What if large groups of African-American men carrying shotguns and semi-automatic rifles started moseying into stores across America to tout their support of open-carry gun laws?
Would they be greeted by the same anxious looks shoppers gave groups of armed white men who did the same this summer at Target stores and chain restaurants like Chipotle? Or something more lethal?
For Charles Gallagher, a sociologist who studies race, the answer to that “what if” is easy.
“Whites walking down Main Street with an AK-47 are defenders of American values; a black man doing the same thing is Public Enemy No. 1,” says Gallagher, a professor at La Salle University in Pennsylvania.