Friday, August 12, 2016

Standing Up for Social Justice.

The Rio Olympics have been filled with history and excitement. Many athletes have been outstanding in performing and inspiring the world. Likewise, we shouldn’t omit about the people of Brazil. Brazil still has many poor people who live in the impoverished hillside neighborhoods of the favelas. Many of the poor people in Brazil live under police occupation. Walls were built around favelas to keep poor people from tourism destinations. Homes have been demolished and people have been relocated to suit the construction plans, affecting some 30,000 people. There have been 6,000 homeless people who have been moved away from Rio’s downtown. Many demonstrations and people in general desire education, health, and housing not austerity. Many areas of the Olympic regions are militarized. Many of the teachers, other public employees, the transit infrastructure workers have lax wages. The current “interim president” is the far right Michel Temer. Brazil experienced an overt dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. That was when democratic rights were under constant attack and bloody police repression existed. The fight for justice continues. It is also important to acknowledge the sacrifice of the athletes of the Olympics. For years, these human beings have worked in training, practice, trials, and other events in order for them to performance in the Olympics. They do things that the majority of the world’s population can’t do. They are blessed in many arenas and their sacrifice plus their incredible talent should always be acknowledged and respected. Simone Manuel (she is the first African American woman to win a gold for swimming individually), Simone Biles (who is the greatest gymnast in American history), and other athletes who won gold have expressed graciousness, inspiration, humbleness, and grace. In life, we learn a lot and we will continue to encourage blessings for the human family. We live in historic times and we are blessed to live in the 21st century. I won’t stop, because I can’t stop.

The split in the Black Panther Party came about because of many reasons. It existed in 1971, yet rumblings occurred before 1971. The split occurred, because of FBI-engineering of divisions. Also, it came about because of ideological disagreements that came about in the Black Panther Party. When Huey P. Newton was in prison and when Bobby Seale had his trial, much of the Black Panther’s policies were governed by David Hilliard and the Central Committee. The Central Committee wanted to root out corruption, so they purged or fired many members of the Black Panthers that they deemed corrupt or against the rules of the Party. The problem was that many of the people who were kicked out like Geronimo Pratt were innocent of any violation and the Central Committee became more authoritarian in its functions and activities. Hilliard gained more power and many Panthers disagreed with him as viewing him as too reformist and compromising. When Huey left prison, he allied with Hilliard. Cleaver and many people from the NY Panther 21 viewed Hilliard as too reformist and accommodating (or right wing). They opposed Hilliard from an ideological standpoint. Huey P. Newton waned to not focus on retaliatory violence against the police during the time, because he wanted to focus on survival programs (like the Breakfast for Children program, health care services, ambulance services, etc.). Eldridge Cleaver and members of the NY Panther 21 (some of whom praised the Weathermen Underground) wanted violence against the police and promoted a more confrontational approach to create liberation for black people. The group around Eldridge Cleaver and the New York Chapter (branch) charged the Oakland, California leadership of Huey Newton with ‘revisionism’, while the Newton group characterized the opposition as ‘adventurists.’ Dhoruba bin Wahad was one person from NY who opposed Hilliard for his revisionist ideologies in his mind. He wanted a radical solution excluding token bourgeois politics. Both sides of the Newton faction and the Cleaver faction would not unify as time went onward. Newton accused Cleaver of using adventurism and causing many Panthers to die by virtue of reckless policies. Cleaver, Donald Cox, and others expressed most his criticism against Hilliard as claiming that he was the ringleader of causing the Panthers to create a more compromising approach to things.  The Cleavers formed a new organization called the Revolutionary People’s Communication Network. Kathleen returned to promoting and speaking about the new organization. To accomplish this, she and the children moved back to New York. To this day, Kathleen Cleaver have heroically promoted progressive causes. In the midst of factional disputes, many innocent Black Panthers were killed mysteriously. So, some Panthers wanted to focus on community programs while the other faction of Panthers wanted to use guerilla warfare against the state. By 1972, the Black Panther changed and evolved to be involved in electoral politics, more investments in community programs, it lost a lot of liberal support, and it decreased in its numerical power. This is a class struggle and the working class and the poor ought to have economic justice if we are all to be free for real.The Black Panther Party changed forever by 1972.

The Great Recession was caused by big Wall Street bankers utilizing the derivatives markets in outlining dangerous, risky policies. The Great Recession (which proved that trickled down economics doesn't work) blatantly exacerbated the problems in our communities. There is no solution unless there are revolutionary actions to address economic inequality, racial discrimination, and gender oppression. A solution will not be one single thing. It has to be a combination of actions that deals with public policy changes (which must occur among all levels of government) and us using more self determination in a higher level (which deals with not only building more of our institutions and strengthening our families. It has to do with developing strategies to combat poverty in our poorest of our communities. There is no path to liberation unless we create strategies to fight poverty period. Poor black people should never be scapegoated for every problem in our community. They need compassion, respect, and dignity). We should treat this situation as an emergency since it's an emergency. Millions of our people are in poverty, suffering injustices, and having lax opportunities in life are indicative of an emergency. I have no problem with nonviolence and self defense too. True wealth is not just about financial capital. Wealth also deals with resources like our literature, our paintings, our media, our enterprises (as entrepreneurship is fine along with humanitarianism), our homes, our music, our land, and other legitimate institutions that have long term value. Not only should we be involved in developing wealth in our community, but we should own it. Ownership and independence including the Knowledge of Self (as we have to love our Blackness in order for us to achieve our goals) are key to liberation. Malcolm X made it plain that liberation deals with owning land and other resources. We want our wealth to be passed onward to our black future generations. This article is certainly very vital in understanding the situation that we are in, so we can't be sleep. We need to be woke and act accordingly.

The Justice Department’s report on the police violence in Baltimore, Maryland documents once again the epidemic of police terrorism. The problem is that the DOJ rarely prosecutes crooked cops who enact terrorism against people. The report documents the horrific, far reaching, and routine “stop and frisk” searches like strip searches in public, arrests without cause, racial profiling, physical abuse, and unnecessary force. These actions are against constitutional and human rights. There has also been retaliation against actions protected by free speech. According to the DOJ, the Baltimore police engage “in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution as well as federal anti-discrimination laws.” It is not surprising to see how the Baltimore police in many cases engage in illegal and unconstitutional actions. These evils occur daily in cities from across America like in Cleveland, Ferguson, New Orleans, Albuquerque, etc. The deal is that these reports don’t propose progressive, revolutionary changes for the violations of human beings’ core democratic rights. Instead, it announces that the federal government and the City of Baltimore had reached “an agreement in principle” to create “a federal court-enforceable consent decree addressing the deficiencies.” In other words, nothing will be done. The problems are not deficiencies. They are outright crimes against human beings. The Obama administration and the police officials including the government of Baltimore have overseen the militarization of local police forces. This militarization is nationwide. Cops kill more than 1,000 people every year and have in tons of cases systematically obstructed any efforts to hold anyone accountable. The “consent agreement” is signed by officials from the Obama DOJ and Baltimore’s Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.  The proposals deal with sensitivity training and other actions. There is still wanton abuse and killing of the working class. We know about the dropped charges of all six Baltimore police officers involved in the Freddie Gray killing. The investigation came about after the social unrest in 2015 after the police killing of Gray in April of 2015. The report on the Baltimore police also comes two years after protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. Police killings continue. According to figures compiled by there have been 2,359 police killings in the United States, more than three every day, since the killing of Michael Brown. There is video footage of Paul O’Neal being killed by the Chicago police in July of 2016. He was only 18 years old. This situation relates to both racism and state violence against the working class and the oppressed. Anyone that ignores racism or the class component to police brutality is ignoring a lot of the truth. Disproportionate amount of the victims of police killings are African Americans. The vast majority of the victims of police killings are poor and working class human beings in America.  The overwhelming majority of police killings were in areas where the median annual household income is less than $100,000. Political independence is important as many Democrats have overseen the suppression of anti-police violence protests. Many Democrats used the National Guard against protests in Ferguson and Baltimore. The RNC (Donald Trump is a bigot and an extremist that I will not support) and the DNC (which is why the military intelligence apparatus and sections of the GOP support the candidacy of Hillary Clinton) overtly promote militarism and a celebration of neoliberal policies. We have a high level of social inequality and a corrupt economic system. To end police brutality must be a revolutionary change of the system.

The disaster in Flint, Michigan is a crime against humanity. For decades, many innocent people in Flint will experience permanent cognitive damage. Emotional damage is found among the citizenry of Flint. We have every right to be angry at this situation. In essence, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department supplied Flint water for years. Years ago, the political and financial elites wanted to cut corners and end the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department from supplying water to Flint when that water was fresh and clean. When that change occurred, poisonous water (from the Flint river) came into Flint. This switch caused massive pain, suffering, and hurt to Flint residents. When heroic whistle blowers (like Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Medical Center, Melissa Mays, Marc Edwards, etc.) wanted to warn people about the poisonous water years ago, many government officials tried to suppress their findings. One EPA official resigned over this tragedy. This act of overt poisoning of human life is so evil that recently, many members of the MDEQ were indicted for many crimes (as they should). Many people want the Governor to be charged and I can't argue against them. I do believe that more donations of bottled water should continue in Flint. Also, I think that the local and state governments in Michigan should send resources immediately in a higher level to help them. Also, federal assistance should definitely be sent to the region ASAP as the people in Flint are experiencing a total emergency. The emergency manager system in Michigan has proven to be anti-democratic as well. Sasha Avonna Bell, who spearheaded a lawsuit against the government over the lead poisoning of the Flint water supply, was found murdered. I send condolences to her family. All of us stand up for the truth in honor of Sister Sasha Avonna Bell and the other residents of Flint, Michigan. The Flint water crisis once again shows how environmental justice must be promoted as caring for the environment and caring for human life is part and parcel of the social justice creed. That is why it is always progressive to care for human lives and for the water.

By Timothy

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