On the Conditions Facilitating Our Dying

On the Conditions Facilitating Our Dying

As Africans in America we must understand that our constant dying is not coincidence but the result of conditions(1) created by White Supremacist Capitalism. Some of these conditions, such as poverty or inaccessible healthcare kill us slowly, over the duration of our whole lives; while others, like qualified immunity(2) and stand your ground laws, give state actors and white vigilantes free license to end black and brown lives instantly. But despite the nature of our dying, the fact remains that the state is actively facilitating that death and we cannot vote away our dying as much as we can’t vote away the very state that is killing us.

The same state that imposed these conditions upon us will not remove them because to do so would be to self-destruct. The conditions are its very essence. There is no US without state sanctioned killing and ritualistic violence towards black people. The same way this violence is hardwired into the cultural psyche of whites(3) it is codified into the DNA of the state because in this country state power has always been informed by white power.

I would ask anyone who disagrees to show me a period of American History where this was not the case. White Supremacy was foundational to the The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Even the 13th amendment marked more of an evolution of White Supremacy from one stage to another, than it did any actual shifting of values. After its ratification vagrancy laws(4) and convict leasing(5) ensued and we saw the first prison boom. Lynchings and White Supremacist terrorism increased(6) as well. To this day we have yet to see an actual changing of conditions or end to our suffering and dying.

For God’s sake we were dying under a Black leader as much we were dying under white ones before him. If this isn’t proof that white supremacy is too deeply ingrained within the fabric of the state to be removed then what is? The truth is obvious but constant oppression has a way of beating down a people’s mental fortitude.

This is why many of us have the mindset of a person trapped in an abusive relationship; unable to imagine a world in which their abuse doesn’t exist because they view their abuser as their only means of living a meaningful life. To any rational, healthy, outside observer the truth is clear: either the abuser must be removed from the equation or the recipient of the abuse must get out from under the abusers control.

Similarly, if the state’s position is that of an oppressor, to expect a sudden change based on the election of a new racist every four years is fantasy. If we continue on the road of choosing which boot is on our neck and which shackles are on our wrists instead of taking action, our children will be condemned to poor butchered half lives(7), oscillating between begging a “liberal” state for welfare and begging a “conservative” state to stop cheering on white vigilante violence. Either way we remain beggars.

As long as we are choosing between two racists in a state sponsored circus every four years the conditions facilitating our deaths will not come to an end. Specific, talented negroes will be allowed to succeed and stand in positions of power on the condition that they contribute to the oppression and exploitation of their own, but as a whole we will never be equal to our oppressor under their system.

For non-Black people of color, working within the state can translate to an eventual easing of suffering but for Blacks our death and suffering is a necessity under white supremacist capitalism. That is why appeals to the Black voter rely on empty rhetoric and posturing. Hilary pulled hot sauce out of her purse, Kamala made reference to hip hop, and Biden warned us of losing our black cards if he didn’t get our vote but none of them committed to changing the conditions that are killing us en-masse. Conditions for which they are all directly responsible. The truth is they won’t commit to changing these conditions because they can’t. It’s like asking a vulture to abandon rotting flesh and adopt a vegetarian diet. You’re asking the vulture to starve itself.

 If liberation in our context is finally living as American citizens equally, without being oppressed based on race, religion or gender then know that assimilation into whiteness is implicitly understood as the goal. This is because in the US, whiteness is the prerequisite for those things. No group has ever attained them besides by assimilating into it. 

For non Black people of color this success via assimilation is a possibility. Granted it requires losing hold of religion and culture but it is possible. For indigenous and Black people, it  is not. If it was it would’ve happened already. Why is it that European Jews, the Irish, and Italians all fully assimilated into whiteness within a generation while blacks are over two centuries deep into the same cycles of oppression? Is it something wrong with black people? Black culture? The black family perhaps? If your answer is yes to any of those you’re a racist and have a bad understanding of history. If your answer is no, only one logical conclusion remains. That our death and suffering are too embedded into American culture, and state power to be voted out or represented away.  They are necessities for the state. The lifeblood of the nation. Whiteness is predicated on being the antithesis of an “Other” and that “Other” is blackness.

My intention in writing this isn’t to embrace defeatism, pointing out these realities is neither that, nor pessimism. It is acceptance of the most empowering truth, that God Almighty has placed within us the ability to change the conditions around us. Only we, with the permission of God, can bring about the end of these conditions. Nothing else ever will; especially not the same systems that are carrying out our killing. 

Peep how quickly the state made concessions we never thought possible under the onslaught of the George Floyd Rebellion(8). Imagine if all the organizing and energy that went into pushing people to vote went into facilitating direct action to ensure that these concessions go through without the state backing out of them. Don’t stand back and wait until the young people who put their lives on the line for these concessions burn out and then point and say “See it was just a fad.” “Nothing really changed.” “This is why protesting doesn’t work.” Not only do you sound like a coward but you also sound like a fool. If the state’s concessions don’t come to fruition it will be because of YOU. Because YOU sat on the sidelines and condemned; because while others put in work and tried to be free YOU yelled from the rooftops that they were silly for thinking they could free themselves. That is defeatism, that is pessimism. Those in the streets burning American cities are your protectors.  They have done more for you than the state ever has and ever will. 

Understand that the state is an enemy to you. It is facilitating our physical and spiritual death. Organize your communities, work toward autonomy from the state in education, healthcare, self defense, and all other avenues. Hold tight to the rope of Allah(9) and do not seek shelter(10) or help(11) with those who are killing us. All praise is due to God the most gracious, most merciful. May God bring about an end to the killing, and give all of us guidance. Ameen.

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/george-floyd-america/systemic-racism/?fbclid=IwAR1sApDHlsoJ1Cf8jkWRM8T1nb1enuAP4b2OKjczfbjpiu_1BwQnzoyTFCo

2. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-police-immunity-scotus/

3.  https://blogs.prio.org/2020/07/the-legacy-of-white-violence-in-the-us/

4. https://lynchinginamerica.eji.org/report/

5. https://theconversation.com/prison-records-from-1800s-georgia-show-mass-incarcerations-racially-charged-beginnings-96612#:~:text=Previous%20historical%20research%20shows%20that,former%20slaves%20in%20the%20U.S.&text=Before%20the%20abolition%20of%20slavery,1835%2C%20it%20had%20risen%20eightfold.

6. https://lynchinginamerica.eji.org/report/

7. George Jackson, Blood in My Eye (Black Classic Press, 1990) Page 18

8. https://www.facebook.com/840844280/posts/10158418299074281/

9. https://quran.com/3/103-105

10. http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=3&verse=28

11. http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=5&verse=51

A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 3.47.43 PMWritten by Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D.

The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property. Continue reading

Garbage collectors are more likely to die on the job than police patrol officers

Originally Posted on Quartz
by Gwynn Guilford

This weekend, Americans will remember their fallen soldiers, a holiday traditionally observed with barbecues and the Indianapolis 500 car race. The US military isn’t the only industry that often asks the ultimate sacrifice of its workers. Some 4,585 American civilians died in the line of duty in 2013, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (pdf). Certain jobs in particular are alarmingly risky:

Strangely, police patrol officer—a job the American public commonly recognizes as one of the riskiest gigs around—doesn’t even break the top 15.

Continue reading

White Cop Does Not Kill Black Motorist, Becomes National Hero

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White Cop Does Not Kill Black Motorist, Becomes National Hero ( Or: Why America Should Not Be Saved)

Posted by Bay Area Intifada

Written by Jabar

In 2015’s United States of America, a white police officer that does NOT shoot and kill a black motorist is considered a hero. In recent mainstream media (MSM) reports a white police officer named Matt Okes is being praised as a “hero” for not brutalizing or killing a young black male, Joseph Owusu, who was pulled over to the side of a road due to a flat tire.

Joseph, a Virginia Tech University student and son of Doctor Nada Owusu, has become famous overnight for not becoming the next victim of police murder.

The sheer fact that this story has been shared nearly a million times on social media and has been picked up by MSM tells another story altogether. One in which dark people; young and old, male, female and trans, are being considered lucky to walk away unscathed from encounters with police in the US. This shows a wild desperation in not only MSM, but in the PR departments of local, state and federal agencies to push banal “feel good” stories upon the US populace. Their message: “See? Good cops still exist.”

The truth of the matter is that some basic reasoning would prove to anyone willing to consider the facts that GOOD COPS DO NOT EXIST.

Continue reading

[Video] Afrikatown Liberation Day

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#AfrikaTown – Oakland photo: Dave Id

AfrikaTown is here to stay!

From We Copwatch [Oakland]

An empty lot was transformed into a beautiful community garden to help feed the neighborhood fresh fruits and vegetables. It quickly turned into a fight against gentrification towards a decolonized space. After many years of neglect, the landowner, equipped with bulldozers and cops, threatened to demolish all of the hard work done by the people. On Liberation Day the people gathered to show resistance against the ongoing displacement of the poor. The community sent a clear message that AfrikaTown and the garden are not going anywhere, and the residents of Oakland would no longer be throw away people.

[Video] Officer Grant Morrison Killed Unarmed Richard Ramirez… And Got Away With It

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 8.52.27 AMBillings, Montana

“I knew in that moment, which later was determined to be untrue, but I knew in that moment that he was reaching for a gun,” Morrison said. “I couldn’t take that risk.”….. Thats all Officer Grant Morrison needed to say to get away with murder.

This does not need a long drawn out analysis. Cops are not heroes. Officer Morrison proves this in the video.

[Video] Rage in the Streets of Freeport, Texas After Police Shoot and Kill Man

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 7.48.06 PMFrom khou.com

Freeport, Texas

A large, angry crowd gathered at an officer-involved shooting scene in Freeport Wednesday after a police officer shot and killed a man.

Freeport police say they received a call for help from the Garden Villa Apartments at 310 Yaupon. Someone inside an apartment said their door had been kicked in.

When police arrived, three frightened children ran outside. Police went inside and found 31-year-old Ronald Sneed on top of his girlfriend in her bedroom.

They say he appeared to be pointing a gun at the woman and that’s when the officer shot him.

Continue reading

Oakland cops disciplined 24 times for failing to turn on body-worn cameras

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.39.54 PMFrom Ars Technica

BY Cyrus Farivar

Oakland, California

Over the last two years, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) has disciplined police officers on 24 occasions for disabling or failing to activate body-worn cameras, newly released public records show. The City of Oakland did not provide any records prior to 2013, and the OPD did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

The records show that on November 8, 2013 one officer was terminated after failing to activate his camera. Less than two weeks later, another resigned for improperly removing the camera from his or her uniform. However, most officers received minor discipline in comparison.

The OPD has used Portable Digital Recording Devices (PDRDs) since late 2010. According to the department’s own policy, patrol officers are required to wear the cameras during a number of outlined situations, including detentions, arrests, and serving a warrant. At present, the city has about 700 officers.

This year the issue of body-worn cameras on police officers came to the fore after the tragic killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City at the hands of local cops. In the aftermath of grand jury decisions to not indict the officers responsible, the Obama administration released a review of how local law enforcement agencies use equipment, proposing that the federal government spend $263 million over three years to “expand training for law enforcement agencies (LEAs)” and “add more resources for police department reform.” The review included a proposal to dedicate $75 million over three years to buy up to 50,000 body cameras for local LEAs.

Because body-worn cameras are still relatively new, there aren’t any published studies on rates of non-compliance, according to John DeCarlo, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the former chief of police of Branford, Connecticut.

“You may have a legitimate excuse [for not turning it on], but if it was nefarious, that’s a different story,” DeCarlo told Ars.

What happened on November 22, 2013?

In Oakland, the cameras were acquired largely as the result of a federal lawsuit alleging abuse by four officers known as “The Riders.” In 2003, the City of Oakland and the OPD agreed with the plaintiffs to a settlement, which required the authorities to pay more than $10 million in fines and impose numerous reforms. The four officers were subsequently fired from the OPD, although one remains a federal fugitive after fleeing to Mexico. None of the other three officers were convicted.

The new data shows that the most common punishment for officers who did not comply with their own department’s policy was a “written reprimand” or a suspension of one to three days. One officer was even suspended for 20 days in December 2013 due to an allegation of failing to activate his body-worn camera.

On November 22, 2013, there were five separate incidents where officers allegedly “improperly removed” or “failed to initiate their PDRD.” One of those officers, none of whom were named, appears to have resigned as a result of the incident. Ars has filed another public records request to learn more about these incidents.

Watching the watchers

As a result of the city’s settlement in the Riders case (formally known as the Negotiated Settlement Agreement), an independent monitor is required to prepare a quarterly report detailing the OPD’s compliance record. Its most recent report, dated October 30, 2014, notes that in three cases, PDRD “recordings directly contradicted” statements made by witness or complainants against OPD officers.

However the report added:

During our last review, we found that there were no cases in which the failure to activate a PDRD went unaddressed. There was one case, however, in which the discipline was sufficient but follow-up was needed. In that case the officer had failed to activate his PDRD on three separate occasions. While we felt that the discipline imposed was adequate, we commented that the officer’s supervisor should more closely monitor his activities. A key responsibility of sergeants is to ensure that the officers they are supervising are complying with OPD policies. In the future, the supervisor could easily compare and review the officer’s activities with his PDRD recordings to ensure that he is in compliance with OPD policies. An additional benefit of review of PDRD recordings would be that the sergeant would be able to evaluate the officer’s tactics and interactions with citizens. We learned that OPD has followed up with this officer to ensure that he remains in compliance with the PDRD policy. His current supervisor conducts monthly audits of his PDRD use and submits audit forms up his chain of command.

On November 18, 2014, OPD supervisors were reminded that they are required under department policy to conduct random reviews of PDRD footage.

Continue reading

[VIDEO] RACIST BOSTON COP MICHAEL DOHERTY BEATS UBER DRIVER, STEALS CAR

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 10.55.48 AMFrom Digboston.com

An off-duty Boston Police Department officer appears to have had a doozy of a ride home from the North End this morning.

 According to a police report obtained by DigBoston of events that began at 2:45am, two responding officers answered a radio call “that a taxi driver had been beaten by a passenger at E 1st @ Farragut Rd.” in South Boston.

 It all started when the driver “picked up a white male … who was with [another] unknown white male at 200 Hanover St.” in the North End.

 He then “drove the unknown white male to Charlestown and was then asked to take [the second white male] to E 2nd in South Boston.”

 But when they arrived at that address, the “suspect stated they were in the wrong location.”

 The “suspect then stated ‘[You] think I’m stupid you fucking spic’ and told the victim to continue driving.” Continue reading