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!