The murder of nine Black/New Afrikans at the historic Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina is a heart-wrenching and incomprehensible tragedy. It should also represent a turning point in the current struggle for Black justice and freedom in the United States.
Political pundits throughout main-stream media outlets have struggled with articulating the reality of racial hatred, violence and terrorism directed toward Blacks/New Afrikans. Instead, many have focused on calling for more stringent gun-control laws and the removal of the confederate flag from government properties, while ignoring the obvious pattern of race-based terrorism aimed at Blacks all across the United States.
Vigilantes, murderous pig-police and now, organized and armed white-supremacist have targeted and converged upon Black/New Afrikan people with a vengeance. Traditional and “responsible” African-American leadership appears to be unprepared and ill-equipped to respond to these most recent situations, while more radical and militant Black leaders are angry and outraged, but have so far, failed to provide a tangible and programmatic approach.
Calls for gun-control may be well-intended, but ultimately only help to assist in the efforts to systematically disarm the Black/New Afrikan communities and make it easier for Black folks to be victimized by whites and other reactionary forces within our neighborhoods.
Conversely, white folks in America are buying guns and ammunition in record numbers. Most whites are killed by other whites; however, there are no calls for “stop the violence” or “turn in your gun” campaigns being directed their way.
The Pittsburgh area features at least four (4) gun-shows every year, offering discounts for children who attend with their parents. Certain schools in the area even have gun clubs which compete against other schools. Meanwhile, predominantly Black schools (in urban areas) are only competing in traditional sports like football and basketball.
I think we all should respect and honor the decision of surviving family members and Black clergy in calling for understanding, non-violence and forgiveness towards the white-community in general, Dylan Roof in particular. Forgiveness, mercy and understanding certainly has its place and are valued characteristics of being a human being. However, so is security, defense and group preservation.
As we honor the memory of those who were murdered or injured and offer support to their surviving families and parishioners, we should take the time to reflect on the safety and security of Black/New Afrikan communities and institutions.
We must raise the security awareness and consciousness within our communities and neighborhoods. We must be on high-alert when it comes to those who may wish to do us harm. We must not be ‘shamed’ into neglecting to educate and arm our communities and neighborhoods regarding collective security and safety.
We cannot depend on local police, because many of these forces are embedded with racist, violent and/or self-hating cops. We must develop our own capacities to defend and protect ourselves. The time is now…,
All Power to The People!
Freedom in Our Lifetime!