Hurray For the NRA?
After the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre, the debate about guns/gun control/firearm reduction began and well it should have. Tomorrow, January 10, Vice President Joe Biden will meet with “stakeholders,” according to President Obama’s announcement on December 19 to convene such a meeting. It was reported by Reuters on December 28 that the NRA had not been invited to the meeting, according to NRA President David Keene.
Law enforcement, cabinet members, mayors of various cities, gun safety groups, and a host of other stakeholders were invited. Then the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre said that armed guards are needed in every school. That doesn’t even deserve a comment. But suddenly, the NRA got invited to the meeting—also called “invited to the table”—and yes, they are going to be there.
I never thought I would be on the same side of anything concerning the NRA, but I’m with them on this one. I am with them because I know what it’s like to be left out of important talks in Washington—Project RACE has been left out for the past 12 years of our 23 year existence. We were the favorite advocates for the multiracial community throughout the 1990s, not because we were the only ones talking, but we had friends in high places listening and we insisted that our allies and some of those naysayers were included. We were coming to dinner and bringing other stakeholders with us. As a result, we were responsible for the decision by the Office of Management and Budget and the US Census Bureau to allow multiracial people to at the very least check more than one box on the census forms and with all other government agencies.
Why the multiracial advocacy lost its place at the table is a long, amazing, involved story—and one for another time, I promise—but once you are uninvited at the table, you are apparently disenfranchised completely by the White House. We have made many attempts to get at least one reliable, responsible, knowledgeable person from the multiracial community represented at meetings in Washington, and although we have not been successful, we do persevere on an almost daily basis, and will continue to do so.
So my hat’s off to the NRA, not because I agree with them, but because they did, indeed, get invited to the table.