The Black Lives Matter slogan and the demand for "racial justice" echo as the defining characteristic of the ongoing resistance from Portland to Kenosha. But the drama of the moment obscures the limitation of these demands. What we mean is those demands can be easily manipulated by the same forces the resisters in the streets believe they are in opposition to.
Private corporations such as Uber and Amazon and professional sports teams have contributed money and lined up behind the demand that "Black Lives Matter." But as these private companies, the media and right-wing neoliberal politicians in the Democratic Party all line up in favor of racial justice, isn't it wise for someone to inquire what exactly they are backing? This question is especially important in the midst of the pandemic, in which the non-white working-class populations are suffering and dying in disproportionate numbers, with hundreds of African/Black people dying every week.
Extrajudicial murders of Black people at the hands of U.S. police number fewer than 300 per year, on average. The opposition to murders at the hands of police is understandable, given African/Black people make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but represent an average of 25 percent to 30 percent of lethal encounters with the police. These numbers don't even account for the numbers of African/Black people shot and beaten by the police.
However, other disproportionalities are not being contextualized as racial justice issues. Astronomical rates of Black unemployment, Black people in lines for food assistance, Black people representing the most vulnerable so-called "essential" workers, Black people lacking health insurance, Black people impoverished and Black people unnecessarily dying during a pandemic are expressions of capitalist state violence. But they have been exempted from the category of racialized oppression.
This contradiction might explain why Amazon founder Jeff Bezos can make sure workers trying to organize themselves are fired, but then turn around and claim "Black Lives Matter."
Black human-rights fighter Ella Baker famously said to Black people and to other oppressed people, "You and I cannot be free in America or anywhere else where there is capitalism and imperialism." If the current demand for racial justice was identified with the position Ella Baker articulated, would the corporations, the media, liberal foundations, and right-wing Democrats like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris still support it?
The answer is obvious. That is why even the leading personalities of the Black Lives Matter movement have not publicly embraced Ella Baker's position.
And that is why we have and must continue to develop a Black Alliance for Peace (BAP). Members of this alliance are clear there can be no justice, peace or human rights as long as this rapacious, inhumane colonial/capitalist system is allowed to reproduce poverty, war and the structures of white supremacy.
PRESS AND MEDIA
BAP continues to act on our renewed commitment to our political prisoners during this 41st Black August by posting solidarity videos from our members on our Instagram account. Black Agenda Radio re-broadcast political prisoners advocacy organization Jericho Movement co-chair Jihad Abdulmumit's talk given August 15 at the Black Is Back Coalition's national conference. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) "is committed to the militant organizing of prisoners that takes its leadership and focus from those on the inside." Black Agenda Radio dove into it. Plus, Netfa Freeman, who represents Pan-African Community Action (PACA) on BAP's Coordinating Committee, spread the word about Black August on RT Spanish; on a panel discussion held after the screening of "Let the Fire Burn," a film about the MOVE bombing; featured BAP member, Black Is Back Coalition Steering Committee member and Black Agenda Report Executive Editor Glen Ford's August 15 Black Is Back Coalition talk on WPFW's "Voices with Vision"; and spoke on a webinar hosted by Africans Rising, "Black August: Standing in Global Solidarity" to connect the global struggle of Africans to the struggle of our political prisoners in the United States. During Black August, BAP collaborated with the Abolitionist Law Center, which made this video.
PACA organizer Olúfémi O. Táíwò published an article in In These Times, "Want to Abolish the Police? The First Step Is Putting Them Under Democratic Control: Abolition is part of a broader struggle for democracy." The work of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression on Community Control of Police (CCOP) was featured in this article.
BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka discussed the Democrats, Trump, Black Lives Matter and identity politics as it relates to Kamala Harris on Law and Disorder Radio. BAP Coordinating Committee member Margaret Kimberley discussed on the Left Lens with BAP Supporter Network Co-Coordinator Danny Haiphong Harris' nomination. Then Margaret analyzed Trump's agenda to end all wars 89 minutes into Radio Sputnik's "The Critical Hour." She also discussed the 2020 elections on the "Wider View" podcast.
Netfa provided context on the protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Watch him on here and here. Margaret discussed Kenosha and the significance of the March on Washington on RT's "Watching the Hawks."
BAP member Luci Murphy was featured in Billboard magazine for her work with the People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle, where she serves on the steering committee.
BAP member Erica Caines explained on an ANTICONQUISTA livestream the relevance of Huey P. Newton's book, "To Die for the People," for today's struggle. Hood Communist editors, one of whom is Erica, discussed in this video why they created the blog and the revolutionary potential of Africans in the United States.
August 31: BAP's August 23 webinar, "How the International War Against Black People is Being Waged Locally," featured a well-received video explaining BAP's mission. It will premiere at 7 p.m., EST, on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
September 4: The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition will host a demonstration demanding Montgomery County return land to the African/Black community. It will take place 12 p.m., EST, at 5204 River Road in Bethesda, Maryland. Learn more.
September 19-20: Labor and Community for An Independent Party is organizing a two-day online conference, "Break the Grip of the Two-Party System Program Agenda." Registration is required.
November 7-8: The Black Is Back Coalition calls on all to march, rally and convene in Washington, D.C., during the "Black People's March On White House." Registration is required.
The Black Latina Girls and Women Fund was created by BAP member organization AfroResistance, a Black Latina women-led organization in the service of Black Latinx women in the Americas. This fund offers financial support by giving money directly to Black Latin womxn, girls and femmes who are experiencing severe financial need across the region, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether in Brazil, Colombia, United States or Panama, Black Latina girls, women, and femmes are organizing in their local communities in the fight against several forms of state violence. You can donate here and people are encouraged to use the hashtag #BlackLatinaGWFund.
Ask your local, state and federal candidates to sign BAP's 2020 Candidate Accountability Pledge. If you are a candidate, distinguish yourself from the other corporate warmongering candidates by signing the pledge.