‘To disarm America would be to dismantle the constitution of the United States’ says Bonnie Greer at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Author, playwright and critic, Bonnie Greer spoke to an enthralled audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this afternoon about her upbringing in Chicago, her political activism and the current turbulent situation in Missouri following the shooting of 18 year old Michael Young.

She began by reading from her memoir of her experiences of Chicago immediately following the assassination of Martin Luther King and drew parallels to the racial unrest in Ferguson Missouri today. After 6 years of the Obama administration, which promised such hope to the African American community, she feels that there is still inherent racism across America exacerbated by resentment of the central government’s largesse towards the black community, saying ‘This is the worst time I have seen in my entire life in the USA.’

She spoke at length on the 2nd Amendment to the American Constitution, the right to bear arms, saying that ‘while every other amendment gives you a right, the 2nd Amendment states a right. American’s believe that God gives you a right to bear arms. The West was won at the point of a gun’. She believes that every nation has their own particular irrational fear – in the UK it is the fear of immigration, of being ‘swamped’, while in the US it is the fear of home invasion. This subliminal fear is deep rooted across all communities, black and white – her father had six guns and slept with one beneath his pillow. She admitted that she thought after the Sandy Hook gun massacre there was a chance that the American people would accept more gun control, but conceded that ‘To disarm America would be to dismantle the constitution of the United States,’ and was therefore unlikely.


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