Friday, July 15, 2016
The Massacre in Nice, France
Today, we express outrage at the terror attack in Nice, France. There are at least 84 people dead and up to 130 injured. Many of the dead and wounded are children. Nice is a large tourist location in France. People were celebrating the Bastille holiday when the evil attack happened. French President Francois Hollande traveled to the south of France to talk about this crisis. Nice now is filled with heavily armed police. Hollande has said that this attack is of a terrorist nature. He said that France will not end the state of emergency on July 26 because of the attack. He will extend it for three more months. According to reports by French broadcaster iTele, police have identified the driver of the vehicle and said that he was known to them. Local media, such as Nice Matin, have reported that he was a 31-year-old with dual French-Tunisian nationality. There are reports that the truck was filled with explosives, bombs, and other arms. There is no organization claiming responsibility for the attack. Witnesses saw a large white truck speed into crowds. The people were gathered on the beachside Promenade des Anglais to watch fireworks to celebrate France’s national holiday at about 10:30 pm. Nice is found in the French Riviera, which is a popular destination for tourists and holidaying French nationals. The truck veered onto the pavement and accelerated to hit bystanders. It continued for about 100 meters. Others described tragic scenes, with bodies strewn around the road. Damien Allemand, a Nice Matin reporter who witnessed the incident, said: “People are running. It’s panic. He rode up onto the Prom and piled into the crowd ... There are people covered in blood. There must be many injured.” Local authorities advised residents to remain indoors. The nearby Hotel Negresco was used a makeshift hospital for the wounded. The shooter shot into the crowd too. The driver of the truck was shot dead by the police. The murderer is named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. He was going through a divorce. Each atrocity has been used to expand police and intelligence powers. Following the Paris attacks, the Hollande government instituted an unprecedented “state of emergency,” providing authorities with the power to ban demonstrations and detain suspects without charge. Over recent months, millions of French workers and students have defied the laws, engaging in mass demonstrations and strikes against the Socialist Party’s regressive El Khomri labour legislation. Right now, French President Hollande said that French advisors will be in Iraq in trying to retake Mosul from ISIS. Massive repressive measures exist in France, protests for economic rights continue, and the war on terror is still here. We send prayers and condolences of the victims of the Nice attack.
This has been a debate that existed for a long time. For over 100 years and before, black Americans have debated the concepts of elitism and class. During the early 1960's, there was the sit ins, then the Freedom Rides, then the Albany campaign, Birmingham, and Selma. After the Selma movement, the rise of the Black Power movement existed in 1966. Many progressive legislation occurred during the early to mid 1960's. Poverty in the black community declined from 1960 to 1969. Yet, there was the paradox. After, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, a lot of the gains of the civil rights movement and affirmative action existed disproportionately among the middle class and upper class of the black community while the poor masses of black people suffered not only racism, but lax wages, struggling schools, etc. Classism is a serious problem that we must confront and oppose. To judge the character of any human being by virtue of his or her income level or class is absurd and hateful. Has Jack and Jill done some good for society? Yes. Is Jack and Jill infallible? No. So, the situation revolves around inspiring Jack and Jill to be more revolutionary and to expand its mission. Middle and upper class black people are not the only ones who deserve opportunities in various fields. They aren't the only ones who need refuge. They aren't the only ones who cherish their families and believe in justice. Black people who are poor and working class deserve opportunities and economic justice too. The vast majority of the black victims of police terrorism are from the poor and working class communities. Therefore, black people, irrespective of our class, must show more empathy for the poor (as the poor has been collectively demonized and slandered not only by racists, but by some black bourgeois people who want prestige instead of solidarity. They want their status to be maintained instead of the destruction of oppression and the end of the system of tyranny). Therefore, there should be cross-class unity among black people to solve our problems as one community. Black people, among all classes and backgrounds, should unite and work together in a higher level. This isn't about blaming Jack and Jill for every problem under the sun. That would be silly. It is about being real with our political and economic situation in America and making the necessary changes that we want, so black liberation is a reality. Liberation isn't just for the middle class or the upper class. It's for all black people.
I have heard President Barack Obama's Dallas Memorial speech. Here are my thoughts. He spoke about unity and reconciliation. I agree with the President that the criminal justice system treats black people differently than white people and that racism is a serious problem in the world. Yet, deeds are more important words. For many years, we have seen whistleblowers imprisoned, the massive income inequality grow, and the war on terror expanded (which has caused the deaths of so many people in Libya, in Iraq, in Syria, and in other nations of the world). He said that violence isn't part of the America that he knows, yet violence caused the modern American nation to exist in the first place. America started by two imperialist factions (of the Patriots and the Redcoats) battling for land. The Patriots won. Today, the Department of Justice has never prosecuted fully any police terrorist at all. Cops are given more of the benefit of the doubt by this society than ordinary citizens, because the police are protected not only by the Blue Wall of silence, but by financial elites who profit by the police occupations of our communities. We have seen the stats. Black people are in a higher risk than whites to be murdered by the police. The police have killed more people at this point in 2016 than at the same point in 2015. Therefore, we are in a war for our survival. We have every right to resist this tyranny. When the state permits non-accountability among terrorist cops, then the people have the right to use any means necessary to protect and defend the black community. We see Brothers and Sisters in Atlanta, in New York City, in Philadelphia, in Detroit, in New Orleans, in Nashville, in Phoenix, in San Francisco, in Minnesota, in Baton Rouge (whose police agency is being sued by the ACLU for usage of excessive force against protesters) expressing legitimate outrage at this injustice. We want things beyond words. We want the abolishment of the current unjust policies from the mass incarceration state and real investments to build our housing, our health, our education, and other aspects of our living. We desire progressive legislation. We also believe in self-determination for our black people. Some want to condemn violence, but they are afraid to condemn the offensive evil violence of the military industrial complex and of the prison industrial complex.
The call for justice is clear and we will fight for it.
I saw Kalyn Chapman James's recent commentaries on CNN where she clarified her statements. She has legitimately hurt by the unjust violence that black people have experienced for centuries in the Americas. In retrospect, she should clarified her original statements better. That is true. Also, in the CNN interview, she has repeatedly repudiated the actions of Micah Johnson. Not to mention that many people claim that they are anti-violence, but they support the war on terror (where vicious violence is abundant. The war on terror includes drone attacks that have killed innocent men, women, and children). Many people want to claim to oppose violence, but they support the war crimes of the 2 atomic bomb drops in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the year of 1945, which are the epitome of violence. So, I understand the Sister's passion. I don't agree with her original statements, but I do accept her clarification on CNN. She has received death threats too, which is wrong. Not to mention that we, as black people, are in a war. We must fight using methods of nonviolence and self-defense if necessary. I don't agree with what Micah did, because he murdered and wounded non-threatening police officers in Dallas. Also, he wounded a black woman, which was evil. Therefore, Micah shouldn't be honored as a super hero. Micah Johnson was not a hero and he wasn't a martyr (because he used unjust acts against people). Yet, we should honor real heroes who used self defense against terrorists. The Deacons of Defense and other organizations in the Deep South used weapons to protect SNCC members and other civil rights activists during the 1960's.
Keep your head up Sister Kalyn Chapman James.
No one can be silent. When innocent black people have been murdered by evil people, then we can't be silent. When some black people experience pollution and economic injustices, then we should definitely not be silent. When black people have been slandered and scapegoated by racists and haters in general, then we can't be silent. It is very right for many Asians to promote the human dignity of black people. At the end of the day, we want justice. We reject xenophobia and intolerance. We also want our liberation as black people. Also, we know many people who are Asians who respected the black freedom struggle. For example, we know about the late Grace Lee Boggs who worked in Detroit for decades in many causes. It is great for many young Asians to express self reflection and acknowledge how some of their community has promoted the evil of anti-blackness. We know that we have a long way to go, but we will continue to fight for our human rights and for justice.
#Black Lives Matter.