Forget Paula Deeen, Let’s Look at the NRA’s Racism

The revelation that Paula Deen used the N word has cooked the celebrity chef. She has been dropped more times than an ATT&T phone call, as the joke goes. Target, the Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, JC Penney, Walgreens, Caesars Palace, Smithfield Foods, the Food Network, the shopping outlet QVC and her publisher Random House have all dropped her like a just-out-of-the-oven sweet potato. “Justice” was swiftly meted out by the corporate America that had empowered Deen and 99 percent of the nation rejoiced.

Yet corporate America ignores much more extreme racism from the NRA whose board member Ted Nugent is a wellspring of the N word and whose 2007 Freedom in Peril brochure spewed out shocking, Birth of a Nation style racist images that went unchallenged.

Many are aware of the NRA enemies list that surfaced in January and included such dark and dangerous forces as doctor, teacher and parent groups, religious organizations, companies like Ben & Jerry’s Homemade and Hallmark cards and media outlets. But few remember the NRA’s fundraising brochure, Freedom In Peril; Guarding the 2nd Amendment in the 21st Century, which is so bellicose, paranoid, racist, and xenophobic it seems right out of the satirical newspaper the Onion.

untitledThe 27-page, high budget brochure, leaked to the press in 2007, shows an Aryan nation under siege by African-Americans and “illegal alien gangs” of darker peoples and homeowners defending themselves from a Helter Skelter-like apocalypse by shooting from rooftops. Derisive and inflammatory cartoons depict Hillary Clinton, Senators Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer and the late Ted Kennedy, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Secretary of State John Kerry, summarizing their alleged attacks on gun rights. Also depicted are Katie Couric, Michael Moore, George Soros, Rosie O’Donnell, former New Orleans Police Department Chief Eddie Compass and former UN Director of the International Action Network on Small Arms Rebecca Peters. (“The U.N. represents the world’s wealthiest and most organized enemy of the very freedoms our nation offers to all. They’ve already been successful in orchestrating gun bans in once-free countries like England, Australia, Canada and South Africa,” says the brochure, Onion-style.)

Special venom is devoted to the largely African-American New Orleans government officials who “ordered law enforcement officers to go door to door to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens at gun point,” during Hurricane Katrina. “When there were no police or 9-1-1 or lights or phones, when armed gangs roamed the streets and gunshots rang out in the moonless sky, when thousands of lawful Americans were reduced to the final and purest form of self-reliance in the face of terrifying anarchy, their very means of self-reliance was taken away,” whines the brochure. But of course there were police officers present, they were just the wrong race. Or, as one poster put it, “It wasn’t the cops, it was their n**** leaders. How ironic, them taking guns from us.”

It is hard to believe corporations will circle the wagons over a chef but give a pass to an organization that is steeped in racism and using its racist agenda to transform their own corporate offices, warehouses and stores into armed zones. While some corporations like Disney, Ikea, California Pizza Kitchen, Peet’s and Groupon have stood up to the NRA’s expansionist agenda, most, including those on its enemies list, are mute. Why don’t Target, the Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, JC Penney, Walgreens, Caesars Palace and other corporations censure NRA’s racist brochures and board members the way they did Paula Deen? Why don’t NRA members who reject racism resign over the incendiary images? The NRA’s racism is hidden in plain sight in official communications like this. And unlike Paula Deen, the NRA has neither acknowledged or apologized for it.

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Martha Rosenberg is a columnist/cartoonist who writes about public health. Her latest book is Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Lies (2023). Her first book was Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health. She can be reached at: Read other articles by Martha.