Army reserve, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25 carried out a revenge attack on police officers in Dallas for the murders of African-American men by white police officers, and whilst the killings of these officers are tragic the murders of black men and women have gone unpunished for centuries since our ancestors were brought over to Europe on slave ships. Black lives has never mattered because the ideology of the individuals who murder black people is rooted in white supremacy and European colonialism.
According to a Guardian report in December 2015, “Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015” (Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deaths, by Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Jamiles Lartey and Ciara McCarthy, Thursday, 31 December, 2016)
The report also found that:
“Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. Their rate of police-involved deaths was five times higher than for white men of the same age.
Paired with official government mortality data, this new finding indicates that about one in every 65 deaths of a young African American man in the US is a killing by police.”
Around 25% of African-Americans killed by police were unarmed.
Let me put these statistics into a human perspective. If you are a black male and get pulled over by a police officer for a routine licence check, there is a significant probability that your life is in danger. If you behave assertive towards the police officer, there is a significant chance that your life is in danger. If you reach into your pockets for your licence or for anything at all your life is in significant danger; and if you do as the police officer ask your life is in danger as the 25% of unarmed African-Americans killed by police indicates.
This is a state of total siege, a psychological and physical terrorism carried out by state forces on black people.
What is even more alarming is that the police officers involved escaped prosecution.
One can only imagine what was going through the mind of Micah Xavier Johnson, when he loaded his gun and decided to carry out attacks of revenge on innocent police officers who were not connected to any ongoing case involving the shooting of African-Americans. Was he thinking about the hopelessness of the situation for African-Americans? Was he thinking that after centuries of slavery, lynching and racism little has changed for African-Americans in regards to justice? We will never know.
What we can say is that the Black Lives Matter movement is more significant now than it has ever been and it is important that this movement understands the historical context of why whites continue to kill black people without a conscience nor fear of being prosecuted.
In my article Black deaths in police custody: We should never forget, I focused on black deaths in police custody within the UK, and the statistics reveal the same pattern; a lack of concern for black lives and a system which protects the perpetrators of racist violence.
When 21 year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof, massacred nine African-Americans during bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, which included six men and three women, the Shelby Police Department strapped a bullet-proof vest to him for protection and took him to Burger King so that he could eat before taking him to the station. Readers can draw their own conclusions about the significance of this act. (http://www.inquisitr.com/2195103/dylann-roof-burger-king/)
The truth is, the lives of white mass murderers and child molesters are valued more than black people, and the root to this hatred goes back to slavery, the ideology of white supremacy and European colonialism.
How We Have Forgotten The Struggle
The problem in my view with the Black Lives Matter movement is that it is disconnected from the historical struggle for racial equality on a global level. The struggle that claimed the lives of Martin Luther King Jnr., and Malcolm X. The struggle that bonded the victims of European colonialism and conquest.
The struggle that King advocated in his speech, “Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence” given at Riverside Church in New York, April 4, 1967, where he said:
“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government. For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. Look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the country. This is a role our nation has taken, … refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investments … This is not just … our alliance with the landed gentry of South America, “This is not just” (Read King Condemned US Wars Maintaining Predatory Capitalist Investments and Was Shot Dead)
The late great African-American activist, Muhammad Ali, summed up the struggle back in 1967 when he refused to fight in the Vietnam war saying:
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”
Today, African-American soldiers are dropping bombs on Black and Brown people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, etc., and continuing “…the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over”. African-Americans has had a Black president in Barack Obama who has continued the white supremacist US foreign policy “to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over”
Black Lives really Matter when Europeans continue to plunder African resources and murder African leaders. (Read Gaddafi’s death is a warning to all who oppose the West’s global design and The empire strikes back: America plan Africa re-colonisation)
Today, African-Americans and Black people in Britain continue to live in the most deprived areas. We continue to suffer endemic racism in the criminal justice system and in the employment market. (Read New equality report reveals a racially unequal Britain and Economic racism responsible for wealth gap increase between whites and African-Americans says report)
Black Lives Matter should address the poisonous music that young black people are exposed to which encourages misogynist behaviour towards women and uses racially offensive terms such as ‘nigger’ in the lyrics.
If we have no value for our own lives then we cannot expect others to place a value on our lives. There is much that needs to be addressed before Black Lives Matter, really begins to matter.
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