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

[Video] Dhoruba bin Wahad on the Nexus Between Islamophobia and White Supremacy

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.59.27 AM

Bay Area, California

From: A Muslim Contributor to Bay Area Intifada

Earlier today I had the great pleasure of conducting a video interview with a solid Brother, and true internationalist revolutionary elder Dhoruba al Mujahid bin Wahad, former political prisoner, Black Panther and co founder of the Black Liberation Army.

The following segment is a short message to Muslim youth who are newly becoming politicized, but also touches on a brief history of Muslim social and political movements, white supremacy and Islamophobia, the War on Terror, Black Power and How / Why Dhoruba bin Wahad came to Islam while in prison.

Continue reading

[Video] Hilarious! Racist Phoenix Mosque, Armed Protest Organizer Makes Pathetic Plea for Support

From Bay Area IntifadaScreen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.10.05 PM

Written By Jabar

This is HILARIOUS.

Jon Ritzheimer, the US Marine who organized and mobilized a couple hundred armed racists, Bikers, Neo-Nazi’s and other charming US patriots/ Islamophobes to stand in front of a Phoenix, Arizona Mosque and shout threats and obscenities during prayer services has released a video on Facebook, practically in tears, about how hackers have turned his life upside down.

In the video he claims hackers have stolen his identity,  his credit cards and social security numbers, made fake Facebook profiles, and fake wepay and gofundme accounts. Ritzheimer  says that the event blew up in his face. “The stress is killing me and my family… I went there (the Mosque) with a gun on my hip expecting to die. That a terrorist was going to kill me. I fully, fully expected to die that night” said Ritzheimer, unaware of his hypocrisy. Continue reading

ISIS claim to have restored the Khilafah

The "Islamic State" has declared the restoration of the Khilafah today.

From 5 Pillarz

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has announced the restoration of the Khilafah over the areas under its control.

In a video, Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Adnani (a spokesman for ISIS) declared Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as the calipha and called upon all Muslims to give him bay’ah (pledge of allegiance).

According to the statement, the new caliphate stretches from Iraq’s Diyala province to Syria’s Aleppo.

An exert of the speech translated in English:

Therefore, the shūrā (consultation) council of the Islamic State studied this matter after the Islamic State – by Allah’s grace – gained the essentials necessary for Khilafah, which the Muslims are sinful for if they do not try to establish.

In light of the fact that the Islamic State has no shar’ī (legal) constraint or excuse that can justify delaying or neglecting the establishment of the Khilafah such that it would not be sinful, the Islamic State – represented by ahlul-halli-wal-‘aqd (its people of authority), consisting of its senior figures, leaders, and the shura council – resolved to announce the establishment of the Islamic Khilafah, the appointment of a Khalifah for the Muslims, and the pledge of allegiance to the Sheikh, the Mujahid, the scholar who practices what he preaches, the worshipper, the leader, the warrior, the reviver, the descendent from the family of the Prophet, the slave of Allah, Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad Al-Badri Al-Hashimi Al Husayni Al-Qurayshi by lineage, as-Samurrai by birth and upbringing, al-Baghdadi by residence and scholarship. And he has accepted the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance).

Thus, he is the imam and Khalifah for the Muslims everywhere. Accordingly, the “Iraq and Sham” in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.

Sheikh al-Adnani said all jihadist organisations including Al Qaeda and their global cells must offer their physical and material support to al-Baghdadi, the “calipha” of the new state.

The “Islamic State” has removed Iraq and al-Sham (the Levant) from its name and stated “a new era of international jihad”. Continue reading

Violence against Muslims and the Character of the BBS

Published On:Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian

Violence against Muslims and the Character of the BBS

| by Laksiri Fernando

( June 24, 2014, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian) After the organized violent attacks on the Muslim community in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga town in mid-June, the political character of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has come to the sharp focus. Some have condemned it as ‘terrorist’ and some others as ‘fascist’. All are fine as political rhetoric or words of strong condemnation of the heinous crimes that they have committed against the Muslim community. The acts in fact are both ‘terrorist’ and ‘fascist’ in soft meanings of the terms.
 
However, one central question posed is whether there is a need ‘to unite with the Devil’s grandmother,’ whoever she is, in the struggle against the BBS. I am particularly referring to Dayan Jayatilleka’s first article, “Is the BBS the Boss?” This united front proposition has been brought to the public discussion by portraying the BBS as a ‘clerical fascist organization’ going against the government for state power of its own, and posing a threat to the present ‘democratic’ regime. The danger of such an analysis, in haste perhaps or with different political motives, is not only that the formation of a viable opposition to the present anti-democratic regime is seriously undermined but also the actual power bases of the BBS or root causes are confused and camouflaged.
 
The Beast
 
Aluthgama violence is not the beginning or the end of recent acts of violence against the Muslim community by the BBS. It is undoubtedly the major single incident so far. The previous events and incidents are well recorded. Within barely a week of Aluthgama, a Muslim owned shop at Panadura has been set on fire. Parallel to the previous attacks on the Muslim community, their places of worship and business premises, there had also been a spate violence and incidents attacking the religious places and personnel of some Christian communities. Similar has been the atrocities committed against the Hindu Temples particularly in the North and the East.
 
The formation of the BBS in 2012 has been the culmination of an ideology and a sentiment evolving particularly after the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. That is the ideology of ‘triumphalism’ and Sinhala Buddhist ethno-nationalism in a new form and at a new height. The intended defeat of ‘terrorism’ has been conveniently turned into a defeat of an ethnic and a religious minority. What the army did in Nandikadal is being reenacted in small measures by the BBS in different forms. It is important to note that Gnanasara thera in his Aluthgama speech equated the situation there to Nandikadal.
 
There had been debates about whether the Tamils and the Muslims could be considered equal in status and dignity to the Sinhalese as groups in a plural and a multi-cultural society in Sri Lanka and in what form. It’s a question of group rights in human rights parlance which I am familiar with. There has been strong views expressed claiming that their place is only as ‘minorities’ or ‘minority ethnicities.’ The President has never explained what he actually meant by ‘there are no minorities in this country’ in one of his speeches after the end of the war. He did say though that ‘all are equal.’ ‘No minorities’ could mean the eradication of their identities as Gnanasara thera wanted to change the name of Dharga town in his provocative speech before the violent attacks. Continue Reading

Stop the Spy Center in Oakland: Raise the Muslim Voice

DACMuslims

From Oakland to New York City we know that the Muslim community has been spied on, we have had infiltrators and informants in our mosques, we have been singled out at political protests and we have even had people in our community entrapped by the FBI.

This Tuesday the Oakland City Council will vote on building one of the United States largest spying centers, the proposed $10.9 Million dollar Department of Homeland Security Funded ‘Domain Awareness Center.’ This Spy center would “will aggregate and monitor video feeds and real-time data from nearly 1,000 cameras and sensors aimed at anyone, including those not suspected of any wrongdoing, throughout Oakland. This includes cameras and sensors at the Oakland port, on the highway, in schools, and other locations. Additionally, the DAC will analyze the aggregate data with other software, such as license plate recognition, thermal imaging, social media feeds, gunshot detectors, and other information along with 24/7 monitoring and geospatial security mapping. It will also store and allow sharing of data.” (Adam  Hudson). Continue reading

Groundings: Black Solidarity With Palestine

sohail daulatzaifeb19

From SJP at UCLA

Having just returned from Palestine as part of a delegation of Black artists and activists from the United States, celebrated writer/filmmaker Dream Hampton and acclaimed hip-hop artist Jasiri X will talk with professor Sohail Daulatzai about their experiences there, what they witnessed, and why it matters in shaping social justice and solidarity across borders.
Bios:

dream hampton:
dream hampton has written about culture and politics for 24 years. She’s also a filmmaker and activist. She’s from Detroit. Check out her beautiful work here.

Jasiri X:
From the controversial viral video, “What if the Tea Party was Black?,” to the hard hitting truth of, “A Song for Trayvon,” Jasiri X cleverly uses Hip-Hop to provide social commentary on a variety of issues. Jasiri has been a guest on BET Rap City, The Michael Baisden Show, Huff Post Live, Free Speech TV, Left of Black, and Russia Today. He is the first Hip-Hop artist to receive the coveted August Wilson Center for African American Culture Fellowship. A founding member of the anti-violence group One Hood, Jasiri recently started the One Hood Media Academy to teach young African-American boys how to analyze and create media for themselves. Jasiri X signed a record deal with Wandering Worx Entertainment and released his debut album, Ascension with acclaimed producer Religion.

Zack de la Rocha, Sohail Daulatzai, and Immortal Technique at the first Groundings event

Zack de la Rocha, Sohail Daulatzai, and Immortal Technique at the first Groundings event

Sohail Daulatzai:
Sohail Daulatzai is the author of Born to Use Mics (on Nas’ Illmatic) and Black Star, Crescent Moon. His articles have appeared in Al Jazeera, The Nation, Counterpunch, Souls and other venues. He’s written liner notes for the 2012 release of the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set of Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut album, as well as the DVD liner notes to the award-winning documentary Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, and the centerpiece for the exhibit catalog Movement: Hip-Hop in L.A., 1980-Now. He teaches in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Program in African American Studies at UC Irvine.

Follow updates and posts from those attending on Twitter at #GroundingsLA and @SohailDaulatzi.

Feminist critique and Islamic feminism: the question of intersectionality

Image

From The Postcolonialist

Written by Sara Salem

Abstract

Since its inception, mainstream Western feminism has constituted a site of exclusion on multiple fronts, a consequence of first-wave feminist assumptions that have continued to influence mainstream feminism. Questions of definition and change are central to any project aiming to bring about social, political and economic change, but definition brings with it an intrinsic risk of delineating borders that include some but exclude others. In other words, the act of defining constitutes an exercise of power that creates certain women’s experiences as patriarchal and others’ as emancipatory. This article focuses on the tensions that have often arisen within the feminist project on the subject of religion and religious women. Mainstream Western feminism has long had difficulties in engaging with women who are religious. On the one hand, it is argued that religion is an inherently patriarchal institution that by nature excludes women and renders them unequal to men. On the other hand, many women see themselves as feminists and as religious, thus raising important questions about whether feminism has conceptualized religion too simplistically. At the center of this debate is the question of choice and how judgements about choices are made, and by whom. In other words, who decides that religion is oppressive to women, and what power relations are inherent in such a decision? The aim is to contextualize the consistently exclusionary approach on the part of many feminists towards religious women through focusing on the specific case of Islamic feminism, as well as to question whether intersectionality poses a possible solution to this exclusion. Continue reading

Fighting Sexual Assailants, Hindu Fascists & Bourgeois Activists in India

gujarat genocide womanIndia’s crime bureau chief said, last week, “If you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.” His comment inflamed an already tense atmosphere at a time when horrific rape incidents are making more and more headlines. This is not to say that rape is all of a sudden more common in India or that the media is suddenly doing a good job of covering the larger context of the problem. In fact, most of the news coverage concerns only middle and upper class and upper caste women, celebrities or white visitors. Even when there is coverage of Dalit women like the Gulabi Gang, important factors (social, economic and historical conditions, as well as the incident frequency for minority women) are erased from the narrative entirely. This, in no way, is to dismiss the real experiences of the women who did speak out and inspire public outcry that caught the attention of the world. These women face repression also and we realize that it is often traumatizing and re-triggering to speak about assault and rape.

However, very huge communities of women who experience rape and sexual harassment on a daily basis, and have no conventional tools of redress, have been forgotten by the public, the media, and even by many activists–both in India and abroad.

A contributor for Bay Area Intifada visited India this month and spoke with a local activist about the extreme conditions of Dalit (untouchable), Adivasi (indigenous), and Muslim women and what these women are doing to survive. Due to extreme repression against any form of activism in these communities, we will refer to the activist as “Maryam.” We have also omitted the region where she works and all other details about her life.

Warning: Some of the images and descriptions below are very graphic.

BAI: In the English media, we’ve been reading about domestic and/or sexual violence in India. What I’ve been hearing about since the beginning of my visit, is that the uncovered stories of Dalit (untouchable) women in India, especially in northern states like Uttar Pradesh, are pretty horrific. But these stories don’t seem to be circulating so much in the international narratives. Can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on? Continue reading