Sunday, May 31, 2020

Jim Crow Didn’t Go Away

Protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continue with demands for justice.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a plea to anyone calling for the end of the "unrest" stirred by brutality and oppression to focus on the root causes of poverty, distrust, and violence in American society.

"If you are calling for an end to this unrest... but you are not calling for the end to the conditions that created the unrest, you are a hypocrite," Ocasio-Cortez said in the post.

Socialists know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. What is taking place is deja vu from the long history of African-American revolts in the United States. Non-solutions such as body cams and de-escalation training are clearly not the answer. The number of police killings between 2018 and 2019 increased, despite the growing use of body cams by police districts around the country.

AOC goes on to seek a solution for America’s racism and inequality in a policy of reforms. 

"If you're trying to call for the end to unrest, but you don't believe healthcare is a human right. If you're afraid to say Black Lives Matter. If you're too scared to call out police brutality—then you aren't asking for an to unrest. You are asking for injustice to continue and for your people to continue to endure the violence of poverty, the violence of lack of housing access, the violence of police brutality and not say a damn thing. That's what you're asking for. So if you're out here," she continued, "asking for an end to unrest, you better be asking for healthcare as a human right, you better be calling for accountability in our policing, you better be supporting community review boards, you better be supporting the end of housing discrimination, you better be standing up to for-profit real estate developers that are intimidating people and trying to evict them from their homes—that's what you better be calling for. Because if you don't call for those things and you're asking for the end of unrest—all you're asking for is the continuation of quiet oppression.

Nevertheless, much of what she says makes sense to socialists. Instead of calls for things to simply calm down and "go back to normal," said Ocasio-Cortez, "let's create a new world—one where all people are held to the same standard of the rule of law. And one where the justice a person gets for their crimes is not dependent on who they work for or how much money they have, but by the actual deed that was done." A world like, she concluded, "is what justice looks like."

However, there’s no greater frustration than working every day to build and inspire others to build a more just, compassionate world, only to be so brutally reminded of how far away that world is.

Harvard University philosophy professor Dr. Cornell West explains “ The history of black people for over 200 and some years in America has been looking at America's failure. Its capitalist economy could not generate and deliver in such a way that people could live lives of decency. The nation-state, it's criminal justice system, it's legal system could not generate protection of rights and liberties. And now our culture, of course is so market-driven—everything for sale, everybody for sale—it can't  deliver the kind of nourishment for soul, for meaning, for purpose." 

West goes on to say, "The system cannot reform itself," West argued and pointed to a dynamic in which identitarian representation is asked to be a stand in for class equality, shared prosperity, and a functional democracy that actually expresses the will of the people and satisfies the material needs of the working people and the poor. We've tried black faces in high places," he said. "Too often our black politicians, professional class, middle class become too accommodated to the capitalist economy, too accommodated to a militarized nation-state, too accommodated to the market-driven culture of celebrities, status, power, fame, all that superficial stuff that means so much to so many fellow citizens.

He continues, "You've got a neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party…and they really don't know what to do because all they want to do is show more black faces—show more black faces. But often times those black faces are losing legitimacy, too—because the Black Lives Matter movement emerged under a black president, a black attorney general, and a black Homeland Security, and they couldn't deliver. So when you talk about the masses of black people—the precious poor and working-class black people, brown, red, yellow, whatever color—they're the ones left out and they feel so thoroughly powerless, helpless, hopeless—then you get rebellion."

According to West, the nation faces a choice now between "nonviolent revolution" and continuing the status quo failures. "And by revolution what I mean is the democratic sharing of power, resources, wealth and respect," he explained. "If we don't get that kind of sharing, you're going to get more violent explosions."

West added, "I thank God people are in the streets. Can you imagine this kind of lynching taking place and people are indifferent? People don't care? People are callous?" He said “White supremacy is going to be around for a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time, don't be surprised when this happens again. But the question is we must fight," he concluded.

After more than 300 years of the USA abusing blacks in every way imaginable, of course anger and rage is inevitable. As Martin Luther King Jnr said,” And what you’re seeing in America is those chickens coming home to roost

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