We live in a culture of hate. If you did not know that then maybe what happened to young Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri will be a lesson for you and will open your eyes.
I have had many lessons and my eyes have been open for many years.
I remember one beautiful spring morning. I was sitting at the kitchen table when my mother came to me and said: “let’s go for a walk, son.”
We walked out of the house and onto Peralta Street in West Oakland, California. My mother walked at a brisk pace and I, being only four years old, walked as fast as I could to keep up.
All of the sights, smells, and sounds were very different then than they are today. But some things never change in their appearance, smell, and in their sound. It is the sound of gun shots, the smell of gun powder, and the figure of a police officer shooting at a Black man.
A few blocks into our walk we came upon a small crowd huddled around a police car. The door was open and standing outside of it was an Oakland police officer with his gun drawn and in a firing position.
I watched him aim his revolver; it was pointed at a Black man who was running down the middle of the street. He was running fast. His blazer was furling in the wind as he ran straight ahead.
The policeman fired his revolver; one shot, two shots, three shots; until he had run out of rounds.
The sounds of gun fire were loud; the smell of gun powder filled my nostrils; the blue haze of gun smoke filled the air around the officer. He missed each time; then slowly came out of his firing posture. The Black man ran and finally disappeared onto a side street.
That was my first impression of a police officer; it was one of a police officer shooting at a Black man. I don’t know whether that man had committed a crime or not. The years past by, as the civil rights movement to address police terrorism spearheaded by descendants of slaves pressed forward.
It was February 21, 1965. I went to visit a friend. I walked up and onto his front porch to knock on the door. I saw the morning news paper. I picked it up and opened it. The headlines read: Malcolm X Shot. A few years later there was another killing.
It was April 4, 1968. I was at baseball practice when someone came onto the field and told us that Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated.
Riots expressing the outrage of African Americans started all over the United States. Oakland, California was no exception.
On my way home from baseball practice, 4 police officers assaulted me; they put a shotgun on my forehead while yelling at me: Run Nigger…that was my second personal impression of the police. There are thousands of unreported incidents like mine which happen every year. Every now and then some instances of police terrorism break out into public view.
Rodney King was unarmed. Police officers beat him almost to death; they were acquitted. There was a riot. Then they were retried in Federal Court.
Oscar Grant was unarmed. He was shot in the back while he faced down on the ground. There was a riot. the officer who shot him to death was sentenced to 11 months with time served in the county jail.
Amadou Diallo was 22 years old and unarmed on the night he died. On February 4, 1999, policemen fired 41 shots into his body. All he had in his hand was his wallet with his identification card. Four police officers were acquitted of the killing by a jury.
Trayvon Martin was unarmed. On February 26, 2012, he was shot by a volunteer neighborhood watchman. There were demonstrations. The killer was tried and acquitted.
Ersula Ore was unarmed. She refused to show an identification card because she was not under arrest. She stated that she was a university professor, but that did not matter. She was thrown to the ground by police officers on June 30, 2014 in Mesa, Arizona. To justify their actions they alleged that she assaulted a police officer and resisted arrest.
Marlene Pinnock was an unarmed 51 year old mentally challenged woman and grandmother. She was beaten by a Highway Patrol Officer in broad daylight on I-10 in Los Angeles, California on July 1, 2014 for walking on the freeway.
Eric Garner was an unarmed 44 years old father of six. On July 17, he was put in a choke-hold while crying out: ‘I can’t breathe’. He choked to death on Staten Island.
John Crawford III was an unarmed 22 year old who went shopping. On August 5 he was shot inside a Wal-Mart store by an Ohio police officer while holding a toy gun he had picked up in the toy department of Wal-mart.
Michael Brown was an unarmed 18 year old high school graduate. On August 9, 2014 he was shot over 6 times according to witnesses until he was dead in Ferguson St. Louis Missouri. His body was left uncovered in the middle of the street for over 6 hours in a pool of blood according to witnesses at the scene. It is alleged that he committed petty theft and assaulted a local store clerk.
Ezell Ford was an unarmed mentally challenged man. He was shot in the back dead on August 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California walking home.
In each of these cases, the individuals were treated as though they were not beneficiaries of the rights and privileges promised to all citizens in the Constitution. Though descendants of slaves came to the table of constitutional rights late those rights nevertheless apply to them today. In far too many instances, the rights of descendants of slaves as well as all citizens are ignored when confronted by police officers. Today, Ferguson, Missouri is an example.
The people of Ferguson Missouri who have taken to the streets to practice their lawful rights have been repressed by military force. Their 4th amendment right to be secure in their person, property, and things was violated. Their 1st amendment right to free speech; their right to freedom of the press, their right of free association, their right to peaceably assemble and travel, and their right to record police behavior are now repressed by police terror.
They are being treated like non-citizens; they are being treated as though they are the enemy.
All of these incidents suggest that the crimes committed against them were not the act of lone individuals. Rather, a clear pattern indicates the existence of a culture of hatred in police departments across the nation. That culture of hate stretches back over 150 years.
Police counter cultures have hatred for descendants of slaves. Their hatred for descendants of slaves is irrational. No twisting of logic can make their beliefs and superstitions fit into what reasonable people think and do. For example, I saw a picture of a confederate flag hanging on the living room of the Ferguson, Missouri police chief. How can a man who takes an oath to protect all citizens simultaneously practice a belief in the enslavement of citizens who are Black?
But in reality such beliefs have always been a part of police counter culture in the United States. From the Ku Klux Klan members to within the last past 20 years many racist groups have made a concerted effort to infiltrate police departments all over the United States. Many of them have come out of the military which is a festering ground for racist who want to be trained in martial arts. They have been successful.
Such policemen and women purposely try to instigate violent reactions from individuals who they stop for fabricated claims of ‘reasonable suspicion’. Police do that so they can suspend their victim’s 4th amendment rights and so that they can arrest them. So that they can ruin their lives with a police record.
Some police use descendants of slaves because we are the universal scapegoat; we are the socially sanctioned whipping post, and we are the economically exploitable lower class which they know is punked out by every higher class. We have played that role in the United States since its founding. They use a script written for them by their unions.
When police abuse their authority by using deadly force, they justify the use of deadly force with pre-scripted excuses such as: ‘I thought I saw a gun’ or ‘he or she resisted arrest’ or ‘he ran’ ‘or ‘he reached for my gun’ or ‘I feared for my life’. But something even more dangerous has emerged.
The government has unimaginable computer power to analyze every kind of material data and to make future projections. They do know something we don’t know. But if we are wise we can see that we got a glimpse of the future after the murder of Michael Brown. One unintended consequence of the tragedy in Ferguson Missouri is the revelation of exactly what police departments have been transformed into over the last 20 years.
Police departments have become military garrisons. The transformation of ‘protect and serve’ into incarcerate and destroy has been steady and is in real time the construction of a totalitarian state; our poorest neighborhoods have become concentration camps surrounded by cameras and electronic sensors. But they are also the canary in the coal mine for what all Americans regardless of color can expect in the future.
Police now dress in military uniforms. Their cameo uniforms, military weapons and vehicles are meant to intimidate and demonstrate what polices forces are prepared to do to civilian populations even small ones like Ferguson Missouri.
Descendants of slaves should be very skeptical of anyone or organization telling you to ‘get militant’ and to use weapons in the face of the police arsenal you got a glimpse of in Ferguson Missouri. Ferguson is a very small suburb of about 21,000 people. Imagine what a city like Chicago or Los Angeles is armed with.
People who incite you to violent action are probably on the White Supremacist’s payroll; the very organizations who want to kill you. It happened in the 1950s and in the 1960s when ‘agent provocateurs’ infiltrated peaceful groups to make them appear violent to the public at large; think FBI co-intellpro. Even our beloved brother Malcolm X was set up and tricked and never found out the truth that his new organization was infiltrated by the police.
The Federal government through Homeland Security has literally given police forces all over the nation new weapons of war including deadly chemicals because they expect that over the next 10 years and into the 21st century there will be major civil unrest in the United States due to the global collapse of the U.S. dollar. At the top of their list of things to do is to get rid of as many Black people as possible because descendants of slaves have become nearly entirely economically useless.
That is why we cannot react emotionally and irrationally. A major problem for descendants of slaves is that we always react emotionally and thus irrationally when police kill our youth. And we want to get out into the streets to scream and shout. That’s exactly what they expect you to do. It’s a trap. What we need is a plan of action.
The anger expressed in Ferguson is understandable but not in the absence of a rational plan to address the murder which has occurred and the longer term plan to address the major social, economic, and spiritual problems pervasive in the Black community.
These are some of the facts: 28% of the black population living at or below the poverty level; an all White leadership structure; virtually all businesses are non-black; low educational achievement; 91% of the stop and frisk stops are descendants of slaves; 86% of all traffic stops are descendants of slaves. That is the general description of descendants of slaves everywhere and everyone knows it. We have become misfits in the modern world.
Those problems will not be solved even if and when the killer of Michael Brown is brought to justice. There will be more killings of young and older descendants of slaves.
Those social, economic, and spiritual problems underlying the general predicament of descendants of slaves will not be solved by bringing one police officer to justice.
But there is yet another pattern. There are people who swoop down on scenes like that in Ferguson and supposedly speak for the local people. Some of them are well meaning. But others do it whenever a police killing of a Black youth occurs. They bring with them their entourage and turn tragedy into their theatre stage to promote their own agenda. Some of them are paid to do so by racist White organizations. Yes, Black people are paid cash to mislead other Black people!
None of them come to the scene with a plan to neutralize the culture of hatred in the police departments and to economically uplift the descendants of slaves. They are the modern day carpetbaggers.
Most people have heard the famous quotation attributed to Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” If that is true, then we descendants of slaves should question our collective sanity. We should question our sanity because we may be insane. We keep doing the same rituals one killing after another killing after another killing expecting a different result. We believe that what we do will change the state of white supremacy. It has not and it won’t.
THE HISTORY OF EMPIRES BOTH OLD AND NEW TEACHES US THAT POOR AND ECONOMICALLY USELESS MINORITIES ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE HUMILIATED AND KILLED OFF BY GENOCIDE; THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED TO NATIVE AMERICANS AND THE HAWAIIAN PEOPLE AND THAT IS WHAT MAY HAPPEN TO US DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES HERE IN THE UNITED STATES.