Kevin Sorbo, the actor most known for his role as Hercules, said I had to meet Kevin Jackson. I paused. I’d seen Kevin Jackson on Fox News. I knew him as a truth-teller, a man Fox has often aired to counter the opinions of people from the Left on crime-related issues. But Sorbo mentioned a documentary he’d helped Jackson with called “Bleeding Blue.”
“Bleeding Blue” is the most-honest take you’ll find today on police and what they face every day,” said Sorbo.
This was intriguing. I was soon sent a link to view “Bleeding Blue” online, and I was riveted. The documentary is packed with interviews and dramatic footage from riots, shootouts and more. It has a lot to say about where we find ourselves today. It’s honest, so it doesn’t blame guns for the actions of criminals; as a result, it has been shunned by much of the media.
Sorbo was right again. I needed to speak with Kevin Jackson.
A1F: Did you grow up with guns in your home?
Jackson: I didn’t grow up in the way the mainstream media says gun owners do. I am a Black man who spent some of my formative years in an inner city, but I also lived on a ranch. The differences in the two cultures were stark, but not at all what the mainstream media pretends it to be.
I learned that in both cultures, a gun is needed for protection. If you don’t have a gun in either place, you are vulnerable. A gun is the great equalizer. It’s how a 110-pound woman can defend herself from even a 250-pound criminal. Without a gun, far too many women are merely prey. When you just consider the basic fact that women must protect themselves from men, you next wonder why gun control is taken seriously even by the Left—don’t they say they’re for women’s rights?
So yeah, my upbringing didn’t fit any mainstream-media news narrative. A few years after my mother’s death, when I was eight years old, my maternal grandparents took me and my brother to live on a 25,000-acre cattle ranch and to work for the family who owned the ranch.
Prior to moving to the ranch, we lived in San Antonio, Texas. I wouldn’t describe my neighborhood then as “the mean streets.” But my neighborhood streets had attitude.
We were warned which houses to avoid going by, though I was never told why. The neighborhood experienced break-ins, robberies and an occasional rape or shooting. Most of my Black friends and acquaintances were no strangers to violence and guns. At that time, all I had were Black friends.
I recall my Uncle Robert “caught a case” when his girlfriend drove across the state line from Texas to Louisiana. She and my uncle were headed to a casino in Shreveport when his girlfriend got pulled over for speeding. She had an illegal gun in the car.
The cop saw the gun and was going to arrest my uncle’s girlfriend, but my uncle manned up and took the rap for her. He later called me from prison (for money) and explained why he took the hit for his girlfriend: “Well, nephew, I figured it made up for all the things cops didn’t catch me doing!” As we say in the country, “If you’re gonna cuss the boss, you’d better saddle your horse.”
Anyway, my uncle’s girlfriend carried that gun for protection. And my uncle usually carried one for the same reason. That was the norm in the Black community. You know the joke: “Why do I carry a gun? Because I can’t carry a cop!”
A1F: Were there a lot of illegal guns in your neighborhood at the time?
Jackson: Legal, illegal; who’s to say? Many of my family members and friends carried. Another of my uncles, who was ironically nicknamed “Pistol,” carried a small weapon in the sleeve of his coat when he went out at night to hustle. The prevailing thought among Blacks in tough neighborhoods then (and now) was “it’s better to catch a case than catch a bullet.”
So, when politicians today advocate for gun control, I shake my head, as I know having a gun for many Blacks is not for bravado; it is for survival.
No doubt many people wanted to shoot my Uncle Robert. He was a dope dealer, a wannabe pimp and he fought dogs. Yeah, he was a real ‘paragon of virtue.’ Now and then I reflect on my adoration for him, as he was kind to me. But not all people overlooked his flaws.
His first set of brothers-in-law, for example, wanted him dead.
I vividly recall my grandmother driving our family’s Chevrolet Impala to the neighborhood where my uncle lived. As we pulled up, I could hear shots being fired. Some of the bullets were ricocheting off the street.
My uncle was ducking behind cars as his two brothers-in-law took turns shooting at him. They were also ducking and running as he fired back. My brother and I were told by our grandmother to “stay down,” as my grandmother prepared to confront them. We ignored the advice. My brother and I were popping up and down like “whack-a-moles” in the back seat as we tried to see what was happening.
My grandmother exited the car yelling, “Stop shooting!”
Out of respect for her, they did.
In reflecting on that memory, I realize now that this situation did not rattle me at the time—even at the tender age of 7 or 8 years old. Now, I have a different perspective.
A1F: What is that perspective?
Jackson: In reflection, that situation was insane. When I speak publicly, I ask audiences, “How many of your grandmothers ever took you to a gunfight?” That was some Wild West OK Corral stuff!
So, today, I read about these incidents in Chicago and other big cities and I’m appalled. But growing up in it, I did not see the scenarios for the crazy dangerous things they are.
I do remember the circumstances of that particular mini-war. My uncle was physically abusive to my aunt. And his abuse was sadly routine. My aunt’s brothers grew tired of it. Eventually, they took matters into their own hands. Street justice, as it were.
To hear politicians politicize incidents like that of my uncle and his brothers-in-law, one would think the guns actually had minds of their own. But a gun didn’t constantly brutalize my aunt; my uncle did that. Guns didn’t try to shoot him. That was done by his wife’s brothers—men who didn’t think the legal system would do much about the situation.
In fact, during the mayhem, the police never showed up. If they had, my uncle certainly would have gone to prison, as he was a multiple offender. As for his brothers-in-law, they were no choir boys. The cops would have been right to arrest them all. Ironically, hardly a Black person growing up as I did would have seen this situation as anything other than appropriate reactions by all parties involved.
Fast-forward to 2021, and the shootout I described seems benign compared to an epidemic of shootings in any major city. Pick almost any weekend—especially in the summer—and you will read about multiple tragedies. Fatherless families raising boys who become gang members is likely one the biggest reasons.
A1F: How did your opinion on this evolve?
Jackson: In 2014, I was heavily involved in media at the time of Michael Brown’s death. I remember saying during an interview on Fox News that people needed to allow the process to play out instead of jumping to conclusions. At the time, we were told that Officer Darren Wilson had brutally slain Michael Brown.
The story made no sense to me. I had learned that Officer Wilson was in the neighborhood helping a Black family with their infant when he got the call on the crime committed by Michael Brown. Why would a white supremacist help a Black infant, but then that same day decide to murder a young Black man? But that was not my only clue.
As details unfolded in the story, the media reported that Officer Wilson supposedly reached out of his squad car and grabbed a 6-foot, 4-inch, 300-pound Black man by the neck.
There is a saying in the Black community: “game know game.” That means, a person of the streets knows when something is a lie. I knew Wilson did not reach out of his squad car and grab Brown’s neck, so I defended the police at that point.
A1F: How can we shine truth on this hard and complex situation?
Jackson: Historically, guns were used by Blacks to protect us from those outside our communities. Now, however, we use guns to protect ourselves mostly from other Blacks. Fewer than 200 Blacks are killed annually by police and there are perhaps a dozen questionable shootings each year. Still, Blacks contend that police shootings are an epidemic. Blacks stirred up by troublemakers march, crying: “No justice, no peace!” I wrote about this ruse in my book Race Pimping.
Contrast the Blacks actually killed by police with the thousands of Blacks killed annually by other Blacks, and you get an idea of how ridiculous this narrative is. Our problem is Black thugs and their “woke,” almost-always-white enablers.
In 2018, after the Ferguson incident, I decided to make “Bleeding Blue.” My partners, Kevin Sorbo and Kenny Latimer, and I produced the film to help people understand what’s really going on. We wanted a truthful depiction of both sides of the policing narrative.
I contend that “Bleeding Blue” is the best police documentary to date, and hopefully it will save lives. Because America needs the police. And people need their Second Amendment rights so they aren’t just prey for thugs.
So the solution is not to defund the police. Nor is the solution to ban guns. The solution lies in educating people. Blacks need guns more than ever to protect themselves.
A1F: So you see criminals, not guns, as the cause of violence?
Jackson: Guns are simply tools. They are not the cause of this violence. People harm each other without guns all the time. One part of the problem is that criminals, particularly gang members, are empowered in communities that don’t allow law-abiding people to use their Second Amendment rights.
When guns are banned, or when carry permits are nearly impossible to get, criminals still have and use guns. Meanwhile, normal people—shop owners, teachers, nurses and so on—in these communities are then left powerless. This has created an imbalance. The bad guys are armed. The police are armed. But all the good citizens caught between them are often not able to legally carry guns. This power dynamic causes young men to look up to thugs, as the bad guys have real power in these communities (the power of life and death). This dynamic causes some good citizens to look down on the police, because “snitches get stitches.” Normally, good people find themselves trapped in this policy-driven dilemma.
Legal gun ownership, particularly legally carrying concealed, equalizes the equation. Thugs must respect everybody, because you just never know who can and will fight back. But the other benefit is that youngsters are less likely to “thug worship.” This way they’ll see that thugs only have “fake” power. These impressionable youngsters can then return to looking up to real community leaders.
A1F: Are you saying we can reduce criminal violence in these neighborhoods by letting freedom shine?
Jackson: [Laughing] Yes, that’s an interesting way to put a question to a Black man. But, indeed, that feeling of protection is liberating. For the record, overwhelmingly, Blacks are law-abiding citizens and some of the best citizens of the country. Sadly, far too many Blacks are forced into situations where they must break the law for survival. So the freedom of a good, law-abiding gun culture—which already exists in almost all of America—is one tool that would help make our communities safer. Trust me, Black people in high-crime neighborhoods are not blaming guns. But the media won’t ask these tortured Blacks who they blame for high crime, because they won’t get the answers they want. Bad neighborhoods in predominantly Black communities do not have a gun or police problem. These communities have “thug” problems. And politicians must be held accountable for their lies, as they attempt to blame guns. Shifting to the real problem would ultimately save lives and effect real change in the circumstances of some of America’s most-tormented people.
So yes, “free my people!” Hard to believe I am saying this in 2021. But sadly, many Blacks are prisoners of their circumstances, and their so-called leaders are unwilling to acknowledge that freedom is a fundamental part of the solution. To stop these cycles of violence in our inner-city neighborhoods, we need to stand up to the politicians who try to divide us by blaming American freedom for the actions of a few violent people.
A1F: How can people find and connect with you?
Jackson: TheKevinJacksonNetwork.com lists all of our projects, and we update as we add new things. I hope people will visit there often. As for “Bleeding Blue,” people can see the film at BleedingBlueMovie.com. People need to see this film. It is critical to helping to support law enforcement and our Second Amendment rights. Also, check out my daily podcast at TheKevinJacksonShow.com. I believe people will find my show to be the most-refreshing show they’ve heard since Limbaugh.