Wednesday, October 19, 2016
50 Years After the Black Panther Party
What this man Edna had experience was evil and unconscionable. We face a serious issue where many cops have an authoritarian mentality that maintains the evil ideology that people are to be treated as servants while they ought to be treated as infallible kings. I disagree with that evil proclamation. We pay the cops' salaries and they are obligated to serve the law and to treat people fairly in the realm of equal protection. The Brother was handcuffed when he was no direct threat to anyone. Even the person who videotaped the incident has said that the man should have never been treated in that way by the police. We witness police brutality in many communities nationwide. The vast majority of the victims of police brutality or unjust treatment are found in poor and working class communities. Black people in many cases also are killed by cops in an unjust fashion. Our bodies, as black people, beyond to us (not to anyone else). That is why we are so adamant in opposing police misconduct. This is why there is a suspicion among many black people and the police institution (since the police institution has made it clear that true accountability and justice must be made in their image instead of the people's image. The police institution is never infallible). Therefore, I found out that the charges against the Brother has been dropped, but the police there still claimed that they did everything right, which is ludicrous. This fight for a real change in our world continues. There is no justice unless racial oppression, class oppression, and police terrorism are adequately and comprehensively addressed in the world.
Today, the Black Panther Party is 50 years old. I was not born during that time. My parents were alive back then as they experienced Jim Crow apartheid. The BPP was created in 1966. Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton were its founders. It was a progressive nationalist organization that was influenced by socialism, Third World movements against colonialism, and other philosophies. New members had to read books. It focused on self defense, opposing police brutality, and developing the black community. Its membership included men and women. Also, the Black Panthers grew very fast and had their peak in 1971. Afterwards, they started to decline due to FBI infiltration and FBI attacks, sexism (among some people in the BPP), splits, and other problems. Many heroes in the Black Panther Party should be honored and respected like Assata Shakur, Afeni Shakur, and other Brothers and Sisters. They also worked to form health clinics for free, schools for children, and the highly popular & successful Children Breakfast Program. They also created sickle cell testing centers for black people and prison reform programs. We won't forget about the unjust killings of Bobby Hutton and Fred Hampton either. The 10 Point Platform of the Black Panther Party (which wanted full employment of black people, an end to police brutality, freedom, decent housing, etc.) was progressive, strong, vibrant, and relevant in our generation. The BPP existed after the first stage of the civil rights movement. The first stage ended with the Selma voting rights movement in 1965. After that time, many young people especially didn't view the civil rights movement going quick enough for change (as legitimate laws to end Jim Crow and voting rights suppression existed, but massive economic deprivation remained in the nation. As early as 1964, which was before Watts, rebellions happened in Harlem, Philadelphia, Rochester, NY, and in other parts of the nation) and many young people rejected nonviolence unconditionally and believed in self defense. The Black Power speech from Kwame Ture in 1966 in Greenwood, Mississippi signaled the new era of the civil rights movement. Therefore, the movements of Robert F. Williams, of the Deacons of Defense (which was a group of black people in the South who used guns to protect the black community back in the early 1960's against racist Klan individuals), the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LFCO. It used the black panther as its logo), Malcolm X, etc. inspired the Black Panther Party of Oakland. Seale and Newton respected Malcolm X (Malcolm X believed in self defense, black liberation, and unity with Third World peoples). I researched the Black Panther Party for years. The BPP was more than people with leather jackets with guns. The Black Panther Party developed critical social and political analysis of politics and economics. They knew that Western imperialism harmed black people and all oppressed people globally. They knew about the weaknesses of capitalism. Therefore, they formed alliances with many Third World movements against imperialism and colonialism. They also allied with many U.S. organizations from the Young Lords to the SNCC members for a time. Today, we see people protesting police brutality and other forming organizations being directly or indirectly inspired by the Black Panther Party. Power to the People F.U.B.U. Uhuru Sasa. The struggle continues. The fight isn't over and we shall overcome.
Venida Browder recently passed away because of a heart condition. She was a hero in every meaning of the word. Her life was transcendent and she has inspired the growth of the criminal justice reform movement. For decades, she has shown a mother's love, compassion, and grace in the midst of oppression found in New York City including throughout the world. Her activism has been excellent and she has defended the life of her late son Brother Kalief Browder (who was the victim of abuse and mistreatment in Riker's Island). We have a serious problem when America locks up more people than any other nation in the world. We have a serious problem when even some innocent people have to plea in order for them to avoid paying expensive trial costs. We know about the unfairness of sentencing based on race and class. Therefore, the lives and legacies of Venida and Kalief Browder should motivate all of us to fight back against the evils of the prison industrial complex.
The documentary entitled 13th (which Sister Ava Duvernay is apart of) magnificently shows the history of mass incarceration, the corruption in the prison system, and the horrendous exploitation of black human lives in the prison system. We know that justice is not blind in American society and we realize the capitalist exploitation of many private corporations in how some of them handle the private prison industry (and it is an industry). There has been no real accountability in many situations involving prisoners who have been abused of their human rights. We stand not only against the evils of the mass incarceration state. Venida loved her son so much and we mourn her passing. We also stand against the policies of oppressive oligarchy, imperialism, racial oppression, gender oppression, and economic exploitation too.
Rest in Power Sister Venida Browder.
Many people have praised Solange's new album. Here are my thoughts on her new album. I have listened to many of its songs and it's great. Solange should be respected of her work ethic, of her talent, and of her strength too. For over 15 years, Solange has not only been involved in music. She has supported black banks, she has worked in charities, and she has spoken out on many important issues from racial justice to opposition to police brutality. Therefore, Solange isn't disingenuous when she sings or talks about issues relevant to the black community. Solange's songs like Stillness in the Move, Freedom, I decided, Under Construction, and other songs outline her range, creativity, crispness, and improvisation of her voice. She represents Black Girl Magic. Musical experts, fans, and other people have given Solange's new album universal acclaim. Solange has always expressed unapologetic blackness since the start or her career. She is a singer, a songwriter, a model, an entrepreneur, and a woman who overcame many challenges in her life. Solange's new album addresses depression, black history, black self-determination, black women's autonomy, the struggles of life, and other issues that are important in our lives. Solange's "Cranes in the Sky" is a classic and one of the best songs that I have heard in this decade of the 2010's without question. At the end of that song, no one can tell me that her vocals are mediocre either. Her song Borderline is a great record too. Therefore, we are a diverse people and we should welcome diverse views. So, I wish Solange the best.
Both women, Chimamanda Ngozi and Rashida Jones, wrote eloquent, gracious, and humble thank you notes to First Lady Michelle Obama. Chimamanda has outlined great excellence in her literary prose. As other people have mentioned here, First Lady Michelle Obama is the greatest First Lady in American history. With poise and determination, she has promoted healthy eating and exercise. With grace, she has exposed racism and promoted the beauty of Blackness. With strength, she has confronted a sexist male demagogue running for President and promoted the human autonomy of women in general. Her intellect and her activism have inspired the world, especially black girls and black women to achieve their dreams plus aspirations. Michelle Obama's eloquent words, her great fashion style, and her story outlines very truly that we shouldn’t lose faith as faith plus works makes life bountiful. Michelle Obama is not only a gorgeous black woman. She is a black American who will not be intimidated, who will not be defeated, and whose legacy is just getting started. From the South Side of Chicago to the White House (which was built by slaves as she has accurately mentioned in the 2016 Democratic National Convention in the great city of Philadelphia), the First Lady is a black woman whose passion for justice has never been extinguished and whose presence has glowed a magnificent light for all people to witness.
Thank you Sister First Lady Michelle Obama for your words, actions, and hope that you give in the Earth.