same reasons you carry concealed, to protect yourself and your family. Just don't be surprised when people who judge you by your skin try to use the fact that you carry to disguise their motives.

    Edited to add: Don't forget that in Alabama, they had to disarm black people before they could subjugate them. The gun is the great equalizer in every sense of the word.
    Last edited by Brimstone Baritone; 08-26-2010 at 01:12 AM.

  13. #13
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    Personally. I judge the person by the person. Not the their race or color. Nuff said.

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    Regular Member quarter horseman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYKevin View Post
    Personally. I judge the person by the person. Not the their race or color. Nuff said.


    + 1 Welcome to OC and good luck.

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    As a veteran myself I want to welcome you and thank you for your sacrifices. I don't think your skin color will matter nearly as much as how you present yourself. No matter how you are dressed. You may want to go to www.blackmanwithagun.com and check out Ken Blanchard. I have never met him in person but he is a true inspiration to everyone who believes in freedom.

  16. #16
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    You don't mention what part of VA you're in, but there are OC dinners around the state. Please consider attending one.

    Talk to the friendly folks and it should help you decide if OC'ing is for you.

  17. #17
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    Dress well.

    Know the law and carry the VCDL gun laws handout.

    Get a good recorder.

    OC with a group like VCDL until you are comfortable.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  18. #18
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Setzero View Post
    I am a bit apprehensive due to the color of my skin. So any suggestions, comments, bring it. BTW, my mother is 100% Austrian, but I look like a black guy.




    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmZic2VFGyI
    Check the VA section and find an OC get together in your area, or post one.



    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoRXUtjlCFs

  19. #19
    Campaign Veteran EXTREMEOPS1's Avatar
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    OC while Black is not an offense

    Lighten up guys

    Watch the video below

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO8EpfyCG2Y

    Now those could be some trumped up charges !!!!!
    "There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."

    - General George S. Patton, Jr.

  20. #20
    Regular Member cdub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quarter horseman View Post
    + 1 Welcome to OC and good luck.
    +2

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Welcome, Setzero, and again, thanks for your service to our country. I certainly can't deny your concern about being a "black man with a gun". T33j suggested you look up danbus and I agree. He is a friend of mine, and started OC'ing in 2006, largely with our support. Sure enough, one afternoon he had Norfolk cops converge on him with drawn pistols, after which he was disarmed, pushed up against the wall and handcuffed. The police tried to come up with something to charge him with and soon found out he couldn't be charged, as he hadn't broken any law. They let him go, but warned him if he did it again he could expect the same response. When he posted all this, about 8 of us, men and women (all white) converged on the same area, had dinner, then walked around the block he had been on. Not a peep from anybody. We urged Dan to sue. He got a $15,000 out of court settlement. His incident, and an equally outrageous one to another of our group (a white man, a neighbor of mine) led us to go en mass to Norfolk City Hall for a meeting with the city councilmen and mayor.
    That certainly made the news, and I think Norfolk has finally gotten the memo and backed off.

    Dan realized the risk, but was passionate enough about his rights to continue OC'ing to this day. He is probably one of the main reasons that the police in the Hampton Roads area now know better than to push people around for OC'ing, white or black.

    Open carrying is a lot easier in a group, so if you live in the Tidewater area, please watch the board for any scheduled dinner coming up. You're certainly very welcome to come meet us!

  22. #22
    Regular Member KRM59's Avatar
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    +100

    Quote Originally Posted by LMTD View Post
    I wish I had some really neat stuff to say about this topic, but I do not, I firmly believe it is a cold hard reality that as a black man, you significantly increase the risk to yourself by openly carrying a firearm.

    I grew up in a community with less than a 4% minority population, we were not taught to hate and frankly persons of color were more of a curiosity than anything else, not meaning that to sound bad at all, but I was in 7th grade before I had a black male classmate and for what it is worth, he and I became friends. Fast forward 20 years and I am with a person of color who was training me for a new job and we stopped for lunch at his favorite diner, I learned what it is to be the only one "different" that day and saw the stares and heard the comments, the subtle ones "you don't belong here" etc.

    Fast forward to today, I work in the hood, 90% of the folks I encounter on a daily basis are black and I see the difference in how I am treated vs how "they" are treated and it is undeniably different. It is not supposed to be, but it is and I will not pretend for a minute it is not. I did not think so as a child because it never mattered to me, I felt it should not be therefore must not be as a young adult, but as a man of over 40 years , I will not pretend it is something it is not, not even for a second.

    Every day I go about my business armed and worry free, I will not get pulled over in my car because of the color of my skin, no ladies will switch sides of the street as I walk along, if I hold the door for someone I will not be viewed as having some odd motive, and I can smile and say hi to every person I greet without suspicion or doubt. If I happened to be a 25 year old man of color with only a different hair style, I would not enjoy these simplicities as they do not exist.

    The only thing that has really changed is it is popular to condemn racism and justify why "you" are not the one involved in it and go on tirades about how terrible it is while denying that it really exist.

    If you are a person of color, I recommend HIGHLY that you do not assert any of your rights in a strong manner without another present to record the responses and you be ready for various forms of disdain. Do not forget the reversal where folks are going to say your only doing it because you are black and you just want your rights violated so you can sue etc.

    I wish we lived in the free country we were designed to be, I wish you and I were judged only on out honesty and merit, but sir we both know that is not true yet and it is still a work in progress. I support your right, but I will not be standing next to you and you already know the odds of you being left alone are not the same, evaluate the risk, take the precautions and then live as a free man, not a free black man, just a free man.


    i would also like to welcome you to OCDC and to the world of OC and for your service.
    all i can say is strap it on and carry on !!!!! the feelings and opinions of others about the color of your skin and OCing be dammed. How many LEO's of color have you seen out of uniform ? did it alarm people ? well at least here they OC out of uniform and not always there badge is in clear sight. i never think nothing of anyone with a gun in a Holster what ever the color of there skin happens to be.
    "To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them."
    - George Mason

  23. #23
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    To be honest. OC AWAY and the hell with what someone else thinks. A few months back there was a OC/CC/No carry BBQ and there were all kinds of people there and this exact subject came up, and it was brought up by a black man who was much the same as you - Ex Military, family man Etc and he CC instead of OC. The answer is simple, carry yourself just as you expect others to carry themselves - Respectfully and Professionally. Granted it might take some people off guard, but oh well. Just DO IT. Also, if I saw you OCing the first thing that would catch my eye is the fact you are OC as its not an everyday thing around my area, then I might like to know what kind of sidearm and holster you are using/wearing.

    Just my .02
    ~Steve

  24. #24
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    Two comments:

    First, Carrying While Brown is more of a risk than if you were white. We're only halfway to the colorblind society, and the racists on the Left are struggling to slow the progress and keep all of us segregated and distrusting each other -- that makes us easier to control.

    Second, if it's risky today, and YOU do it, it will be less risky tomorrow when your kids do it. This is a pay-forward thing. The more people get used to seeing you CWB, the less they will notice it. For an example, most British cops don't carry guns, most American cops do, and most Spanish cops carry machine pistols. Yet Brits vacation in Spain without giving the machineguns a second glance, while Americans wonder if there's an attack or something when they see the Spanish cops for the first time. It's all a matter of what you are used to -- the Brits expect cops everywhere else to carry guns, and don't pay attention to what kind of guns they carry.

    By openly carrying, you are telling the race-baiters (who just happen to be the same people who want ALL of us to be disarmed) that you choose to be responsible for yourself, instead of blindly following their designated "spokesmen," and you are telling your neighbors, the local cops and anyone else that you are a responsible member of the community, and ready to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community, if called upon to do so.

  25. #25
    Regular Member ooghost1oo's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have a problem seeing you OC, or even think twice about it, unless you looked 'gangsta'.

    If you're clean cut and look responsible, you'd be eliminating racism as much as you could.

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