For stolen lands to remain colonized, for investments to remain profitable, for white capital to remain ruthless, Black Rage must be neutralized. Black Rage—the omnipresent force radiating throughout the anxieties of the State—is a boundless threat to the capitalist order. Like a Big Bang, Black Rage began its expansion into colonial existence at the exact moment the first African was plucked from their roots and cast down into the sunken dungeon of the European slave ship. Its expansion is the survival of the human spirit, serving as a potential death knell to oppression—ringing its bell with smoldering waves of resistance quietly hissing in infamy. Black Rage finds expression in the assisted asphyxiation of the slave trader (accompanied by the seizure of their ship), the alleviation of the slave master's heartbeat (seasoned by the enslaved maid), the transformation of the settler city-state into a community fireplace (the riot of the unheard).
It is vital to free ourselves from belief in the systems of white supremacy and imperialism that are inculcated in the educational system and are affirmed and amplified by the media and establishment opinion. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II puts the need for political and psychological liberation in high relief. We are encouraged to admire an anachronistic monarchy, and are exhorted to join in mourning an individual and a system that have caused great harm to Black and other oppressed people around the world. It is important to point out that British prime ministers are heads of government while the monarch is head of state. Elizabeth bore responsibility for every UK government action during her 70-year long reign.
The fawning adulation of Queen Elizabeth in the United States, which fought a revolution to get rid of the monarchy, and in Great Britain, is in direct proportion to the fear gripping a discredited, incompetent and corrupt global ruling elite. The global oligarchs are not sure the next generation of royal sock puppets – mediocrities that include a pedophile prince and his brother, a cranky and eccentric king who accepted suitcases and bags stuffed with $3.2 million in cash from the former prime minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and who has millions stashed in offshore accounts – are up to the job. Let’s hope they are right.
US law has to be based on human rights standards. We see as a contradiction for the US to pretend to be a leader of human rights when its law and practice is anything but practices in law that are in correspondence with human rights standards. We believe that if there's going to be legitimacy and the international human rights framework, that has to be a framework that is applied equally to all nations. For example, when we were building the US human rights network that would apply international human rights standards to the US, looking at issues of mass incarceration that we have in the US, looking at the failure of the US state to address the basic human rights needs of the people around issues like food security, access to food, our health care, education, a clean environment, water that was safe, the jobs that will allow people to live in a decent way.
On Jan. 9, 1966, the White Knights of the Mississippi Ku Klux Klan murdered the Black civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after firebombing and shooting into his house. It was one of thousands of hate crimes conducted in the South by whites who waged a reign of terror against Blacks to frighten them from abandoning calls for desegregation and voting rights. Terrorism by white vigilantes against religious and ethnic minorities is ingrained in the DNA of American society going back to the slave patrols—and has only escalated in recent years. The FBI recorded 8,263 reported hate crimes in 2020, a 13% jump over 2019.What motivates these people? How do they look at the world? How do they justify to themselves and others these acts of terror?
In a couple of weeks, I’ll walk back into my college classroom and continue my second decade of teaching at one of Florida’s universities. Despite the recently passed HB 7 Amendment (Stop WOKE Act), I won’t be adjusting my syllabi to remove readings or discussions that make students “uncomfortable,” and I won’t pretend that systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and other forms of oppression do not exist. I will not “whitewash” our country’s history or minimize the challenges and oppression that so many still experience, especially those who are women and/or members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. Instead, I will do what I have always done. I will select the creative work of writers who belong to all sorts of communities, and I will require students to read their stories and discuss the work and their themes.
On June 24th, approximately 2000 African migrants made a desperate attempt at a mass border crossing, climbing the iron fence separating Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Footage of African bodies piled up at the foot of the fence, many lifeless, while others were being savagely beaten by Moroccan Security Forces, went viral. To date, the number of African migrants who lost their lives has climbed to 37. We join with those all over the world, to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this horrific attack by Moroccan security forces.
Guns were a ubiquitous part of my childhood. My grandfather, who had been a master sergeant in the army, had a small arsenal in his house in Mechanic Falls, Maine. He gave me a 2020 bolt action Springfield rifle when I was 7. By the time I was 10, I had graduated to a Winchester lever action 30-30. I moved my way up the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Marksmanship Qualification Program, helped along by a summer camp where riflery was mandatory. Like many boys in rural America, I was fascinated by guns, although I disliked hunting. Two decades as a reporter in war zones, however, resulted in a deep aversion to weapons. I saw what they did to human bodies. I inherited my grandfather’s guns and gave them to my uncle.
The incidents of mindless, mass carnage in the United States have become so routine that they do not even make national headlines unless the incident has a potential attention-grabbing twist. One of those dramatic twists is when the victims of a mass-shooting are from a common social identity and the perpetrator appeals to be motivated by hatred of the targeted group. This is what makes the shooting in Buffalo stand out. The authorities could not hide the fact that it was a hate crime and the media saw a juicy story, if only for a day or two. However, for those of us who are members of communities and peoples who are increasingly finding ourselves on the receiving end of state and private racially motivated violence, we have a life-or-death requirement to attempt to understand the complex political and socio-cultural elements that are producing this dangerous environment.
In 1999 US and NATO forces bombed Serbia for 78 days, ushering a new century further characterized by war and militarism. With no negative consequences of military overreach, especially after the dismantling of the Soviet Union, the U.S. unleashed war in its various forms (from direct attacks to sanctions, drones, and subversion) with a wanton disregard for its human and political consequences. Yet, even when massive numbers of U.S. troops were deployed in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and other ancient cities whose names are in the great religious texts of the world, and reduced them to rubble, the awful reality of war was carefully hidden from the U.S. public. U.S. propagandists had learned from the Vietnam experience that it was much safer to shield the public from the brutality that their troops were dishing out to poor villagers, students, ordinary workers, and anyone who dared to resist the military might of the U.S. military on a daily basis.
I think the Obamas are playing their role as the most elite Black figures in the Democratic establishment, which is to control any form of protest so that it does not get “out of hand”. To be out of hand means to go beyond voting as a mechanism of social change – to actually get involved in direct democracy, like mass protest, direct action, and/or rebellions. To also build structures outside of the official electoral process for decision making. Doing these things are not easy, particularly when you have operatives like the Obamas telling you not to, or you have established systems of control like the police and the surveillance state, the use of private capital to control your finances and economic stability, the derailments of mass entertainment. All of these things make organizing outside of voting a difficult task. All of these institutions are lined up to get us all back in line, back in the pocket and back in hand.
Hilary Clinton declared during a February 28, 2022 interview with MSNBC that the model for Ukraine should be Afghanistan where the U.S. armed the Afghan mujahideen as part of the U.S. strategy to create a “Vietnamese quagmire .” For Clinton and some elements of the foreign policy community, it is of little concern that the training and real-world military experience and political networking that resulted from bringing radical right-wing Islamicist together created al-Qaeda, the Taliban and later ISIS. But for African and other colonized people on the receiving end of the U.S. and Western self-centered and opportunist policies, illusions about the real intentions of the White West have usually proven to be deadly.
Though 2021 started with a deadly siege on the United States Capitol by hundreds of far-right rioters trying to overturn the presidential election results, the number of hate and anti-government groups in the U.S. declined last year for the third year in a row, according to a report released this week by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. The SPLC counted a total of 733 hate groups last year, significantly lower than the 2018 peak of 1,021. It found that the number of anti-government groups also fell, from 566 in 2020 to 488 in 2021. But SPLC says that doesn't necessarily mean there's less hate out there. "Rather than demonstrating a decline in the power of the far right, the dropping numbers of organized hate and anti-government groups suggest that the extremist ideas that mobilize them now operate more openly in the political mainstream...
In the history of accepting refugees, countries have shown more than an erratic streak. Universal human characteristics have often been overlooked in favor of the particular: race, cultural habits, religion. Even immigration nations, such as the United States and Australia, have had their xenophobic twists and turns on the issue of who to accept, be they victims of pogroms, war crimes, genocide, or famine. The Russian attack on Ukraine has already produced refugees in the hundreds of thousands. By March 2, with the war one week old, 874,000 people were estimated to have left Ukraine. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that up to four million may leave, while the European Union adds a further three million to the figure.