It has been many months since I dropped a blog and in that time I decided to change my focus and use this blog to share my thoughts about life, politics, current events, Pan-Africanism and much more. In this vein I have waited to add my voice to the ongoing string of police killings of African men, women and children in the many cities around the United States.
In all honesty I took a while to respond because of two key factors. The first factor is as follows: The murder of African men and women have been a staple of the American landscape. All we have to do is to look at the colonization of the land and the killing of indigenous people. We can also turn our attention to the slave trade and slavery and count the number of Africans who were killed, raped, exploited, oppressed. We can also look more recently at the string of police murders of African men and women. We don’t need to name them all but we can just name a few: Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, William Chapman, Philando Castile and many more African men and women who were killed, harassed and arrested by the police. Let’s be clear this is not just an issue for Africans because there are plenty of our Latino brothers and sisters who also get killed by the police.
The country was built using violence and oppression as the way of business so I am confused by anyone would believe that America would somehow back away from that approach to control the people. This is where the propaganda game becomes almost paramount to the survival of the nation-the media spins the narrative that asserts that somehow each of these Africans killed by the police deserved to die or that somehow the police are protecting you the everyday citizen? This narrative assumes that the people are so ignorant that they believe these lies. I liken this to telling a five-year-old that the cake that you are eating is nasty and five-year-old’s should not eat the cake because it is for grown-ups. Even the five-year-old can see through the rubbish excuse you are using to steal all of the cake for yourself!!
The second factor is more a raw emotion: The anger that derives from watching your sister or brother die on national T.V. at the hands of the police burns you to the core. This anger is not derived from the most recent murder but it brings up historical memory. It reminds you (even if unconsciously) of the fact that your ancestors were slaves, it reminds you that to kill an African was not only lawful but celebrated not that many years ago. It reminds you that you are not a human being but you are an animal according to the narrative being painted by the popular media. It reminds you that you are being hunted in America and that your children are not safe to walk outside without their parent (who may also be shot and killed in their face). It hits you in the gut just like a parasite that manifests itself as a stomach flu and this parasite running through the fabric of humanity and taking no prisoners.
What is even more painful and produces more anger is that as a people we think that the only way to achieve our humanity is to ask the oppressor for our humanity. What stake does our oppressor have in “granting” us our humanity? Finally, after this long rant let me recommend some things that we can do:
- Protesting is great – it brings light to the issue at hand – but we need to begin to not only protest but transform our ideology through constant study.
- Organizations that are heading the protests must recognize the fundamental contradiction is not bad police but the larger capitalist system. This is evident since we keep having these incidents throughout the country. We must be pushing not for legislation but self-determination-and self-determination will not occur until we control our land. That land is Africa –if you are an African you cannot believe or think that your land is America because that is indigenous peoples land.
- We must push for and fight for the destruction of capitalism and to replace it with socialism or an economic system that ensures that the people control their resources and lives.
- Finally, if we must push for immediate change we need to push to take the funds from the excessive police force and prison industrial complex and put it into the hands of community-based organizations who can push for employment, youth programs, community revitalization (not the kick the people out kind). We need to use the funds to make sure that every African has the right and ability to get an education and to take care of our elderly, homeless and everyone in-between.
Short of a miracle in the next 48 to 72 hours another African will be killed in cold blood and we will protest and the cycle goes on. This cycle will one day be broken and America will be in a world of trouble!! Until then organize, organize, organize!!!!!