A man holds a Confederate flag on the state house grounds in Columbia, South Carolina in 2015. The Ku Klux Klan and opposing groups were scheduled to hold competing rallies at the state house in the afternoon and the government issued a weapons ban around the state house as a precautionary measure.

A man holds a Confederate flag on the state house grounds in Columbia, South Carolina in 2015. The Ku Klux Klan and opposing groups were scheduled to hold competing rallies at the state house in the afternoon and the government issued a weapons ban around the state house as a precautionary measure.

Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof says he wanted “to start a race war” when he opened fire on a prayer service at a historically African-American church, killing nine. He failed and has been sentenced to death for the murders. Even with racial tensions and unrest, modern-day America hasn’t seen anything close to a race war, but the idea exists in our collective imagination. We talk about the myths that surround “race wars” and who is motivated to dangerous action by the idea of an armed clash.

Guests

  • Kay Wright Lewis Assistant professor of history and interdisciplinary studies at Norfolk State University; her forthcoming book is "A Curse Upon the Nation: Race, Freedom and Extermination in America and the Atlantic World."
  • Heidi Beirch Director of The Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Philip Smith President, National African-American Gun Association

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