Embrace The Riot: Why liberalism fails
There is the undeniable fact that black people, even black youth, are treated systematically different in this country. We can no longer afford for this truth to be ignored. The cost of this continued ignorance comes at the cost of more black lives. This is a truth that is unacceptable in any society that wants to claim to be post-anything.
With reporter Gary Webb back in the spotlight, the thing that is missing from these headlines is what the black community has always known – that the CIA was flooding black communities with crack cocaine. This served to benefit the US in two ways: it 1. allowed for the US to fund the Nicaraguan Contras without directly linking themselves, and 2. ), in relation to this article, they were able to interrupt the black liberation movement of the 60s-70s by criminalizing the black community, disrupting black advancement and stealing black wealth. Reaganomics and these racist policies was a great tactic that continues to support white supremacy and capitalism over black Americans.
In 2007 we saw the largest theft of black wealth. Which only increased the systematic discrepancies between the loss of white homes and those who were black. It has been revealed that banks such as Wells Fargo purposely targeted black homeowners for their sub-prime loans. Was this on accident, or instead a calculated plot by financial institutions with the complicity of the US government to make sure that White Supremacy remains untouched? Both the US government and its institutions were built on white supremacy and anti-blackness. They have been colluding since the inception of this country to ensure that their empire remains intact.
With an unending threat on black lives – and the Christian State of White Supremacy still at large (read here for more on CSWS) – liberalism should be seen as much of a threat to black liberation as the white supremacist American justice system. The dominant narrative of historical black resistance has been to use liberal tactics such as advocating for change through voting, reform and civil disobedience. These tactics are not only ineffectual but, given the complexity and structural corruption inherent in our system, are also intentionally complicit in our oppression.
Liberalism is used to pacify any attempts at disrupting and changing the system, because in fact liberalism benefits from that said system. If you look at the events in Ferguson, the power structure made many attempts to co-opt energy that was inspired by the killing of Mike Brown and many other killings of black people by the hands of the law. With the immediate condemning of the few acts of property destruction that took place, the “rioters” were then met by outside pacifiers, looking to quickly rebrand and attempt to gain control on the black youth lead revolt. You could see that as recent as Ferguson October ideological clashes occurred between the youth and the self appointed black leadership. The ones who are so necessary for white liberals, who are eagerly trying to figure out how to control black rage, or at least help redirect its anger to something more positive and less threatening to their way of life. On Twitter you could see the split between the weekend protesters and those who had consistently been on the ground.
Here in Los Angeles, soon after the first spark of Ferguson hit the ground, Ezell Ford a 24-year-old black male was murdered by LAPD. A week later white liberal activists had quickly organized an event. The first event took place in front of the LA police headquarters and was full of erasure of black struggle, with white people chanting, “we are all Mike Brown” and “hands up, don’t shoot”.
The state has many tactics – liberalism and co-optation are some of them. Hierarchical revolutionaries are another. It is important that black resistance be fought in a horizontal way. The idea of leadership and false prophets should be deconstructed, and collectively shunned from uprisings. Whether that may be the head of the NAACP, the New Panthers, or some white liberal activist organization that claim they want to help fight in black struggle. Liberalism and those who serve to protect it only work in management positions. They cannot be seen as allies, but as compromised people who have a vested interest in maintaining that same structure that is used to terrorize, dehumanize, and execute us with impunity. This is done so with every liberal chant for peace and chants for non-violence.
The ones who have the means to the shotgun should not be organizing the ones who don’t even have access to a blade.
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