Reading Hal Crowther’s “White denial” (Cover story, July 30), I shook my head at his hypocrisy through notable omission. Considering his previous article in which he slammed gun owners, I laughed out loud to see him praise and identify himself with one of my personal heroes, Robert F. Williams, an N.C. native like myself. Williams, a civil rights pioneer and all-around inspiring person whose influence pre-dated King, is rarely more than whispered by the “left.” I surmise it is because of one issue that Crowther chose to omit.
Williams was a member of the NRA, documented by his biographer Tim Tyson whom Crowther references. While a gun may have killed MLK, guns enabled Williams to carry on the struggle. When the Klan riders came, the black community was armed and resolute. They couldn’t call the police. Had it not been legal for them to own and openly carry guns then, as it still is today in N.C., it is unlikely Williams would have lived to be the inspiration to young people like myself.