African American Insurgency Is Not Senseless
Agaaaain the news from Baltimore was not encouraging. How do folks insist on so-called law and order plus peace when the system is complicit in the structural normalizing of injustice? The claims within the American mainstream media and some politicians that recent actions by African American insurgents are Senseless is absurd and only seeks to avoid addressing the real issues associated with the resistance. One of the truths we all need to acknowledge is that there are Methods to the so-called madness.
Sadly, some of the victims within our various communities do not have the moral and ethical high grounds to rebuke the revolt because we know that the killings of innocent folks by law enforcement and peace officers have continued unabated with no accountability. My brother that arrived from Nigeria few weeks ago, upon watching the daylight murder of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, stated that even in Naija police don't just execute a man after subduing him in front of the public.
The world is actually watching the US and people are realizing that we need to remove the specs in our eyes before identifying the logs in the eyes of others. Reality is that crime rates have gone down in the past 15-20 years across the US but the police remains in a war footing against minorities in the US and poor people in general. African American women and men are killed without regard by officers who would definitely get into more trouble and elicit more independent investigations if their victims were dogs and cats.
Poverty is now criminalized and police stops are used as tax collection tools that disproportionately affect African American, Native Americans, Latinos, and Poor Caucasians. In Nigeria police officers take laws into their hands by taxing commuters for bribes because official state funds are often diverted into individual pockets. As a result when encounters between the public and police happen, at times innocent individuals get killed when they don't have the funds or don't release them fast enough.
In the US the rich feel like it is a crime for them to pay their fair share of taxes whereas the poor folks are compelled to unnecessary traffic stops and searches by police. As a result fines and tickets are issued to fill-up the coffers of the state to supplement the revenues that should be gotten from the 1%. Those that are slow to accept their so-called place or resist these inhumane levies/taxes are harassed, arrested, jailed, or killed without adequate justice.
But folks are realizing that there seems to be enough money for wars, drones, and the bailing out of the most wealthy individuals and organizations. Few months ago I received a ticket from a cop while taking my children to -the bring your child to work day. He was in front of me on the opposite side, behind other cars, and was able to make up a reason to give me a $90 citation for no just reason on the day my kids were scheduled to listen to a Washington MPD officer and 2 FBI agents. My children were left traumatized by the actions of the first law enforcement officer we came across that morning. Our calls are for better application of laws and just treatments; sure we have heard these before.
Nnamdi F. Akwada, LGSW is a Social Justice Activist