Residents march during a #BlackLivesMatter protest on May 1, 2015, in Ann Arbor. Photo credit: Eduardo García
The fear of being a person of color in America was brought once again to the forefront of everyday living, exploding onto the pages of reality dictated by a 21 year old blond-haired young man in a way that has sparked a discussion from coast to coast. The history of discrimination based on skin color once again has presented itself, covered in the blood of grandparents, of mothers and fathers, of a librarian, of a Allen University graduate, and of clergy all of whom thought themselves to be safe and in a place of peace. There are two companions joined at the hip, responsible for this American born, South Carolina tragedy.
Reality is tied to history in this horrific episode of absolute domestic terrorism on which such hatred is founded. The kidnapping of millions of African slaves dragged off to this developing country and forced into decades of free labor and a life of absoluter horror is the start of “America’s Greatness”, and the place we should all be aware of as we search to finds reasons for this latest, violent incident. The legacy left by that terrible yet historical truth underscores that “Blacks can never escape the shadow of the plantation.”
We must engage a discussion now that calls for calm and clear heads as we examine the “whys” and the “what-next” conversations that must follow if we are to stay on course. America has used the color question skillfully over the long night of 400 years this practice has been in place. Bombings, shootings, burnings, castrating’s, amputating’s, raping’s, family separations, jailing’s, executions, the list is long but not at all foreign to the progeny of former slaves. This commemorative marker will stay on the hearts and minds of many as it represents a degree of shock, awe, and depravity that we have not been witness to in such stark tones while “main-stream” media works to convince us all that the nation has moved forward leaving such violent acts in the past.
America is at fault for this tragic episode, but it has an “ALPHA” partner in this criminal act. The basis of the country founded so long ago promised to be the land where “equality and democracy” reigned supreme, and that no mistreatment toward its citizens would be tolerated. Our forefathers wrote volumes about the rights of the average citizen and the propertied class in this new country, and dictated glorious and beautiful paragraphs about opportunities and about equal access and other truths that were to be held as self-evident. Something happened on the way to the fountain of democracy, as the “ALPHA-DOG” corporate-class saw a way to make eternal profits if they could just secure then normalize measures that would keep different groups fighting each other while they raked in millions, then billions, and today trillions. So far, the policy of divide and make money, has worked wonderfully for this corporate culprit.
There are other tools of hatred and division in that bag of tricks that when needed, surface quickly, though none are as potent or as effective as what we get when some people train their young to hate on the basis of skin color. When that tactic doesn’t produce the result wanted, we can expect the rise of other points of division. Could be along gender lines, or attacks aimed at low-income mothers, against Hispanics, or against Native Americans, or against Muslims, against the families that live “over there”, and so on. There is no end to the examples of how one group is turned against another group, taught to hate the other especially if these questions appear wrapped in religion, or in politics.
American history and corporate control sleep together. They are both are complicit in this murder of nine African-Americans who were in church to pray and study peaceful ways to serve the Almighty. This 21-year old “creature” had to be taught to both hate and to direct violence toward worshippers whom he sat with for an hour. He and the “9” have been enshrined into our collective memories for years to come. We will not always remember the names of these fellow citizens, but we will always remember this tragedy and will mourn this episode for the rest of our days. It is what we do next that will mark how we recall this murderous moment that happened on a Wednesday night, during Bible study, June 17th, 2015.
Progressive and revolutionary thinkers are marching ahead, envisioning a new world without the influence of corporate pirates who keep us poor and fighting for crumbs as they train how to blame others for individual economic challenges. Progressive and revolutionary thinkers are marching ahead, envisioning a new world where people access what they need in a system that supports equal access and opportunity for all. Progressive and revolutionary thinkers are marching ahead, envisioning a new world where we don’t let 9th graders drop out of school, nor do we allow messages of hatred masquerading as “free speech” to be shared on “FACEBOOK” without consequences, nor do we allow traitors to that vision who call themselves Klansmen, Nazis, or the rest to operate with impunity and in the dark. Time to call them all out, and to make them pay along with their financial sponsors, those who would defile the peace and the prosperity that is ours to claim.
From neighborhoods, to this greater American tragedy that played itself out in Charleston, S.C., any single person or class of persons that supports violence in the form of bullets, or in the form of poverty, or discrimination of any type must be challenged. No one can legislate feelings or thoughts, but we must hold those who openly declare hurt toward others, responsible in such a way that they learn to fear saying similar words where others might hear them. We cannot allow this horrible incident to take us off our mark as we go forward toward the building of such a new world that works for the majority of working class people. We must close ranks around our sorrow and carry the memory of those lost to us by the senseless act of this demonic, domestic terrorist with us into the bright future that lies ahead.
Lastly, about that flag that flies over the Carolina capital bldg. It is a symbol of treachery, Kid Rock, a constant reminder of slavery, a symbol of violence and of hatred that those who can’t let the Civil War fade into the past, hold on to. In years past, the Black Panther Party openly carried fire arms in their defense against elements they suspected were active in the murder of Black folks. Since that flag won’t come down, I challenge all in the memory of the Black Panther Party who have rifles, to go to that site at night and open fire on that flag. Anglo-Americans in greater numbers are invited to join with other national patriots already in motion by adding their voices to the demand for peace and the end to war, to violence, to hurt toward Mother Earth, to poverty, and the call to end all forms of discrimination. The twin towers of abuse – the legacy of American history along with the recent occupation of corporate control – will maintain their reign of terror over us all that promises to be the death of our nation.
We are witnesses to America’s Sin, so a few holes in that flag fired by a few skilled, blonde-headed patriots, may send the right message…” Hurt No One Else in fact or with symbols.” The other message may also be heard, and that is…”we are not going to sit and be foreclosed on, have our water shutoff, injured, impoverished, or slaughtered day and day, city after city without consequences to those who would cause such a degree and scale of pain”… Take that painful flag down and take it to a museum, with the bullet holes still visible.
MI Welfare Rights Organization