Beyond Michael Brown's Execution: Resisting The Police's Open Season On African Americans

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Darren Wilson -- executed Michael Brown in broad daylight

On May, 29, 1964, Malcolm X—in a speech at the Militant Labor Forum—said:  “If we’re going to talk about police brutality, it’s because police brutality exists.

Why does it exist? Because our people in this particular society live in a police state. A Black man in America lives in a police state. He doesn’t live in any democracy, he lives in a police state. That’s what it is. That's what Harlem is…”

In an earlier address in 1962, Malcolm spoke to an audience about the killing of a Black man, Ronald Stokes, a member of the Nation of Islam, in Los Angeles and said "dealing with the condition itself is not enough we have to get to the cause" the "root itself" in reference to police brutality; Malcolm said the main reason lacks of unity because of divide and rule tactics.

Over 50 years later, we must ask ourselves how much has changed, with respect to the intense level of violence, brutality—and outright terrorism—that Black people face at the hands of these so-called “peace officers” who murder with impunity those who live in Black skins?

Malcolm’s assessment that Black men in America live in a police state is, obviously, still very relevant.

We should be clear by now that there is a war being waged against Black America. Despite the euphoria of having a Black president in the White House, we need to realize that the danger to Black people from institutional racism and White supremacy is still self-evident.

The history of police brutality is long in this country.

This year alone we saw several cases of cops killing Black people.

Back on February 9, in South Carolina, 68-year-old Earnest Satterwhite a Black great-grandfather was killed—in his driveway—after being chased by North Augusta Public Safety Officer Justin Craven.

Officer Craven, who chased Mr. Satterwhite beyond city limits, and into another jurisdiction, ran up into Mr. Satterwhite’s home driveway and fired several shots into the driver’s side of Satterwhite’s car door killing him.

A prosecutor tried to charge the officer with voluntary manslaughter but the grand jury indicted the killer only on misdemeanor -- "misconduct in office" by "using excessive force and failing to follow and use proper procedures."

Last July 17—a few weeks before the August 9 killing of Michael Brown—we here, in New York, all witnessed the chokehold killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

A few days before this, on August 5, in Ohio, John Crawford III was shot dead in a Walmart—that sells real guns, in an “open carry” gun state—for walking with a pellet gun that was being sold in Walmart, while he was in the store. Supposedly, he scared some White people in the store.

Then on September 10, Darrien Hunt was shot to death, in Utah, as he was running away—in some ways similar to the manner in which Michael Brown was shot down. Brown’s mother, Susan Hunt, said at the time “They killed my son because he’s Black.” And as they always do, the police tried to spin lies into the story.

If all that weren’t enough we’ve also had numerous incidents of cops brutalizing Black people.

On July 1, we saw 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock being beaten senseless by California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Andrew.

Before that, on May 20, Arizona State Professor Ersula Ore was body-slammed by Officer Stewart Ferrin.

And, on July 26, Rosan Miller—a pregnant Black woman—was put in a chokehold—basically, because an NYPD police officer wanted to ticket her for grilling food on the sidewalk outside her home.

An on September 4, in South Carolina, Levar Jones was shot by Officer Sean Groubert at a gas station as he was complying with a command by the police officer to produce his driver’s license. Jones, luckily, survived.

These cases are but a sample of the outrages occurring this year.

Here is a partial list of past police brutality and murder victims: Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Patrick Dorismud, and Ousmane Zongo.

And Abner Louima was the victim of a perverted sexual assault.

However, in spite of the epidemic harassment and violence Black people face, at the hands of police, politicians and others have the temerity to lecture Black people about being “non-violent,” “peaceful” and “positive.” As if these were the solution to such a concerted assault.

Since Monday night, we’ve heard several political leaders admonishing protesters about the “violence” in the aftermath of the unjust decision not to indict Darren Wilson.

For some reason, all these political leaders have no problem telling Black people about being “peaceful” and “non-violent.” But, somehow, the murderous prejudiced police officers, who are disturbing the peace of Black people, aren’t being given this same lecture from “responsible” voices in government.

Shouldn’t these speeches and admonitions be directed at these, so-called, “peace officers?”The double speak here is revealing of the dubious double standards that infect America.

These cries for “peace” from American politicians, directed at the victims of brutality, are the height of hypocrisy. Many of these politicians are the same ones who are always ready to bomb some country—that most Americans can’t even locate on a map.

Where are these speeches of restraint when our leaders want to invade places like: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Iran?

These leaders have no credibility. What moral standing does America’s political establishment have to preach “peace” and “non-violence” to Black people?

American politicians are among the most war-mongering group on the planet. These folks have no problem sending young Americans, disproportionately Black and Latino men—abroad to kill people “over there.”

Whenever, Washington, and the White House, is angry with some misbehaving country “all options are on the table.”  In these situations, American military “might makes right.”

Yet, political phonies want to tell Black people they should suffer in silence while people shoot down unarmed boys like Michael Brown worse than dogs in the streets of America. To “meekly wait and murmur not” while being massacred.

Unfortunately, even many Black people are falling for this non-sense—as if Black violence is the problem here when the problem is police brutal violence.

Some talk about the buildings and police cars that were burned during Monday night’s protest. Do they really think these incidents are comparable to the violence, terrorism and murder Black people face by at the hands of those supposedly there “to protect and serve?”

If these leaders want peace why aren’t they legislating things to stop police abuse and murder?

There are perhaps no people, in this world, who are more “peaceful” and long-suffering than Black people. Ironically, that is also part of the reason why Black people continue to suffer in the manner we do.

Because, despite all the lies about being “fearful” of Black people, many White folks have no fear of killing Black folk at all. What group of people would “peacefully” tolerate the daily levels of police violence that Black people face without defending themselves through similar means?

Many of us have heard some White sociologist, criminologist or criminal justice official intimate that Black people are “criminally-inclined” and violently dangerous. If that were so then why don't they met out similar violence against those officers in uniform who maim, brutalize, and murder them?

Black America must make up its mind:  “peace,” through police oppression and brutality or justice?

If we say we want justice, we must be prepared to do what it takes to seize it. The fact is: we will get no peace if justice remains absent for Blacks—and to get justice requires great sacrifice.

Why should Black America have any trust—or believe in the legitimacy of White America’s criminal justice system after two of the recent great charades: George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson?

American politicians speak nonsense about the country being a “nation of laws.”

This rhetoric rings hollow to Black people who’ve been exploited and victimized from the very founding of this nation. If America is such a “nation of laws,” here’s the question: why do so many people in uniform, so-called law enforcement officers, violate the human rights of Black people and escape punishment?

Unless these posturing leaders prosecute and punish police and prosecutors who engage in injustice we must continue to challenge the legitimacy of this “justice” system.

Black lives must matter. But, this system—in not so subtle ways—makes it clear it doesn't value Black lives.

Michael Brown’s body sat for nearly five hours on the streets—after, he was shot down dead including with a bullet in the right eye and on the apex of his head as he fell.

And, in his ABC News interview, Officer Darren Wilson characterized Michael Brown as looking like a “demon” who had “Hulk Hogan” like power. We should ask Officer Wilson: why didn't he make these claims in an interview on August 9 on the day he killed Brown; before he could be coached by lawyers and advisors who know how to play the race card?

Perhaps, we should remember these words of Malcolm X:  “I'm telling you, the only way you get justice is in the street. The only way you get justice is in the sidewalk. The only way you get justice is when you make justice for yourself.”

It’s time for us to put politicians—and the rest of America— on notice.

Governor Jay Nixon and Senator Claire McCaskill—especially, as Democrats, should be politically crucified for their aiding and abetting of this foreseeable outcome in Ferguson. Prosecutor Bob McCulloch should have been forced out in favor of an independent prosecutor.

Passive Black politicians should be warned that they better step-up their game and really represent Black people who vote them into office.

It’s time for Black America to intensify the organizing and mass mobilizing; to seize their humanity and liberty from those who’ve taken it, ever since African people first arrived in America.

Politicians must save their “peaceful” and “non-violent” lectures for the bigoted brutes who wear badges and disturb the peace of Black America every day.

Editor's Note: Please sign and share the Petition demanding that the Department of Justice bring charges against Darren Wilson for violating Michael Brown's civil rights




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