break the laws/break the chains: political reflections on Mike Brown and White Supremacy from Oakland CA

Reposted from Kissing in the Dark

ftpTo be free is to break the law

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.”

-assata shakur

 I write to you from a humbled place. Striving to be a warrior for my people; looking and listening. This is an attempt to share some political reflections as a Black womyn in the struggle since I left the womb. The last two days Turtle Island (united states) has been on fire in solidarity with Mike Brown’s family and Ferguson, Missouri to protest the murder of Mike Brown by pig Darren Wilson, who continues to live freely with no charges filed against him. Mike Brown, like many of my brothers and sisters before me, was murdered for being a Black man in the White mans system. A system built out of the genocide of Black and Native folks. No justice will ever be served in their courts. This week in particular is a powerful week to be remembering and honoring native resistance, and Indigenous resistance all over this earth to white supremacy and state violence. Nothing has changed including the lies and bullshit holidays they try to feed us to distract us from these truths. We honor by continuing to resist.

My consciousness took a deep and important shift when Oscar grant was murdered nearly 6 years ago now at Fruitvale Bart Station on New Years of 2009. I begin building community here in Oakland to fight back against white supremacy shortly after. It is within this journey that certain political truths have been crystalized within me, which have helped root out reformism and liberalism, which serves to distract from the truth. There are many authoritarians within the spectrum of the left, who seek to manage and point out correct lines and such. Fuck them. That is not my purpose in these political reflections to gain ideological power over ‘the revolution’. That’s also not possible. The people will liberate themselves. But I do see too many of my own folks, (melinated, womyn, queer, combos of all) who fall into these liberal traps of seeking change through passive reformism and non violence. I see too many of my own folks who know the system is wrong or has to go in some kind of way, but aren’t sure what that is or are still too incarcerated within it, ideologically, to imagine what it would mean to truly break free and what it would take. We live in a world built out of white supremacy; manifested from the White mans vision, and implemented through deep violence. That is the only way the White man has won the world. Fanon said it concisely in The Wretched of the Earth,

“Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence.”

We live within colonial capitalism. A psychotic exploitative system designed to continually rob and take to keep a ruling elite in power. This system was created through European conquest, which helped set puppet governments up all over the world, who will act in accordance with these capitalist laws of domination over the earth and its peoples. All laws that exist are designed to protect this system. Protect the white supremacist hierarchy at its foundation. Protect the stolen wealth through genocide. As a people we are confronted with two choices, to integrate into the system and therefore legitimize slavery or to destroy it, which means breaking their slaveholder laws.

This can be a scary step for some folks to take, but it is a necessary one to truly break free, and it begins within our own consciousness and spirits, which guide our actions. For most, the way this practically happens is through the process of struggle itself. Sure, most of us are politicized through our identities and lived experiences as powerful, creative beings, who have survived generations of trauma caused from colonization. But that doesn’t change the fact that we live in the White mans world and are manipulated through his institutions, such as skkkool, and have his media all around us. It messes up our mind. Materially and physically we are dependent on this system, because capitalism creates dependency. We all are integrated into it just through the need to survive. We have to work hard for crumbs just to afford the basic necessities of life. Its expensive to be poor in a system opposed to life and we are not free to leave it or to live differently according to their laws. That type of liberation will come through a larger decolonial struggle that has been in existence for over 500 years.

Image from highway I-580 takeover in Oakland the first night of the post-verdict uprising

Image from highway I-580 takeover in Oakland the first night of the post-verdict uprising

When we take to the streets. When we fight back in direct ways, in offensive ways, not just passive marches, boycotts or petitions, then something changes within us. Our spirits are awakened when we take back space, whether it be buildings, freeways, walls, parks, ect. Confidence is built through taking risks. And when confidence is built we can do it better and larger and deeper. We can start to imagine what it might be like to not live in fear of the backlash of the state. We can begin to imagine what it might be like to live without a state altogether. To be truly free and autonomous. To not just take back space for a few hours, but to really decolonize and live with the earth. All we need is each other and that bravery and so much can happen, but it’s hard to imagine without the practical experience. Without seeing your comrades beat down and/or kidnapped in the streets by the racist pigs you were out there protesting or when you see over a 1000 people in Oakland, CA take the 580 freeway twice, because why the fuck not. We are powerful and can do anything with the right experience and mindset, and some organization. Not revolutionary organizations or vanguard parties that seek to manage the people, but through being organized together and finding unity through struggle. Lets stop legitimizing the system and giving them power. All they have is their violence and their lack of feeling, which allows them to employ that violence in the most disturbing ways to enforce their laws. That’s real and scary, but we also have so much more. As a people we have a deep brilliance and creativity, and our own hearts and ancestral blood to guide us as we fight back. We stay protected. We would not have survived this long if we weren’t. Our ancestors want us alive.

ftp

Black lives fight back

 Monday and Tuesday night in Oakland was inspiring, because it is a reminder of the dignified rage that flows through our people. That rage is the source of our power and magic. A righteous destruction we must employ against our oppressors, as well as a creative power to imagine and build something new. This is the beauty of militant decolonial struggle. The ways it builds upon itself through time and space. Nothing is purely spontaneous when the people have been self-organizing for 100s of years. What is important to me is how we build upon that energy so it hits the pressure points of the system as well as uplift one another.

A chant I heard over and over again throughout the protests is ‘black lives matter’. The slogan seems to be a rallying cry for this movement of solidarity with Mike Brown against white supremacy. Historically slogans have been important reflections of politics to inspire the people. The Black Panther Party said ‘All power to the people’ (Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, Poor, Womyn, Queer). To me that slogan reflected a radical politic that claimed the source of political power comes from the people; not bourgeois political parties and the police thugs who protect their money and hustle. The Black Panther Party and Black Power movement was also a youth movement. Radical struggles have always sprung from the youth. If our struggles are not centering the visions and actions of the youth then our struggles will lead to nowhere. There are a lot of non-profits that engage with young Black and Brown people and even seek to talk about ‘social justice’ and ‘activism’ but this work often stifles the movement of the youth narrowing it into the fields of education and assimilation, rather into freedom fighters. Outkast said it best, ‘youth full of fire and got nowhere to go’. The non-profitization of parts of the bay area left seeks to take out the fire of the youth and militant struggle, but young people see through these contradictions too. Especially young Black and Brown youth, who know what its like to not have political and social power within this white supremacist system; who see through the contradictions of the amerikkkan dream denied to them. The youth of Oakland have always represented in the streets and I’m proud to struggle alongside them.

So when we claim Black lives matter, who are we really talking to? I don’t need to tell another Black or Brown brother and sister that our lives matter. We know that. We are committed to that. Because if we weren’t committed to it then how would we have been able to survive and continue to survive genocide all these years?….Read the entire piece here.

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