1. SELECTIVE INDIGNATION
Mike Brown and Eric Garner, as we know, were casually murdered, on the street, in 2014, by paid representatives of the State. Neither man’s killer was punished for the killing and both killers, in the end, profited with lucrative media contracts (among other income opportunities) for each respective murder; if Darren Wilson hadn’t shot a fleeing Mike Brown in the back (and head and other places) he’d be at least a million dollars poorer today and unlikely to see such a windfall for anything else he might have otherwise done with his life. Brown and Garner were Black and their killers were White and the obvious racial component in Brown’s and Garner’s deaths (and in the official leniency shown to each man’s respective killer) has triggered protests in cities around the US and a few cities outside of the US, as well. The murder of Black Men in America (at the hands of Blacks and Whites alike) is a Cultural Tradition, but this time, this month, this year, the public seemed to say “enough is enough” and they are protesting. The protests have adopted various slogans: “I Can’t Breathe!” (Eric Garner’s last words) and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” A loosely-organized movement seems to be coalescing under the phrase “BLACK LIVES MATTER”. Because the unjustifiable and state-approved murders of Brown and Garner and several other Black Americans this year crossed a line.
My suggestion for a banner might be “BLACK LIVES MATTER MORE THAN IRAQI/ AFGHANI/ SYRIAN/ LIBYAN/ PALESTINIAN/PAKISTANI LIVES”
Or, make that, “BLACK AMERICAN LIVES…”…
Because when was the last time Americans of any color burned shit down over pictures of semi-headless Iraqi toddlers?
2. A PRIMER
Money is the Morality in the USA. Blacks aren’t merely visited by the Sin of Poverty, we embody it, and White Domestic Mercenaries (Cops) who shoot Blacks are shooting Poverty Demons, as are Black Males who shoot other Black Males /Black Females and Black Females who shoot Black Males, and so forth: everybody with a drawn gun who has any excuse, whatsoever, to discharge the weapon into the terrifying corpus of a Poverty Demon will probably do it. White Liberals eschew guns and therefore neatly skirt the temptation; perhaps this is why White Liberals eschew guns. White Liberals are also noticeably less troubled when Domestic Mercenaries discharge their weapons into the corpuses of White Poverty Demons than when they do so with Black Poverty Demons. Because, just as White Poverty Demons fear/loath the taint of the proximity of Black Poverty Demons, White Liberals fear the taint of the proximity of White Poverty Demons. The distance between White Liberals and Black Poverty Demons creates a comfort zone in which several opportunities become possible: 1) WL >BPD Sympathy 2) the adoption of the Black Male Poverty Demon, by the White Male Liberal, as Virtual Sexual Prosthetic 3) White Guilt. It’s the third opportunity… White Guilt… that problematizes transactions between Black Poverty Demons and our Conflicted White Allies.
White Guilt causes White Liberals to romanticize us Black Poverty Demons to the extent that we all, in their eyes, become Nobly-Savage Perma-Victims, reducing our Agency and our Responsibilities and Lowering the Expectations of the Institutions White Liberals Run: Hollywood, for one thing, and America’s “Educational” System, which, as a result, in the 1970s, chided us Black Poverty Demons that mastering our Mother Tongue (English) was not only not our responsibility but would be seen as a betrayal of our “Heritage” (Slavery?). Which made the vast majority of the BPD much poorer, in the long run, because we were less employable, and more isolated, and could command far less respect, all things being equal, than otherwise might have happened. It was far from unusual for Black Poverty Demons who were caught carrying text books and actually reading them to be thought of (or openly referred to) as “Uncle Toms” by Black Poverty Demons and White Liberals alike, before the entire Ghetto (figurative and literal) got the message and cut the aspirational literacy bullshit out (mostly). Making many of us much purer (more authentic) Black Poverty Demons and, therefore, an even better Virtual Sexual Prosthesis.
It ain’t easy being a Spirit Dick. But it’s better than being a Poverty Demon.
3. THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
Ferguson is driving some Progressives slightly… batshit. The Repressed and Oedipally-Boyish Call to Masculine Violence that bottles up for too long in some soft-spoken Marxist thinkers has side-effects. A Leading Progressive recently posted, on FaceBook, the following batshit thing:
I read — I forget where — an account of someone who built a resistance group in a Nazi concentration camp by approaching anyone he saw sharpening the edge of a tin can. “You are getting ready to kill yourself,” he would say. “I understand. Death is good. Death would be a liberation from this place. How would you like to take one of those guards with you?” Many of those he addressed would agree. “In that case,” said the initiator, “Instead of ending it now, wait until I give the signal and we’ll attack them together.” And that is how he built the resistance. Imagine if all those in this society who have reached their limit and can’t stand it any more, instead of killing their mate or doing something else pointless, took a different course.
All the batshitness is coiled in the last dependent clause of the last sentence. Do I need to specify? Because A) did he really just condemn the notion of murdering one’s Wife/Mistress with the less than emphatic modifier “pointless”? Is that better or worse than calling a brutal rape “pointless” or is it just equally peculiar? And B) If the Hypothetical Comrade is coolly premeditating his Hypothetical Wife/Mistress’ murder to the extent that he might listen to Revolutionary reason and consider re-purposing his bullet(s) to the slaying of a Honkie Pig instead, do you really want him serving on your Revolutionary Committee?
4. ASSATA SHAKUR’S MIGHTY ARMY
Ideological Purity lowers IQ. There’s no such thing as an Intelligent Mob, no matter how Righteous the Mob Agony. The ecstasy of subsuming one’s tedious capability for nuanced thought into the Emotional Simplicities of the (righteous) Mob beckons: Ideological Purity is funky that way. When Lots of Shit hits Plenty of Fans, what I’m interested in hearing are the smarter dialogues on the topic… the conversations one might not expect… the conclusions even better than simple paradox or empty koans… aka, the kind of thinking a crowd is structurally incapable of producing.
I don’t really need to read/ hear the Obvious Fucking Declarations (about Pigs and all that) over and fucking Over again. What happened to your Creativity? Your Wit? Your Insight? Did it all burn off in the idiotic furnace of Ideological Purity? ‘Fraid so.
Marching and torching is merely Phase One; what’s Phase Two? Because it isn’t the 18th century any more and mobilizing a crowd of torch-waving peasants simply won’t do (but you can definitely martyr thousands of front-line Serfs in a Gloriously Futile Catharsis if you feel like it). If that’s The Plan, it’s centuries too late. Maybe that was deliberate; maybe our hearts and the hearts of our children are deliberately wired together through every brick and every sewer pipe and every fibre-optic cable of the Bastille, now, so we can’t smash the Bastille without killing ourselves. If so: clever move on the part of The Owners. 1789 taught them several lessons.
Deliberate or not, Reality means we can only partially disassemble the Bomb/Bastille into which we are all wired. And doing so will take some care. Otherwise, what are we aiming for here? To Save a Bomb by Detonating it? That’s McNamara’s ‘Nam Logic. I want my children to live and I want your children to live. Also, someone needs to run the computerized water works and keep the electricity in the hospitals running and keep the fruit and vegetables coming not to mention heat in the winter. A few hundred Hippie Gardens and bonfires won’t cover it. And how many of you own guns? Because, I hate to mention it, but Rape and Murder and Primitive Extortion all over Your Fucking Neighborhoods All The Fucking Time are not vaguely-hypothetical consequences of the Gloriously Futile Catharsis of Violent Revolution. Institutional Psychopathy would suffer a generational glitch, sure… you wouldn’t have to pay traffic tickets or taxes in the way you used to… for a few years… but Localized Opportunistic Psychopathy would mushroom over-night and fuck you up nicely. There goes little Johnny’s Tap Dancing Lessons. There goes little Mary’s Dialysis.
When did such Smart People become so Dumb? But that’s one of the White Privileges we rarely discuss, isn’t it?
If you could bring The Man to its knees (how?)… it would be at the expense of the lives of lots of children. Yeah: children and women; “women and children”. It’s retrograde terminology, to be sure, but some of my Dearest Liberal White Friends are openly calling for The Retrograde Apocalypse in a Big Way. Women and Children and Nerds be damned.
Well, it won’t happen. Saddam Hussein’s “army” was mostly hype, but it was definitely more of an army than WE are. We are not North Korea. We are NOT going to bring The Man to its knees.
We might get Martial Law instead. Might get check-points and curfews. I can, with creepy vividity, imagine Them springing a fleet of Shotgun Drones and Robo-Cops on us. Maybe Darkies like me will end up in Darkie Detention Camps (hey, they did it to the Japanese, didn’t they? What’s to guarantee that it won’t happen again? Everything else is happening again, is it not?). Thanks for for that, my fist-shaking, Liberal White Assata-Shakur-Worshipping Friends!
(Sidebar: You might want to study what actually happened with and to The Black Panthers, btw… because I don’t think you’ve done much serious study on the matter, stylish as the Panthers were)
I blame all that formative, gonadal Punk and Rap you listened to… those Sylvester-and-Tweety-esque Pantomimes of Radio-Violence… in the safety of your suburban bedrooms. Maybe if you’d been in a few more serious fights (in which someone was actually trying to kill you, with invincibly unthinking hatred), when you were kids, like I was, you’d know how hard it is to acquit oneself well in a thirty-second stomp-fest without tons of practise; you wouldn’t be so psyched over the notion of “violent revolution”, and the full-time schedule of stomp-fests such a possible Futurescape would entail.
Let’s think this through, friends.
Stop your silly howling for blood. Because it is fucking silly.
[ed.’s note: bearing in mind that will what really happen, as a result of the current protests, will probably be closer to what really happened as a result of OWS: fuckall]
Plus… plus. As a Black let me opine that allowing only Blacks to own Mike Brown‘s death and Eric Garner‘s death and Antonio Martin‘s death (ad infinitum) merely because Blacks are Black… is ridiculous. And you’re guilty of enabling self-destructive behaviour if you sheepishly go along with that. As a Black, I’ve been treated to the best Phenotype–Targeted-Brainwashing that a crypto-Eugenic Empire can buy, and lots of that Brainwashing was designed to make me and all other North American Blacks into really, really dedicated Self-Segregators (to work in unwitting harmony with our skulking, gerrymandering Nazi colleagues). We don’t need more Progressive Apartheid. We are not born with rhythm, we are not born Macho, we are not born Extra-Emotional, we are not born with bigger… uh… ooops… okay… but… we are not born to huddle in the dirtiest corner of the World’s Great Room, handing over musical genres every couple of generations, in exchange for Cheap Cred, and otherwise burning with Congenital Isolation. We are only superficially (and not even uniformly) different… only as “different” as they said the Italians and the Irish were in the early 1900s; not even as “different”, to be blunt, as “Jews” (do we not pretend to worship the same Teutonic Surfer that most of America pretends to worship?)… and “Jews” are not nearly as “different” as some dream of being. Can we come out of the Concentration Camp of Authenticity now, please? With our (cough) Hands Up? We’ve all been watching the same TV for at least seventy years; why are you treating us like Sacred Lepers? For our own good? Help us get off the metabolic super-toxins of McDonald’s genocide-snacks and you’ll remember how sexy most of us can be, too! Come on… our Babes dominated the Sexual Imagination of the Enlightenment… remember…?
We Blacks need all the fucking In-the-same-boat (not just patronizing) Allies we can get. Either All Lives Matter or None Do.
Do I really need to explain that?