Police Brutality and the Fight for Socioeconomic Justice
Any backlash by people against police brutality and murder, which takes place routinely in this country with total impunity for the racist thugs who commit those attacks and murders, is used by police and their supporters to push back against protesters and make protesting harder than ever. An organized effort is underway by racist police unions, who are starting to look like Nazi SS officers, and their supporters among the rightwing politicians, to stifle any protest. The killing of Brooklyn Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu by a deranged individual has been exploited to put protesters and critics of the police in the defensive. The chief of the police union known as Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, publicly said de Blasio had “blood on his hands” and hundreds of police officers turned their backs on the Mayor during his eulogy for the killed officers for daring to criticize the NYPD, after killing of an unarmed Eric Garner who told them “I can’t breathe” 11 times before he was choked and killed. News media have fallen over one another to praise the killed officers and all police for “putting their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve their community”. New York’s Daily News reporting on the meeting today between Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD bosses, including Lynch, that was conducted “to iron out their differences”, called the NYPD “the city’s Finest”! You don’t have to guess where they stand on the issue of police brutality and murder, especially when they just brutally killed an innocent man in front of bystanders. Even Rev. Al Sharpton, who usually appears by the side of the families of police brutality victims and supports the protests, praised in his MSNBC show the “brave men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line to protect people”. I suppose he knows his limits and values the paycheck he gets from NBC more than the victims of police brutality.
Governor Cuomo expressed “surprise” that the police acted with restraint when faced with anti-police brutality protests after two of their own were killed, which I suppose means he wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t act with restraint and decided to massacre the protesters!
The Los Angeles police also closed sections of the city on Sunday and declared tactical alert and told people to stay in their homes after two individuals opened fire on their patrol car. The officers were not injured. They returned fire and took one suspect into custody and conducted a manhunt for the second. As a friend once said, murdering people and going free does have consequences. In the absence of Justice, consequences become the missing Justice.
There are five things that we all need to understand and be aware of:
1. There is an undeclared war by police against minorities and especially against blacks.
2. Although you can include the poor of all colors as the target of this war, it would be a mistake, as some on the left do, to ignore the race factor and call it strictly a war on the poor. Although it so happens that most blacks are poor, the attacks do have a racial character that has to be acknowledged and understood aside and separate from a general class attack on all the poor, as part of the ongoing class struggle, which takes place under capitalist rule.
3. This war is not new or newly thought out or started at random. Nor is it due to some isolated racist officers or commanding offices in some cities or precincts. The war has been going on and constitutes the continuation of the suppression of African American youth who are deemed dangerous to the system, especially in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement of 50 years ago, even though most anti war, anti nukes, anti capitalist and pro environment movements have been led by the white middle class. Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me a bit that the U.S. ruling class is far more advanced in its class analysis than most US Marxists and socialists. Their analysis and anticipation is spot on.
4. This war has been waged not only on the streets, but also in courtrooms, sending tens of thousands of the black youth to prison for extended stay for nonviolent offenses, which whites are usually given probation or a few days for. And, what reason do I have to believe that the decision by the CIA to target the black community of Los Angeles in the 1980’s with distribution of crack cocaine as reported by Gary Webb in 1993 in San Jose Mercury News was accidental?
5. This war and the deliberate and concerted effort to limit people’s right to protest stems from the forecast at the top for a future, which will see frequent and devastating economic crises and downturns, each time throwing millions of people out of their jobs and into the ranks of the extreme poor. Grounds are being set to quash resistance. That’s the reason and purpose of this war.
We must join the protests against the racist police now even if all we want to achieve is economic justice because the road to economic justice starts from the fight against racism and police oppression. That road goes through Detroit, Oakland, Ferguson and South Central Los Angeles before leading up to Monsanto, McDonald Douglas, Northrop, Exxon-Mobile, Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan.