Danny Glover’s Revisionist History: 2nd Amendment Was for Protecting Slavery

Actor and hardcore progressive Danny Glover should add revisionist historian to his growing resume of left-wing activism after a recent visit to Texas A&M University where he told students that the Second Amendment was mainly meant to keep African Americans in slavery and to kill Native American peoples.

During his January 17 appearance at the university, Glover thought to teach the students attending about the real purpose of the Second Amendment.

I don’t know if people know the genesis of the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect, for settlers to protect themselves from slave revolts and from uprisings by Native Americans. So, a revolt from people who were stolen from their lands or revolts from people whose land was stolen from. That was the genesis of the Second Amendment.

This is simple historical revisionism. Slave revolts had yet to become the constant, nagging fear it was later to become for southern slaveholders. There was no such preoccupation in the late 1780s during the debate over the Constitution or in the decades previous to that and it certainly wasn’t a cause for northerners to worry.

Glover is completely wrong in every respect.

Slave revolts were a factor in the later decades after the Constitution was enacted, of course. Fears of slave revolts took hold in the south because of several major revolts that frightened whites here and elsewhere. But previous to the debate and ratification of the U.S. Constitution there had been but few such revolts and none of them really served as the basis of any pervasive fear.

One of the most famous slave revolts of the founder’s era was that in Haiti made famous by the leadership of a former slave named Toussaint L’Ouverture. The revolt shocked the world, for sure. But this revolt didn’t start until 1791, four years after the U.S. Constitution was a done deal. This revolt played no part in the creation of the Second Amendment.

There were slave revolts before 1787, though. One slave revolt in the founder’s recent memory was called the Battle of the Lord Ligonier and occurred back in 1767. But that occurred on a ship in the Atlantic not on our own shores. Another revolt termed the New York Conspiracy happened in 1741. The next one back, called the Stono Rebellion, occurred in South Carolina in 1739. (And, remember, the famous Amastad incident wasn’t until 1839.)

None of these revolts that occurred before the framing of the Constitution had much impact on the founder’s thinking.

It should also be remembered that when the founders were debating the Second Amendment in 1787, slavery had yet to become the economic powerhouse it was later to become.

Previous to 1810 slavery was developing a bad reputation throughout the country–even in the south–and by 1810 manumission had been bestowed upon nearly 200,000 slaves. Then came the growth of the south’s plantation economy and with it a growing refusal of southerners to consider the end of their “Peculiar Institution.” But that came a few decades after the invention of the cotton gin in 1793.

For an economic barometer of the times, cotton exports went from 500,000 pounds in 1793 to 93 million pounds by 1810. This abrupt change made slavery an economic necessity if the south were to continue growing as it had. But, again, all of this was years after the Constitution was in place.

So, while it is true that southern plantation owners would eventually develop a bone-shaking fear of slave rebellions and because of that would begin a vicious routine of suppressing blacks, this fear didn’t manifest itself until the 1820s and 30s when slavery had become an important and growing institution for the southern economy.

The truth is the 2nd Amendment was a philosophical ideal based on humanity’s long history of using government force on a disarmed public, force that resulted in oppression and in the subsequent loss of religious freedom, and as a result of the fact that the founders wanted a weaker, de-centralized federal government that could not harm the rights of the people.

It had nothing at all to do with slavery and Indian attacks, Mr. Glover. Nothing at all.

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  • 914

    Glover’s racist delirium is reaching a fever pitch.

    • 914

      Addendum: Has reached..

  • JWH

    The same Second Amendment later helped in the fight against segregation in the South.

  • herddog505

    Wait… I thought that the Second Amendment was about hunting.

    I’m so confused…


  • jim_m

    The nice thing about being a leftist is that your arguments don’t have to be constrained by silly things like facts or reality. Mr Glover should spend his time visiting Hugo Chavez. The Cuban health care system has nearly finished with him.

  • Vagabond661

    Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.

    • BillyShakespeare

      And that’s what’s been happening in the schools of America for years.

  • GarandFan

    Glover is a freaking racist idiot. remember Athens Tennessee, 1946?

  • stan25

    In the early 1700s, most of the founding fathers had not even been born yet. The only one that was beyond 30 was Benjamen Franklin. He was in his late 80s when the Constitution was being debated. The second oldest member of the Constitution Convention was George Washington, who at the ripe old age of 55, was the President of the conclave. The other members were in their mid 30s to 40s.

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      Do you have a point to that, Stan?

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      Do you have a point to that, Stan?

  • BillyShakespeare

    1791 Year of the massive slave rebellion in Haiti.

    • jim_m

      And notably AFTER the writing of the Constitution

      • BillyShakespeare

        After the constitution, but before the second amendment.
        Slave rebellion started August 1791, 12,000 dead.
        Second amendment adopted Dec. 15 1791

        • jim_m


          We had a very long thread discussion on exactly this line of bullshit from the ahistorical, ignorant, racist, self loathing left. RM delivered an excellent summary of quotations demonstrating what the founders thought and intent was.

          I suggest reading his comment and looking through the thread before making yourself look any more the fool

          • BillyShakespeare

            Americans are the fools. They’ve been fed lies through their school system for years. Ford invented the automobile, Edison invented the light bulb, Franklin discovered electricity etc. etc. Rah rah usa.

            Try reading Lies my teacher told me. Might open your eyes a bit.

          • jim_m

            Dumbass. I link you to a series of quotes from the founders and your response is that your teacher lied to you? WTF?

            I suppose it doesn’t matter what anyone says. You are the perfect example of what I mean when I say that the left doesn’t give a damn about the truth. Truth for the left has nothing to do with facts and truth is found only in ideology. It doesn’t matter how many quotes from the founders we give you, you already know the truth and that is determined by your political ideology not by what actually happened.

            You’re a dangerous idiot.

          • BillyShakespeare

            The idiots are the goofs like the rednecks down in Texas who rewrote history in their textbooks. Yep, them grateful slaves just chipped in and fought beside their masters in the civil war. Oh I mean the war of northern aggression.

            And don’t assume anything about me. I don’t hold to any political ideology. That’s another reason so many Americans are morons. Everyone has to be slotted into one or the other category. Nobody can think for themselves, you’re either left or right. Your country is what’s dangerous to the health of the rest of this planet.

          • jim_m

            We aren’t the ones rewriting history. It is dangerous fools like you and Danny Glover. You claim that the 2nd amendment was due to slave revolts that occurred after it was drafted. You ignore the evidence provided to you of what the founders were thinking that contradicts your bogus claims. You won’t even address them because you know that you have nothing to stand on.

            And when someone claims to have “No political ideology” that usually means they are so far left they fell off the map. You also demonstrate that you are not American so wtf do you know about our country? or about our political process? Or about freedom? Tell us what backwater you hail from if you are going to insult our nation.

          • BillyShakespeare

            I’m not saying that’s the only reason but I think somebody would have to be pretty naive not the think the possibility of a slave revolt crossed their minds. So how many of the grand exulted “Founding fathers” owned slaves. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” What other wonderful quotes do you have from these hypocrites? How about Jefferson, “Excuse me guys I gotta get home to rape a slave or two.”

          • jim_m

            I think somebody would have to be pretty naive not the think the possibility of a slave revolt crossed their minds.

            Fine then. I will wait for you to produce verified quotations from more than one founder to demonstrate that this was a significant factor in their discussions. Until then you are full of it.

          • BillyShakespeare

            Quotes from that bunch of self serving hypocrites are pointless.

            They wrote one thing and did another anyway.
            All men created equal my ass.
            And if they weren’t worried about slave revolts why did they have slave patrols to make sure the darkies kept in line.

          • jim_m

            You are a fraud. You claim that quotes from the founders won’t prove anything?

            I claim victory!!! Just as I have claimed you do not have any facts to support your belief and you just claimed that your belief trumps all facts.

            Your ideology determines what truth is for you and no amount of factual evidence will sway you to believe otherwise.

          • BillyShakespeare

            Jim, I think you have just accurately described most of Americans.

            Head in the sand. We’re number one.

            Don’t worry about victory over me. I don’t give a rat’s ass.

            Just get that AR-15 all ready because it won’t be long before you yanks will be having another full out civil war.

            Wonderful talking to you but there’s a hockey game on. 🙂

          • jim_m

            I’ve said none of those things.

            I asked you to back up your claim that the 2nd amendment was because the founders feared slave revolts. I offered proof that they were interested in other things.

            Instead of engaging in an argument based in facts you refused flat out to provide any. You claimed that any quotes from the founders were meaningless to determine their state of mind so therefore your claim was valid based on its satisfaction of your ideological beliefs.

            I had previously claimed that this was your position and you have neatly provided evidence of my correctness.

            I am pleased that you showed up to demonstrate how empty headed and ideologically bound the left is. You have proven that the left is uninterested in the truth of their positions and uninterested in the facts of history or drawing any lessons from the same. To you facts are irrelevant compared to your ideological teachings.

            I actually appreciate your stopping by to show everyone how little the left understands history and reality and how willingly you subjugate historical facts to the “truth” of your ideological beliefs. Facts have no impact on you. You are invincible in your ignorance.

          • I was wondering when the next left wonderchild would show up…

          • BillyShakespeare

            “That usually means” anything to back up that statement Jim?
            Jump to conclusions much?
            By the way, I’ve lived in the US, Britain and Canada so yes, I’m quite familiar with America.

          • jim_m

            But you are not American. And what do you call “lived in”? It does not mean that you were raised there and it does not mean that you understand squat.

          • 914

            I know a lie when I hear or read one. You are the fool sock puppet #9

          • BillyShakespeare

            Obviously you don’t .
            Hey, did you know Helen Keller was a socialist?
            Or did you guys write that out of the history books as well.
            Oh well, the way thing are going over in Yank Land you guys are heading for a civil war and will kill each other off pretty quick anyway.
            Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.
            When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. Thing is, it’s already there.

          • jim_m

            I wouldn’t care if Helen Keller was a nudist, Zoroastrian faith healer. What does she have to do with ANYTHING?!?

          • BillyShakespeare

            Just has to do with the bullshit fed to students in schools.

          • jim_m

            What it isn’t sufficiently left wing and America hating for you?

            Is it important that Helen Keller was a socialist? I thought the point was the inspirational story of her overcoming her disabilities. Or are you going to tell me that she was not deaf and blind?

          • BillyShakespeare

            Oohh, here we go with the nasty left wing stuff. LOL
            You guys are too stupid to see you are so polarized you are heading for another civil war.

          • jim_m

            Says the tool who won’t even say what nation he is a citizen of.

          • bmartin79

            You are already at war funny smart guy . Didn’t you guys get the high hard one from your leaders ? Oh ya you did.

        • jim_m

          Idiot!! The Bill of Rights was adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789. Ratification requires the states to vote on the amendments so it naturally was ratified some time later. So if the House adopted the Bill of Rights in 1789 we know that the 2nd amendment was written some time earlier.

          Of course you will deny this because facts don’t mean anything to you.

          • BillyShakespeare

            Big tough guy when you’re hiding behind a keyboard.

            Typical yank.

          • jim_m

            I pointed out facts. You have yet to deliver one single act in support of your claim that the 2nd amendment is about slave revolts.

            Come on Mr genius. Use that massive brain of yours and deliver some real facts. Or are you incapable of delivering facts and only ideology just as I have claimed?

          • BillyShakespeare

            I now live in CANADA!!!!!!!!!!

          • Sucks for them, then.

          • Commander_Chico

            ha .

  • LiberalNightmare

    Someone should point out to Mr Glover that blacks have the same gun rights as the rest of us. By denying anyone their un-infringed second amendment rights, blacks (and all other minorities) are being disenfranchised as well.

    As an after thought, how long do you think that jim crow shit would have lasted if southern blacks would have been able to arm themselves?

    • About as long as a block of ice in the sun on a hot day in Georgia.

    • ctchrisf

      yes the men who where brought over in chains should of been allowed to carry guns.
      On that thought how long would that jim crow shit of lasted if the whites weren’t allowed to have guns?


      • MartinLandauCalrissian

        Ha, ha, ha. Ctchrisf is just another moron left-winger who falls for the failed, bogus work of “Professor” Carl T. Bogus. This guy’s garbage research has been devastated by David Kopel (here http://www.davekopel.org/2a/LawRev/19thcentury.htm). But, even worse, this idiot Bogus relies on the work of Michael A. Bellesiles whose much ballyhooed book “Arming America” was later shown to be an utter fraud. He even had his Bancroft Prize taken from him after his work was proven a fraud. You are an idiot for using his work and you show yourself to be a brainless parrot that just echos talking points from leftist liars.

      • LiberalNightmare

        Some might say that if those men in chains had firearms in the first place, they might not have become slave to begin with.

        Are you in favor of continuing the jim crow tradition of restricting people ability to exercise thier right to gun ownership?

  • Brucehenry

    Glover’s revisionist claptrap is just that — claptrap.

    i look forward to your article denouncing Jonah Goldberg.

    • “Glover’s revisionist claptrap is just that — claptrap.”

      And who says we can’t agree on stuff? Lol…

  • bmartin79

    Oh smart, guilt me into giving up my rights . no, very very stupid . How dare he shovel off the tragedy that took place on law abiding citizens . We are innocent . We are going to have our rights taken away because of a madman ? Get real . Don’t tell me our politicians do not crave power . Don’t tell me we should have nothing to worry about . Look at past history, legislation . NDAA, why do they fear citizens? Because that is the point . They should fear us, we pay the bills . No man is worth less than others . All are the same . Guess what? Our great great great great grandchildren will be slaves to a government that spent there future earnings 200 years ago . Boy we sure love our kids don’t we ? When the kids say I wish I could fight back they will curse us all for being so brain dead and letting all there rights and and inheritance slip away without a second thought . Vote Call your local representatives and give them hell . Tell them you will do every thing you can to make sure they do not get re-elected if they try to pull something .Stand up to them .Sign petitions. They are human beings to . They want power. They want to get re elected . That is there weakness , there achilles heal. They have all day 24/7 365 days a year to scheme and ponder . Let them know we are watching them vigilantly .

    • herddog505

      Brian MartinHow dare he shovel off the tragedy that took place on law abiding citizens . We are innocent . We are going to have our rights taken away because of a madman?

      Hear him! Hear him!

    • ctchrisf

      are you saying you can’t pass a background check?

  • ackwired

    Danny Glover is a little confused. I suspect that he is referring to the rewrite of the 2nd Amendment by James Madison to gain Virginia’s support for the Constitution. Patrick Henry opposed the new constitution, and one of the arguments he used was that Article I, Section 8 of the new constitution would end the state militias which were patrolling to catch runaway slaves:

    “If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot
    suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there
    should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to
    be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the
    interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under
    this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.”

    And why was that such a concern for Patrick Henry?

    “In this state,” he said, “there are two hundred and thirty-six
    thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there
    are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that
    every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war?
    We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of
    Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be

    Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various
    state militias given the federal government in the new Constitution
    could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias.
    He knew the majority attitude in the North opposed slavery, and he
    worried they’d use the Constitution to free the South’s slaves (a
    process then called “Manumission”).

    In reply Madison rewrote the 2nd Amendment, changing the wording from a national militia to a state militia. The original amendment read, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a
    well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a
    free country [emphasis mine]: but no person religiously
    scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military
    service in person.” As you know, he rewrote it to read “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    So while I think it is inaccurate to say the the 2nd amendment was included to allow the southern states to keep their slave catching militias, it actually was a factor in Virginia’s ratification.

    • herddog505

      — “O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”

      — “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined… The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”

      Patrick Henry
      Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778


      I make no doubt that a man who owned slaves would have been (ahem) highly interested in seeing to it that he had the means to stop them rising on him and evening the score. In the same manner, I’m sure that the Founding Fathers had some idea that arms would be very useful against robbers, highwaymen, Indians, and other people who might wish to separate Americans from their property and lives. I expect that many of them had also used arms to put meat on the table.

      However, it is abundantly clear that fear of a tyrannical government was the principle reason for writing the Second Amendment, and this slavery business is nothing more than the usual lefty tactic to get their way.

      By the way:

      Would any one believe that I am master of slaves of my own purchase! I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I will not, I cannot justify it. However culpable my conduct, I will so far pay my devoir to virtue, as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and to lament the want of conforming to them–I believe a time will come when an opposition will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil–Every thing we can do is to improve it, if it happens in our day, if not, let us transmit to our descendants together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot, and an abhorrence for slavery. If we cannot reduce this wished for reformation to practice, let us treat the unhappy victims with lenity, it is the furthest advance we can make toward justice. We owe to the purity of our religion to show that it is at variance with that law which warrants slavery.

      Patrick Henry
      Letter to Robert Pleasants, January 18, 1773


      • ackwired

        Yes, Patrick Henry was opposed to slavery in principle (he did not endorse manumission). He was also opposed to the constitution, and used the militia argument. The 2nd amendment was rewritten to accommodate this argument and win the support of Virginia. We agree that the 2nd amendment was not written to preserve slavery, and slavery militias were not the principle concern of the 2nd amendment. But I find it less than honorable to deny the historical fact, even though it has been expanded beyond it’s real significant by the extremists on the left.

        • herddog505

          And I find it nauseating that lefties stoop to these base and frankly stupid attacks on the Constitution.

          For a pack of hysterics who obsess about victims and oppression and The Man, one would think that the Constitution would be as dear to them as the THC- laced blood in their veins. But, to the contrary, they regard it as a problem, a nuisance, an obstacle.

          Gosh, I wonder why…

          • ackwired

            Why? Because they are extremists. The extremists on the left expand the incident beyond it’s real meaning and the extremists on the right deny that it ever happened, and that slavery played any role in the 2nd amendment. I’m afraid it is the nature of things.

  • bmartin79

    slaves , slaves ,slaves!slaves !!!! ra-cist!!racist!!!!thats right white people !!! we are oppressed !!!!!We will Shame you into giving up your guns!!!!! ya!!!!ya!!!! I said it!!!you are racistsss!!!!!!!!!If YOU fight FOR the 2nd amendment YOU promote SLAVERY !!!!!!!!Oh YA …………..I am pulling out the race card oh ya .I can’t win without tha race card .bow down republicans !!!!!

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  • Mallet Head

    I’m always the last one to comment .. sniff .. Danny, Danny, Danny, it was quite the opposite the guns were for white people to kill white people. The Americanized British white people wanted to make sure everyone had enough guns to kill British white people when they came by for a visit as they did till 1776. We were so good at killing other white people that they left, but insisted on a rematch in 1812. When enough British white people had been shot dead by American white people they went home again. America was hooked on killing white people though so by mutual agreement roughly half the white people in the US squared off against the other half and the white on white killing fest commenced, it was called the Civil War. Hey guess what Danny, half of those white people were killing other white people to free black people!