Black Lives Don’t matter in Racist, Capitalist “America”
The moment that the prosecutor read the unexpected statement that the killer-cop in Ferguson would not be charged, the instantaneous connection to the world through social media provided a real-time view on how people understood and reacted to the decision across lines of race, class, gender and national identity. The same is true today with the non-indictment of the cop that murdered Eric Garner.
Facebook in particular provides a snapshot on how the fissures of race color how people saw the decision and the interpretation of the reactions from the community in Ferguson and the non-indictment in New York. So while many legitimately criticize the sometimes endless, and what they would claim are irrelevant “Facebook battles,” I fine the medium a valuable instrument for assessing shifting opinions and perceptions of the public on various topics. And judging by the amount of time that many “special interests” groups spend on social media to shape public perception and opinion, I don’t think paying attention to this medium is a waste of time.
Therefore, for this week’s blog, I wanted to share just a few of the comments I made related to Ferguson and Eric Garner on Facebook that generated some intense discussion.
In response to the militarized preparations and response in Ferguson:
The Israeli trained St. Louis county police department is making the link for us between the colonial situation in Palestine and colonial function of policing the colonized black and brown communities of the U.S. Are you folks ready to accept that it is only through the defeat of this system that we can fully realize our human rights and dignity?
And in response to Obama’s statement on Ferguson:
Your uncle tom president says that there is no excuse for violence – when it comes to the oppressed. For the empire, violence is the first weapon of choice from Libya to Syria and the police forces in Ferguson. After Trayvon and now this, the 60% unemployment among our youth, mass incarceration, school closings in our communities, Detroit, who among you still don’t see that we are at war? The challenge is preparing ourselves through systematic organization and political education to meet our historic responsibility to advance our struggle for self-determination and the defeat of this racist, capitalist/colonialist system for ourselves and the people of the world.
The Eric Garner non-indictment demonstrates that this was never just about Mike Brown
Folks I am tired of this liberal framing. This is not about Mike Brown or something called justice. There is no justice to be achieved in a racist, capitalist system organized to control and contain us. Even when through our efforts we force a response from the system to sacrifice one of its agents of repression, it is not justice but a tactical victory achieved by the people. The goal has to remain defeating this backward system that is destroying us and millions of people around the world. There is a reason why Israel trains police forces in the U.S. and the U.S. trains police forces throughout the world. It is time we understood the terms of the struggle and put to rest any notion that the U.S. state is capable of justice when it is the enemy of the world’s people.
And again on Eric Garner:
Do we need more evidence that the racist, settler-colonialist capitalist state is waging war against black, brown and poor people in this country?
For Malcolm, resistance is not a crime. In fact, the fight for human dignity and human rights is what makes us human. But he argued that there is a price that people must be prepared to pay. According to Malcolm:
“…you shouldn’t even be allowed around us other humans if you don’t want to pay the price. You should be kept in the cotton patch where you’re not a human being. You’re an animal that belongs in the cotton patch like a horse or a cow, or a chicken or a possum, if you’re not ready to pay the price necessary to be paid for recognition and respect as a human being.”
And what was the price? “The price is death really. The price to make others respect your human rights is death. You have to be ready to die…” “This is all we want—to be a human being.”
A discussion on the role of anti-racist white activists:
This is what I tell white anti-racist activists – being an ally and anti-racist activist means also doing the work in the white communities on race and class. Because while we (black and brown folks) are being targeted now, white folks, in particular poor whites and certainly students who might align themselves with the oppressed are not beyond repression. ..Folks have got to develop an understanding of white supremacy that goes beyond the silliness of a Donald Sterling controversy while missing the moves being made by Europe and the U.S. to maintain the structures of global white supremacy in places like Libya, Syria and Palestine.
To those folks who think Ferguson was an anomaly and its only about a few bad cops:
Isn’t it a primitive form of anti-racism when folks, black and white, will condemn what happened in Ferguson but not see and actually cheer on the white supremacist attack by the U.S./NATO/EU on Libya and the arming of right-wing terrorists in Syria. Where was the condemnation of the U.S. congress when it gave unanimous support to the racist Israeli government’s attack on Palestinians in Gaza? Why is the anti-white supremacist lens only focused domestically to relative easy targets like Ferguson and Donald Sterling, while the global balance of forces that still uphold the power of European/US imperialism escape a critical race analysis? If you supported the attack on Libya, have been silent on Syria and fell for the BS in the Ukraine and think that Israel has a right of defense, guess what? You have no idea what white supremacy is and how to fight it because you are part of the problem.”
Why connections must be made and the resistance systematized:
I hope that the focus of national mobilizations becomes more narrowly targeted at the national government. I understand that the hands up coalition is calling for demonstrations at the Justice department. But along with these mobilizations, I would urge folks to re-read the analysis of what is needed that is at the beginning of MXGM’s report Operation Ghetto Storm that reveals that a Black person is murdered every 28 hours. Brother Kali Akuno lays out how we need to frame the Mike Brown murder and the police forces in the U.S.
The propaganda response from Empire:
As we process the slick public relations move by the Obama administration yesterday meeting with the resisters in the White Peoples house let’s remember this:
“African Americans who are supporting the latest war plans in Iraq and Syria but calling for something called justice in Ferguson from those same authorities have forgotten, or never completely understood, that the war being waged by the U.S. to maintain global Western hegemony includes them as a target also. If the U.S. Congress can give unanimous consent to the murder of over 2000 people in Gaza, with the majority being women and children, why would you think that those same people would really care about a few hundred African Americans who are being murdered annually by police forces charged with containing a population that has now been rendered as economically superfluous?
A different angle on the oppositional character of the movement?
“I have a dissertation topic for some young researcher: Provide an analysis of the black movement that explains how we went from a fist raised for black power and self-determination to Hands up don’t shoot while on our knees!”
What must be done and the African American approach to human rights:
“Take your hands down and prepare yourself through discipline, systematic organization and political education to resist and shoot back when needed. That is how you struggle for human rights.”