A 12-year old Black boy, plays with a toy gun in a park. Police arrive to the scene in response to a report that a man is threateningly brandishing a gun in public. Within seconds, one of the police officers shoots the boy, killing him–no warning or opportunity to establish the circumstances. Later, investigators determine the murder reasonable, seemingly a justifiable homicide. The boy’s name is Tamir Rice.
An Italian man, entrepreneur travels the world to colonize lands and people, steal wealth and resources and extend the imperial influence of wealth Europeans. In the process, he murders or causes to die millions of people. The men under his command rape, torture, and desecrate the bodies of men, women and children. With the increasing Americanization (i.e., whitening) of Italian immigrants in the 1930s, politicians declare this man’s work worthy of a holiday and therefore a justifiable genocide. The man’s name is Christopher Columbus.
Every culture has story. Story is the work of putting experience into a form that makes sense, provides context, orientation and a place of grounding. Story is meta-factual. It does not have to confine itself to the reality of what happened, although it might use it. It can fly over, crawl under, pile through, or ride alongside the facts as they were. Story can pick and choose facts to consume like a diner at a buffet–placing the desired morsels on the plate and leaving behind the unappetizing rest or that which is offending to the palate.
Truth is meta-rational. It resides in the bones and the pit of the stomach rather than the mechanical configurations of the rational mind. It does not need to make sense nor have a reasonable disposition. It is what it is. You can make up whatever story you want to justify or discredit truth but truth is what it is. No story–no matter how ubiquitous, official, or well funded–is powerful enough to change it.
The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. – Audre Lorde
A people, united, will never be defeated. – Slogan of Liberatory Movements
Decolonization is always a violent phenomenon. – Frantz Fanon
Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it. – Frantz Fanon
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. – Frederick Douglass
The revolution will not be televised. – Gil Scott Heron
We who believe in freedom cannot rest. – Ella Baker
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. – Aboriginal People of Queensland
Reasonable Child Murder and a Holiday for Genocide
The reason why the murder of Tamir Rice was reasonable to the investigators who reviewed the case and the genocide of Christopher Columbus was worthy of a holiday by those who created the day is simple–we live in a society governed by imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy. It’s why people of European descent kill people of color. It’s why people of color kill people of color. It’s why the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was created to highlight the reality that Black life does not matter, unless it is in service to the interests of that govern this society.
But the problem is not merely out there. Imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy has taken residence in our souls. In 1984, Bobby E. Wright published an essay to describe a psychological understanding of the soul sickness of imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy. He called it psychopathic racial personality.
It’s why we’ve become habituated to imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy in many ways. People pave the streets with Black and Brown bodies, wallpaper prisons with Black and Brown bodies and suffer little consequence for these atrocities. We shake our heads, let out groans of sorrow and then go back to work the next day to make the money that funds our genocide. We remain reasonable and forsake our accountability to ourselves. Black and Brown bodies are ever vulnerable and under assault. Cisgender men and women. Transgender women and men. Young people. And what consequences exist for putting Black lives in danger? What price is paid and who pays it?
Where is Dan Freeman?
Since the terrorist act on September 11th, 2001, the increase in State-based violence, surveillance and terror has had a chilling effect upon radical organizing for social justice. J Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI, would have creamed his panties if he had had the kind of legislatively-authorized power and technological resources now available to defenders of the US empire in securing order, compliance and complicity within the homeland.
Set against the riots and rebellions of the 1960s and 70s, to what degree are the microphone storming by members of the Black Lives Matter Movement and protests that devolve into riots as a result of police mismanagement and exercise of masculinist aggression worthy of the harsh criticism that have been hurled by bourgeois, elitist liberals who champion respectability politics? The hood ass folks from down the way, with so little to lose and so much pain to hold, reach their breaking point and want to break some shit up. They can’t find a roadmap to revolutionary change, just a deep desire to end the pain or at least redirect it somewhere else for a brief, shining moment. But where is Dan Freeman?
And in today’s post 9-11 climate, the State’s ability to mark, target and pursue organizers has intensified to such a nearly staggering level that anyone following in the footsteps of movement organizers of the past like Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin and Kwame Ture has to not only learn from these ancestors and elders and channel their courage, fearlessness, creativity and tenacity but also work on the new challenges of a world connected through digital footprints, supercomputers, metadata analysis, etc.