Wednesday, April 29, 2015
We are Baltimore.
The rebellion in Baltimore is decades in the making. When we search the truth, we see that the victims of this decades long neoliberal policies (from both Republicans and Democrats) are not thugs. The real thugs are the political establishment who allowed austerity, police brutality, deindustrialization, social inequality, discrimination, and other evils to fester in Baltimore and in other locations globally. When people rebelled, these hypocrites lecture us about obeying the law and being nonviolent when society is not using nonviolence in drone attacks overseas and in their other imperial tactics. The rebellion was an expression of the hurt and the pain by human beings who have economically exploited by the oligarchy. Also, the brutality of police brutality in Baltimore and in so many other cities across America represents an epidemic not a rising crisis. The mayor of Baltimore is a Sister named Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Sister Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did the right thing to express sympathy with the family of Freddie Gray. Yet, we all know that she and other police authorities made mistakes during the Monday response to the rebellion. During Tuesday, the situation in Baltimore massively improved. Now, we see National Guard troops and militarized police in Baltimore since Baltimore is in an emergency. Yet, the emergency in Baltimore didn’t began in 2015. It started decades ago when many authorities refuse to give adequate housing, health care, jobs with a living wage, quality education, and other services to the black and poor residents of Baltimore. We not only have to defeat racism, but classism too. To call hurting people “thugs” is too simplistic, it’s reactionary (to her credit, the mayor of Baltimore has apologized for calling people thugs), and it doesn’t solve the problem. The violence of the oppressed is different from the violence of the oppressor. There is no justification for the burning of the CVS store, for the burning of a senior center, and for innocent property being harmed. Yet, human life is more important than property. The pattern of slandering protesters, the occupation of communities, and the growing income inequality must end. I wouldn’t surprised if some of the people using violence against innocent property are agent provocateurs. Also, the protest movement for social change will continue. The real thugs are those cops who kill innocent unarmed human beings. The real thugs are those who express drone strikes killing innocent civilians throughout the Earth in Yemen, etc. The upper class in Baltimore has massive privilege while the poor are treated as a domestic colony. For long centuries, we have been the victims of colonialism, slavery, and other forms of oppression. America itself was founded as a settler state at the expense of African suffering and Native American extermination. The reactionaries lecture about pulling up from our bootstraps, but they advocate socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Many residents of Baltimore have protested peacefully, cleaned streets, had celebrations, and want a real change. Yet, some in the mainstream media refuse to show the vast majority of the residents of Baltimore expressing love, solidarity, peace, and a call to justice. The peaceful protesters in Baltimore should be commended for their dedicated to truth and justice. The unjust murder of Freddie Gray should wake anyone up that police brutality is not only real (as the city had to pay victims millions of dollars for restitution over police brutality), but we have the right to resist. Resisting doesn’t just mean nonviolent resistance narrowly. It also includes self-defense and civil disobedience. Resistance is a key part of revolutionary struggle. We are in solidarity with all of the freedom loving people of Baltimore.
He deserves a round of applause for his statements on this issue. Jesse Williams is a genius. The American Revolution has been glorified by many whites, but that revolution existed as a product of riots, insurrection, and theft of lands by the colonists. The Mexican-American war included riots. The police riot of 1968 (outside of the Democratic Convention meeting in Chicago) has been supported by reactionaries. Reactionary war policies then and now include massive war crimes. Yet, these evil actions have been supported by nefarious people, but evil people want to condemn all black people for the rebellion in Baltimore. The epidemic of police brutality has been ignored by so many even in our generation. There are double standards in dealing with this issue. Rioting is not representative of blackness or the black collective. The 1968 Kerner Commission displays in strong detail about why incidents in Baltimore, etc. take place. The massive police occupation, police terrorism, poverty, deindustrialization, and other evils play a huge role in the oppression of the people of Baltimore. To assume that a minority of people destroying property is representative of the protest movement is an outright slander. I commend people like Jesse and others who are speaking truth to power. Well, the naysayers can't refute Jesse's words. They are too accurate and they covered all of the bases. Also, there was the riot in the Northeast by mostly whites in New Hampshire during the Pumpkin Festival (back in 2014). The mainstream media didn't call the rioters "savages" or "thugs" in a high level. Some just called it just a mistake done by a few bad people.
This is certainly great news. Hundreds of human beings in Nigeria being rescued should be celebrated. There is a long way to go obviously. The situation in Nigeria is complex. There must be an addressing of income inequality in Nigeria (as the rich have been made economically prosperous via oil resources and other material resources like cobalt, but the masses of the poor suffer greatly). Civil liberties must be protected as Buhari during the 1980's violated the human rights of Nigerians. There must be more religious reconciliation between Christians, Muslims, and animists. Boko Haram is an evil, counterrevolutionary group and Africom has imperial designs too. We all want more people to be saved and we wholeheartedly desire Nigeria to reach its highest potential. I sympathize with the Baltimore mother’s fear, anger, and hurt at the situation. She is right to say that her son should not be killed by the police. I don’t agree with her slapping her son like that in public though. She should have responded in a better way. Yet, I understand where she is coming from. We need our families to grow and we want fascist police terrorism to end. Another thought came about in my mind on this issue too. In American society, there is the obsession with brute force, and brutality. When we study our history, we see that our ancestors suffered unspeakable pain and injury by white terrorists. Our ancestors were whipped and mistreated. You know where I'm going with this. If our ancestors being slapped and whipped by racists were wrong back then, then slapping a young teenager is wrong too. The mother and the son are going through great pain. They are hurting. The mother is emotional over the injustices found in Baltimore. In retrospect, the mother should of responded better. We take out our frustrations at the system via positive activism. We don't hurt each other physically or emotionally. We must be reminded about what life is all about. Life is not about being brutal and vulgar towards each other as black people. Life is about being just, fair, strong, compassionate, and real. When we are compassionate and strong, then the Spirit of the Lord is with us.
It is great for Viola Davis to take on this role. Harriet Tubman was a heroine in more ways than one. She freed hundreds of black slaves and she worked to defeat the evil Confederacy during the Civil War too. Harriet Tubman was crucial in the progressive human rights movement. Throughout her life, Harriet Tubman taught people about strength, determination, and the sacrosanct value of human freedom. Congratulations to Sister Viola Davis. The hypocritical Western imperialists lecture us on "nonviolence" and "following the law," yet they are not nonviolent with their drone strikes and their imperialism overseas (like in Libya when they allowed real terrorists to killed black Libyan men, women, and children). So, we know how the game is played. I heard of this story (of the sheriff's words) before too. First, who is he to criticize the term African-American. There is nothing wrong with black people calling themselves African American. He or the sheriff uses the same weak arguments in trying to ignore the real issue. The real issue is that we have a massive epidemic of police brutality and bad policies in our criminal injustice system. Just because a President is black doesn't mean that all of racism is extinguished in society. We have massive racism in America. It has been shown by how many black people have been sentenced unfairly, about how many people have been discriminated against in jobs, etc. Racism is shown at how racist people have beaten, and even killed black people in our generation. Also, many black people reject profanity and other evil actions.
There is no massive public outrage at many whites being involved in numerous crimes. When a white person does drug trafficking, serial killing, etc. many folks don't say that this white person has embraced a "thug culture." People say that these individuals are evil and they must be punished. So, the sheriff is stirring up racism and he is a disgrace. Black culture is diverse and it is beautiful. Crime rates in the black community have declined since 1970. Since 1992, black teenage pregnancy rates have declined. Therefore, we have a long way to go, but all black people are not social nihilists. The vast majority of black people aren't murderers; most of us aren't rapists, etc. I have noticed that sheriff (and people like him) refuses to micro-analyze other groups of people. They are just obsessed with stereotyping us and they minimize the pain and the oppression that black people go through. That is why we must fulfill our own expectations and not fulfill the expectations of the theocratic, retrograde, and evil views of that Sheriff. Black people will move forward and establish real solutions.
Poverty is a complex issue in society. Many people in our community once were middle class or rich class and became poor by unwise decisions, greed, and economic mismanagement. Yet, other people are poor by no fault of their own. These people also have become poor by being laid off, economic manipulation by Wall Street banks, a natural disaster, etc. Therefore, we should not justify anti-frugal behavior while realizing that the poor need support, compassion, and inspiration for them to achieve their own social, economic, and political empowerment. Freedom deals with social, political, and economic freedom as the elders legitimately fought for back then and what we are fighting for today in 2015. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with developing savings, retirements, etc. Many Americans save their money. Also, we as black people should develop long term saving and investment strategies short term and especially long term (so, our black descendants won’t have to deal with what we deal with. We want our resources to be sent to our future generations). Jobs should include a living wage, fair benefits, and real dignity. We should work in jobs, but not let jobs work us so to speak. There is nothing wrong with ownership, but we use ownership to help our people excluding greedy capitalist exploitation. Some in our community are messing up and making errors. There is no justification for anyone of any color to do evil consciously. Yet, our problems should never be used as a means for others to falsely stereotype us or scapegoat us for the evils in the world. Likewise, there are social, economic, and political oppression sent by the oligarchy against black people that can’t be ignored nor minimized. We should use our power (since we have over 1 trillion dollars in spending power per year) effectively to handle the issues of poverty, education, health care, etc. I don’t believe in painting the black community in a broad brush. Some black people get it and some don’t. We have a long way to go. The crimes of the super wealthy ought to be condemned. It was the super wealthy (via Wall Street banks, etc.) who caused the largest transfer of wealth in human history, which has caused massive social inequality in the USA alone. It is some (not all) of the black middle class and some (not all) of the black rich who escaped from the black poor and sought to promote a false sense of security (many of them have scapegoated the black poor collectively in a nefarious, classist fashion) instead of forming great solidarity with their poor Brothers and their poor Sisters. The system of white supremacy is nefarious, but it is not omnipotent. Therefore, we have the power to do something about our issues. Investments are needed in our communities. We have to realize that black pain is real. People are hurting and people need compassion and justice. We have to embrace real priorities which deal with children receiving a fair education, the sick having adequate universal health care, and police occupation & police terrorism being gone. These priorities relate to social and economic justice which I support 100 percent.