Threats, Targets, and Phantom Negro Weapons

So a short while back I did an opinion post discussing how young black men are viewed more as targets than threats. Before I continue, read the following post from Abagond, entitled "Phantom Negro Weapons":
Phantom Negro Weapons are those weapons which White Americans report black people having but which are never found for some strange reason. Even trained police officers report them. They are greatly feared by the white community, probably due to their magical properties:

  • Cloaking – they disappear just before a police search but magically reappear afterwards. This makes blacks particularly dangerous.
  • Shapeshifting – these weapons can change form into something else, like a mobile phone or a wallet (pictured).
  • Non-photographic – they do not appear on film or video when they assume a deadly form. Black people cannot see them in that form either – just white people.
  • Lethal only to blacks – who possess them or stand near them (see below for examples). They are incapable of wounding white flesh.
  • Related phenomena: phantom black assailants.

  • 1999: Amadou Diallo - shot 41 times, hit 19 times, died. His gun shapeshifted into a wallet.
  • 2006: Sean Bell - killed when police shot 51 times after one of his friends reached for his gun. The gun cloaked itself and was never found.
  • 2009: Oscar Grant - shot dead when he reached for his gun. Since it was a Phantom Negro Weapon, police failed to find it when they searched him before putting him face down on the ground.
  • 2011: Kenneth Chamberlain - shot dead when he threatened armed policemen with a butcher’s knife. The knife, of course, being a Phantom Negro Weapon, did not appear on the video recording.
  • 2012: Ramarley Graham - the gun in his waistband cloaked itself after police shot him dead in front of his grandmother.
  • 2012: Trayvon Martin – no weapon was reported, but the way his killer acted you would think his Arizona iced tea and bag of Skittles had shapeshifted from something far more deadly.
  • 2012: Rekia Boyd - was killed when police shot at Antonio Cross, whose gun shapeshifted into a mobile phone.
  • 2012: Jordan Davis - killed after threatening Michael Dunn with a shotgun rather than turning down his music. The police were unable to find the shotgun. Maybe it will still turn up, but more likely it was Phantom Negro Weapon which has cloaked itself.

Analysis: Whites might be truly imagining these weapons, maybe out of racist fear, but far more likely they are just lying through their teeth to stay out of prison. Most Phantom Negro Weapon stories that depend on racist stereotypes to be believable would have to be lies.
I firmly believe that the conversation on white men, guns, and the black body count needs to go in this direction. I think white men and their "racist fear" is just drone-speak, new drone-speak that sneaks up on us and has us reciting it for years before we catch on. There's no real "fear". The apocalyptic economic collapse/zombie invasion isn't going to happen. The "holy race war" in which the myriad races engage in a carefully choreographed, CGIed battle against a fiery landscape and a Hans Zimmer score isn't going to happen.

Now...while discussing Adam Lanza and the Sandy Hook massacre, I embedded a link to an article entitled "James Holmes, Adam Lanza Prove Americans Do Not Use Guns For Self Defense", in which the author writes:
The question that we should have asked ourselves long ago: How long are we going to allow self-defense to be ignorantly proactive when it comes to owning automatic/high-powered firearms? The type of firearm used to indiscriminately and violently take the lives of the 27 people, mainly children, in Newtown was never designed for protection. It was designed to end as many lives as quickly as possible, not defend against anything but a wave of zombies (which don’t exist). We keep hearing that people need guns “for protection” but protection seems awfully inclined to become aggression these days.
That last line really resonates because it reminds me of one of the most disturbing experiences I ever had as a social worker.

I was sent to investigate a woman accused of kidnapping her own newborn child.  I know.  Right away I smelled bull, but I had to investigate.  Turned out, the woman had simply packed up her daughter and left her husband to stay with her mother, and her husband called CPS in retaliation.

Now, before a CPS worker can go out on a case, they're supposed to do an in-depth search to make sure they haven't dealt with a family before.  As turned out, we had dealt with this family before, many times.  Multiple reports revealed the father had molested all of his daughters from his second and third marriages, and he was legally barred from ever seeing those kids again, even decades later, when they became women.  The most recent report documented his relationship with a 16-year-old girl (less than a third of his age, mind you).  I realized that child became his wife a couple of years later, and I was being sent to investigate her now.

So I interviewed the wife; she was well aware of her husband's past, had dated him out of boredom, and had basically married him to avoid school and work.  But she'd made a commitment not to have any children with him, knowing his past.  She got pregnant anyhow, it changed her mind, but when her daughter was born, the reality of the situation caused her to panic and flee with her child.

Naturally, hubby didn't like that.  When I went to speak with him he was furious.  When I brought up his wife's concerns about his past, he was dismissive, stating he hadn't seen his daughters after what he'd done,* and he didn't see why what he'd done had anything to do with the current situation.  As I was heading for my car, he called out to me, saying, "She's trying to make it sound like this is all my fault.  I've got a 9 mm in my drawer by my bed.  I could've gone down there and acted the fool, but I didn't."

Translation: "I keep a loaded weapon in my house an unlocked drawer.  If anyone upsets me - even my own wife - I can take that gun out of the house, drive across state lines to go find her (when she's running from me), and risk firing off a stray bullet just because I need to assert myself.  But because I haven't done what I feel entitled to do, I should get a gold star."

The protection-turned-aggression discussion is thus definitely crucial.  When I was high school, my health teacher was explaining to us bored teenagers that the root of the gun problem is simply people's desire to use them.  People aren't buying guns and ammo in record sales these days so that stuff can just sit somewhere and gather dust.  They want to use their guns.  They want to shoot something or someone, and any excuse will do - "fear", alleged theft, loud music, a hoodie, or marriage - pick one.

See Also

Garbage collector killed after police mistake his Bible for a gun (would that have happened if he was white?)
Larry Ward, Gun Appreciation Day Founder, Says Armed African Americans Could've Prevented Slavery  (there's no end to fail on this one)

*Yes, he admitted this without hesitation.


  1. Leo Princess1/11/13, 7:54 PM

    Yea, that child-raping bastard shouldn't have a gun. Personally, he shouldn't have his life but there's nothing I can do about that. Is he at least registered as a Sex Offender? If he is, is that gun legally registered to him (because the last thing I think a sexual predator should have is a registered gun and/or rifle)? I;m not familiar with the laws of the area; I'm just going off of what makes sense to me.

    And even as a dumb teenager, I could have come up with better ways to kill boredom than take up with a known child molester. Just glad the birth of her own daughter woke her the hell up, and may she and that baby stay gone

    1. I can't recall his registration status at the time, but I wouldn't be surprised if he'd gotten the gun legally. This being America and all.

    2. Leo Princess1/11/13, 9:16 PM

      Hmmm, you're probably right. As sad as it is to think about, you're probably right.

      As for that Larry Ward numb-nut....someone should tell him that effing with a people's painful past to support your stance is NOT going to win friends and influence people. Not outside of his niche anyway.

  2. It's sort of like the discussion we had in school about the A-Bomb in '45. There were several "reasons" for using it, but the main one was that they had spent a lot of money and broken the laws of physics to build it, and now that they finally had it, they wanted to use it . I think it works the same with guns.

    I could see someone having a handgun or a hunting rifle for protection/sport, but the only reason you have guns like the ones these shooters have is becuase you want to kill people. The end.

    1. Leo Princess1/11/13, 10:13 PM

      "There were several "reasons" for using it, but the main one was that they had spent a lot of money and broken the laws of physics to build it, and now that they finally had it, they wanted to use it"

      Plus, there's the reason no one ever speaks of - getting even with those confounded 'Japs' who humiliated the US right in its own yard. Hell nah, that wasn't going down with a simple surrender.

      Oh, and the idiots are having a conspiracy field day with the Newton shootings, how it was staged and what-not. Those idiots also include a tenured Professor. Yea, I know. I guess the Holmies can have them over for Thanksgiving this year.

    2. After those poor kids got killed in Newtown,one would that the NRA and their supporters would be sympathetic to the victims and their parents.Oh how we can be so wrong.

      I was looking at my local news about gun control. Instead of scaring people straight, it just made people go out and by more guns. was very crazy to see a two mile long of people waiting to buy guns.They said that they were doing it because of that incident. OK,let's get real about this... the world has been getting violent for years. Sporatic killings gave been taking place for ten or more years.There are contradictions to their reasoning. Why didn't those same people buy guns when Columbine, the Aurora, Colorado killings ,and just others before the one in Newtown took place. In general, we live in one of the most dangerously hostile times of our lives.Things like staying out at midnight are joys that people can no longer do without fearing that they will get killed when they step out their doors.Shouldn't that be enough for them to want to buy guns?

      I bet that some same folks already have more than one gun. Another thing I've noticed about the lines we're that the majority of the folks in that line were White.Not saying that no minorities were in that line but most of them we're White. Those customers say that the incident in Newtown made feel compelled to buy guns. I don't buy it.I see it as three hings 1)defiance against Obama 2) As one guy told me,their rush to buy guns is really about something sinister on their part and 3)They are trying to" prepare" for their wishful race war .I can't put it past them.


    3. "...their wishful race war..."

      This is definitely the undertone that a lot of the arguments have. And I think it only makes things worse that Blacks have not done what they (white people) keep saying they're going to do. It's like, all the lies that have been told about Black people, savages, killers, rapists, ad nauseum, aren't true, but they can't accept it.

      During the Revolution, blacks fought alongside whites despite being their slaves. During the Civil War, blacks fought for both the Union and the Confederacy, despite their ill treatment. During both world wars, Vietnam, through the depression, the Industrial Revolution, the cold war (during which blacks could easily have turned on them), blacks have been there for them. They've had their backs like nobody else. Even when we shouldn't have.Even when nobody else would have dreamed of it. And that's the thing that bites them.

      That despite their horrible treatment, black people have not, as a group, turned their backs on them, and many of the people they currently recognize as "allies" were shooting at them at one point or another. That everything they believe about race and the world is lies.

    4. What whites don't realize is that black people don't want revenge, we want to be left alone. Just because they are psychopaths they assume the rest of us are when we are not. It is nothing but self project. Just like they accused black men of wanting to rape white women while white men were raping every POC they could get their hands on.

  3. Now it makes a lot a sense. Excellent post.

    Having a gun is like having the Grim Reaper's scythe of death. Knowing that you can "teach someone a lesson" by possessing it can go to one's head. Those who want to assert themselves will use it because they can.

    We live in a culture where violence is celebrated and has been WAY BEFORE the advent of action movies, contemporary gangster and heavy metal and any other media treat that makes us cheer (or laugh) whenever we see someone's head blown off.

    I also think that those at the bottom of the economic ladder, urban gangs, who possess guns don't have the societal, political or economic power as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company has. They hardly have any kind of power at all. The only kind they have is in their weapon. Their weapons tell the people that although they are powerless, they still have enough power to fuck you up forever.

    So, it's not so much as protection as it is scaring the hell out of rival gangs and the people who see them as a threat.

    1. Exactly. The one difference is that if we get rid of the guns, urban youth will go back to using what they were using in the 70s & 80s: knives.

  4. ***Recommended***

    "I like to share pithy bits of writing when I come upon them. I was reading Lost Battalions by Richard Slotkin (whose great interview with me about American identity and gun culture will be featured on WARN's podcast series this upcoming week) when I came up the following letter from Private Sidney Wilson, a black soldier serving in the United States Army during World War One, to the draft board in Jim and Jane Crow era Tennessee:

    "If afoads to the soldier boys wich you have sint so far away from home a great deal of pledger to write you a few line to let you know that you low-down Mother Fuckers can put a gun in our hands but who is able to take it out? We may go to France but I want to let you know that it will not be over with untill we straiten up this state. We feel like we have nothing to do with this war, so if you are thinks it, just wait till Uncle Sam puts a gun in the niggers hands and you will be sorry of it, because we have coloured luetinan up here, and thay is planning against this country everday. So all we wants now is the ammunition, then you can all look out, for we is coming."

    ~ We Are Respectable Negroes, "Watch Out! Of Guns, Citizenship, and Freedom: A Letter from a Black World War One Soldier to the Jim Crow Draft Board That Sent Him to Europe"

    1. Leo Princess1/12/13, 1:19 PM

      Bet you some iron-clad, zero tolerance gun laws would be passed the minute that soldier's threat/promise manifests.


This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.