Remembering 2014, lessons for beyond

This past year was something, no?  So many scenes and actions that stretch back in a barely interrupted line of lynchings pre, during and post chattel slavery and the bloody racial history the U.S. has.

Once again police brutality and their targeting and murder of mostly Black people (who in their right mind would ever believe that these are accidents?) is on the U.S. national agenda through the extra judicial murders and no accountability of Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Eric Gardner, Tamir Rice. And it is peoples of different genders who are being brutalized and killed, though our exclusionary unable-to-think-about-gender society can’t seem to recognize that.  Remember Alberta Spruill, Sherly Colon, LaTanya Haggerty, Tyisha Miller, Chila Amaya, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Aiyana Jones, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Shantel Davis…  Not a competition, but to balance out the record of who is being targeted, and asking, really, why are we not talking about all of them?

Yet again, however, the protesters against these murders, which have always been on our agenda of resistance, and in favor of Black lives (why is it a question that their lives matter?) are the ones criminalized.  In the midst of a war on our communities, we are supposed to mourn cops’ deaths, when they don’t care about the occupation of our communities, the daily brutalities, and the increasing body counts of our people.  Do you think for a moment Pat Lyncher and them care about these two men of color who were wearing cop uniforms, when other men of color who were former cops now say how often they had to fear for their own lives from within that blue wall of silence?  Yet all this pimpin highlights how we, our communities when we are killed by cops don’t get great outpourings of grief, stands of flowers, tents to protect them from the rain, hours of our funerals televised on NY1.  Pandering to fascism as a way to keep our communities under control.

Yes, the system is at once broken, and working perfectly to smash our communities.  It didn’t work in and through chattel slavery, jim crow, black codes, apartheid, deportations, the many holocausts, fascism, white supremacy, the war on drugs/the terrorist war on terror, heterosexism/heteronormativity, AIDS, concentration camps, quarantines, the prison industrial complex, rapes, genocidal projects.  It still is not working to keep us down, though it would be great to get a little more room and air to breathe, here and there, que no?!!!

Whether it is communities in Palestine, NYC, Ferguson, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Burkina Faso, Russia, South Africa, people are working overtime to make the world a better place. Against incredibly powerful fascist forces, though it feels like we are finally back to a similar place before September 11, 2001, Sept 10, when the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in South Africa concluded and gave us so much hope, a tippin point.  After a generation of being criminalized and called terrorists, communities are breathing resistance even more openly again, even while some of us still cannot breathe.

Resistance lives, because we live, ¡Aquí se respira Lucha!, even with the forces of death arrayed all around us!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by V Spike Peterson on January 6, 2015 at 3:46 am

    dearest Rafael, how moving, inspiring and impressive your posts are. thank you for teh tremendous contributions you make to changing the world… much love from a long -term fan, spike PS I am nervous about asking, as I assume you might have indicated success – but how did the exams go? I do care, and I wish all the best for you!!



    • Dearest Spike, thanks for your kind and great words.

      I have no doubt about your care. That makes two of us, long term fans of each other!

      I didn’t do that well on my 1st exam, though I got a conditional pass. Along with all the other nerves, I kinda froze when I walked into the room of all 5 white folks, two of whom I know and trust, and the fascist-acting Cuban exile Latina via skype (I had had a class with her my first semester where she really went after me). I had a difficult time really delineating differences between theories (feminism and marxism, I like and use both so the best of each are intertwined for me). One of the men was openly hostile and nit picky, deja vu all over again. The chair and EO (executive officer), Cindi Katz, was there and she was kind and believes in me, so that was great. Also, David Harvey is great and kind and he said he thinks I am a wayward thinker which is great for creativity but that I have to anchor myself in theory. So, I am working on that with my advisor Ruthie Wilson Gilmore (she has been a great support!) to reanswer 5 of the 10 questions. They are due by Feb 15, so I have a nice break after the end of the semester, I finished my last paper for Ruthie’s class on Sunday night. I redid one answer, 4 more questions to go, and I should then be at Level 2 and hopefully I will continue my field work in Colombia this summer (I applied for a grant through the SSRC). I will do an update soon on here, and thank you so much for asking.

      I want to hear more how you are, thanks for reaching out!

      Love, Rafael



Thanks so much for checking out my blog & taking the time to comment on it. I will respond to your comment as soon as possible! Muchas gracias por darle un vistazo a mi blog y por comentar sobre el. Le responderé a su comentario tan pronto posible!

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