Jovan, Jason and Jumping to Conclusions, by Derryck Green

green_smJason Whitlock started it, and Jason Whitlock can end it.

On December 1, the Fox Sports columnist penned a column about what happened earlier that morning when Jovan Belcher — the starting linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs — murdered his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins (the mother of his three-month-old daughter), and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself.

In his piece, Whitlock questioned and lamented how the NFL and the Chiefs decided to play their scheduled game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He argued the appropriate thing to do was cancel the game.

So far, no harm no foul.

But, instead of questioning the unjustified reasons why Jovan Belcher would kill the mother of his daughter and then turn the gun on himself (or sticking just to the sporting angle), Whitlock took the opportunity to lament gun violence — as if the gun was used independently and without cooperation of Jovan Belcher’s hands and mind.

Whitlock also lamented America’s “gun culture” — a culture he never thoroughly explained yet passively blamed them for “more and more domestic disputes [ending] in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.” Again, Whitlock acted as if guns kill people independently of their owners.

On December 3, Whitlock doubled-down on his politically correct, logically-deficient and morally-deficient position and further exposed his lack of intellectual credibility for all to see. During CNN-contributor Roland Martin’s podcast, Whitlock likened the National Rifle Association to… the KKK.

That’s right, the Ku Klux Klan. Telling Martin “I did not go as far as I’d like to go” with his column, Whitlock unload — implying the NRA is responsible for arming black youths with guns used to kill other black youths. He also seemed to blame the NRA for not only gifting black kids with guns, but also supplying them with drugs.

Aside from the embarrassing and unadulterated stupidity of Whitlock’s comments, he proceeded to take illogical leaps with absolutely no connected dots to verify his recklessness. He unjustly made racist and conspiratorial accusations about an organization that advocates gun safety and responsible use as well as protects gun rights.

What Whitlock claimed about the NRA was morally indefensible. It stripped him of any remaining credibility after an already-shaky opening salvo. The irony is that Whitlock is the one thinking in racial terms when he assumed only whites are, or can be, members of the NRA.

That said, where’s his proof the NRA is arming black youths? Has he read it? If so, where and when did he read it? Are these incidents in the police reports of gun crimes committed by black youth? If so, publish these police reports.

I’m willing to bet that the black youths on Chicago’s South Side, who are doing their best at contributing to the city’s sky-high black murder rate, aren’t card-carrying members of the NRA. How can they be? They’re black!

Furthermore, as he did in his original piece, Whitlock turns those who would use guns to settle disputes into victims as opposed to willing participants who chose guns over knives, clubs or bare hands in their acts of violence, terror and destruction.

Once again, guns don’t kill people without human participation. Belcher wasn’t a victim. He intentionally used his gun to kill his girlfriend and himself. And, as much as Whitlock would try and paint the picture, the drug-addled and armed black youths he laments aren’t victims of racist white gun-club members bent on destroying black communities.

Criminals consciously make decisions to use guns illegally, and — as a result — are responsible for their own actions.

Jason Whitlock should apologize to the families of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher — in that order — for using them as political pawns to advocate more gun control. He should then apologize to the NRA for his baseless, deliberate and absurd smear of the NRA’s credibility.

The consequence of Jason Whitlock’s thinking inevitably disarms law-abiding citizens, ensuring more gun violence. This is the exact opposite of what Whitlock claims he wants, and would ensure there will be more victims like Kasandra Perkins.

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Derryck Green, a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network, received a M.A. in Theological Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his doctorate in ministry at Azusa Pacific University. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.

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