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

San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputy Found Guilty of Assault In Attack On Elderly Man Asleep in Hospital

Officer Michael Lewelling teaching his 3 yr old son how shoot a 50 Cal machine gun

Officer Michael Lewelling teaching his 3 yr old son how shoot a 50 Cal machine gun

Officer Found Guilty of Assault On Elderly Man Asleep in Hospital

By Jabar

San Francisco

This Tuesday, San Francisco sheriff’s deputy Michael Lewelling was found guilty of both felony assault under the color of authority, and misdemeanor assault for an attack he made on a 59-year-old homeless man, Fernando Guanill, at San Francisco General Hospital.

In the early morning hours of November 3, 2014 Guanill fell asleep in the waiting room of SF General Hospital, while waiting to be seen by his doctor for a knee replacement surgery. That’s when SF sheriff’s deputy Michael Lewelling approached Guanill waking him up and demanding he leave the hospital. Guanill, trying to oblige the officer, attempted to get up and walk away, but before he could take a step Lewelling knocked away Guanills cane, threw him back into a chair and started to beat and choke him. Continue reading

Services Held for Amilcar in San Francisco and Chiquimula, Guatemala

Services Held for Amilcar in San Francisco and Chiquimula, Guatemala

Justice for Amilcar Perez-Lopez

In the U.S.

On Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm, Amilcar Perez Lopez’s friends and neighbors gathered at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in San Francisco’s Mission District to reflect on Amilcar’s life and renew our commitment to justice for Amilcar. Videos of the service, including the indigenous prayer, words from the Rev’d Dr. Richard Smith, and testimonials from members of Justice for Amilcar Committee, can be found below. The following day, Easter Sunday, the Rev’d. Dr. Richard Smith reflected on Amilcar and other victims of police and state violence in his sermon.

Back in Guatemala

After a month of waiting, Amilcar’s father Juan Perez still had not received his visa to the U.S. At that time Amilcar’s family decided that they wanted his body to return home without further delay. On Monday, April 6, Amilcar’s family received his body in his home village of Santa Rosa in Chiquimula…

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[Events] This Week the Bay Area is All About Black Liberation

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.38.02 PM

Schedule of Events: Tonight – Tuesday, Feb 17th – Tuesday Feb 24th

*Tuesday Feb 17, 7pm: “The Militarization of police, Islamophobia and the Black Community” with Dhoruba Bin-Wahad”:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.00.08 PMJoin us for a discussion with brother Dhoruba Bin-Wahad a former Black Panther Party & BLA member and political prisoner who has been on the frontlines of struggle for liberation since the 1960’s up to the present day. Also speaking will be Kalonji Jama Changa of the FTP Movement based in Atlanta. This event will be at the Oakland Islamic Community Center and open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike and we would request all to wear modest clothing inside the Masjid.

This event will also be on Huey P. Newton’s birthday and the same week as the 50th anniversary of the assassination of El Hajj Malik Shabazz and the legacy of both of these freedom fighters will be discussed along with the topic: “Militarization of police, Islamophobia and the Black Community” Continue reading

Former Muni top cop says fare-evasion enforcement is in line with anti-­terrorism efforts


The Police Department’s former top transit cop has said that fare evasion enforcement is in line with the intent of federal funding aimed at antiterrorism tactics. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photo

Police believe it is good policy for anti-terrorism enforcement to include patrolling public transit for fare evaders, according to the department’s former top transit officer.

Last week, The San Francisco Examiner reported that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, uses funding from federal anti­-terrorism grants to pay for fare evasion enforcement, via a group called the Muni Task Force.

Continue reading

Khutbah with Dr. Hatem Bazian: Do not be utilized to support the empire.

Midday prayers held at the UN Plaza during SF rally for Gaza.

Midday prayers held at the UN Plaza during SF rally for Gaza.

On Friday’s rally for Gaza in San Francisco, Brother Hatem Bazian gave the khutbah for Friday prayer services. He warned Muslims living in the US against being a cog in the machine of the “colonial mother land” –be it through direct aid to the military industry, work of so-called human rights organizations or seamless assimilation into a society/culture with a historical legacy of colonization, slavery and genocide.

[Side note: In the middle of the khutbah, a woman stood a couple feet from Brother Hatem and antagonized him as he spoke. Some organizers led her away from the front. Hatem briefly responded to the small commotion by criticizing the State’s neglect of social services and encouraging listeners to love and support people with mental health issues.]

Listen to the entire khutbah below:

Escuelita Students Report Back in Oakland

Mural in an Oventic school

Mural in an Oventic school

Several folks living in the Bay Area, California, attended the Zapatista Escuelita, or Little School. Below is a report back given at Oakland’s Qilombo community center by the students. The students talked about some of their experiences from spending time in the caracoles, what they shared while they were in Chiapas and how the journey has shaped their ideas and efforts in building autonomy in the Bay Area.

Though the Little School was in December, the students deliberately waited several months to report back–in order to take time to reflect on their journey.

A brief history of Zapatismo is given at the beginning of the presentation and the QnA session at the end is included in this recording.

For more information, read the latest Zapatista communique here (in English here) and news regarding Galeano’s murder here.

Slideshow: Lxs Zapatistas no están solxs! (The Zapatistas Are Not Alone!)

IMG_2839Photos by Bay Area Intifada
(Scroll below slideshow for English translation.)

Como miembros de diversas comunidades autónomas y como estudiantes de La Escuelita Zapatista, nos reunimos hoy en el Consulado mexicano de San Francisco para demostrar nuestro dolor y digna rabia ante el asesinato del maestro Zapatista Galeano en la comunidad autónoma de La Realidad, Chiapas. Repartimos volantes con información sobre lo sucedido en La Realidad, y manifestamos nuestra rabia con gritos rebeldes y el ruido de las cacerolas. En respuesta al incremento de agresiones en contra de bases de apoyo Zapatistas en Chiapas, Mexico, como el pueblo digno y rebelde del área de la bahía nos hemos organizado a condenar en los términos mas fuertes, el escalamiento de los ataques en contra de nuestros compañeros y compañeras del sur.

 

El asesinato del querido maestro Galeano a manos de grupos paramilitares respaldados por el gobierno crea el imperativo de construir relaciones autónomas y liberatorias aquí en la área de la bahía. Como tales, representamos nuestra fuerza en los que están aquí pero también de los que faltan, para denunciar los gobiernos títeres de tanto Estados Unidos y Mexico por su impunidad y brutalidad cometida en contra de los pueblos indígenas del continente. Nos unimos a muchos otros quienes protestan en cuidades alrededor del mundo como parte de una Semana Global de Acción en solidaridad con los Zapatistas y recordando al compañero Galeano.

 

¡GALEANO VIVE!

 

(Scroll below slideshow for English translation.)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

 

As autonomous community members and students of the Zapatista Little School from around the Bay Area, we gather today at the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco to demonstrate our dignified pain and rage while denouncing the murder of Zapatista schoolteacher Galeano, in the autonomous community of La Realidad, Chiapas. (Read the Zapatista communique here.)  We distributed flyers with information about what happened in La Realidad, and we expressed our rage with our rebellious cries and the noise of our pots and pans. In response to the escalating aggression against Zapatista bases of support in Chiapas, Mexico, as the dignified and rebellious people of the Bay Area we have organized ourselves in order to condemn, in the strongest terms, continued attacks against our compañeros and compañeras in the south.

 

The death of endeared teacher, Galeano, at the hands of government-backed paramilitary groups creates the imperative to build autonomous and liberatory social relations here in the Bay Area. As such, we will show our force in numbers and expose both the U.S. and puppet government of Mexico for the impunity and brutality committed against the indigenous people of the continent. We do so joining the countlesss of others who are demonstrating in cities around the world as part of a Global Week of Action in solidarity with the Zapatistas and in rememberance of our fallen compañero Galeano. See here to read a denuncia coming out of the West Coast, signed onto by countless individuals and groups. See here for solidarity shown from Palestine.

 

¡GALEANO VIVE!

 

Bay Area Zapatista Solidarity Rally & Noise Demo // Acción en solidaridad con lxs Zapatistas

galeanoposterJUSTICE FOR GALEANO!

STOP THE WAR AGAINST THE ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES! 

AN ATTACK ON THE ZAPATISTAS IS AN ATTACK ON US ALL!

Bay Area Solidarity Rally & Noise Demo (FB LINK)
THURSDAY MAY 22, 2014 
10:00am 
Mexican Consulate in San Francisco (532 Folsom St) 

Bring banners, drums and pots+pans! 

On May 2, 2014, in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, the group CIOAC-Histórica [with the participation of the Green Ecological Party and the National Action Party (PAN)], planned and executed a paramilitary attack on unarmed Zapatista civilians. An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured and Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), teacher at the Zapatista Little School, was murdered. The mainstream media is falsely reporting this attack on the Zapatistas as an intra-community confrontation, but in fact this attack is the result of a long-term counterinsurgency strategy promoted by the Mexican government.

more information:
http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/
http://www.anattackonusall.org/

——————–

¡JUSTICIA PARA GALEANO!

¡ALTO A LA GUERRA CONTRA LAS COMUNIDADES ZAPATISTAS!

¡SI NOS TOCAN A UNX, NOS TOCAN A TODXS!

Acción en Solidaridad en el Area de la Bahía  (FB ENLACE)
JUEVES 22 de MAYO
10:00am
Consulado de México en San Francisco (532 Folsom St)

¡lleven pancartas, tambores y cacerolas!

Zapatista classroom Oventic. Galeano, a schoolteacher was killed after participating in the Zapatista Little School. Photo by Bay Area Intifada..

Zapatista classroom Oventic. Galeano, a schoolteacher was killed after participating in the Zapatista Little School. Photo by Bay Area Intifada..

El 2 de mayo de 2014, en el territorio zapatista de La Realidad, Chiapas, México, el grupo CIOAC-Histórica [con la participación del Partido Verde Ecologista y el PAN] planeó y ejecutó un ataque paramilitar contra zapatistas civiles desarmados. Una escuela y clínica zapatista fue destruida, 15 personas fueron emboscadas y heridas y José Luis Solís López (Galeano), maestro de la Escuelita Zapatista, fue asesinado. Los medios dominantes están presentando el ataque contra los Zapatistas falsamente como un enfrentamiento intracomunitario, pero este ataque es el resultado de una estrategia contrainsurgente de largo plazo promovida por el gobierno mexicano.

más información:
http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/
http://www.anattackonusall.org/