The following piece was written by Harris Daniels, member of the African People’s Solidarity Committee. APSC is the organization of Euro-Americans working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party in material solidarity with the struggle for African liberation and reparations. APSC will be holding its international conference, “African Resistance, White Solidarity” on January 6-8, 2013. For more information please visit apscuhuru.org.
On Friday, December 14th, 2012, Adam Lanza, a young white man in Newtown Connecticut, opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered twenty young children and 6 teachers and staff, before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide. This happened only 3 days after a shooting in Happy Valley, Oregon, in a year in which news reports said “two of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history” occurred – the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the July 20th Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting.
The U.S. government has used the media to win complicity from the white populace who are understandably shocked and grieving after incidents of violence and murder of white children.
Despite the U.S. media propaganda, the fact is that these are not the “deadliest shootings in U.S. history.” What about the Sand Creek Massacre on November 29, 1864, when a 700-man force of a white settler militia attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho people encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Indigenous people? What about the 1921 attack and bombing of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma by white mobs, shooting, burning and slaughtering up to 300 African people in the economically thriving Greenwood community?
The clear bias of looking at the Sandy Hook shooting, the Aurora shooting, Columbine, 9/11 attacks or any recent incidents in which many white lives in previously assumed “safe” communities are taken away suddenly denies the very humanity of millions of African, indigenous, Mexican, Arab and Asian people murdered at the hands of U.S. Imperialism – often at the hands of the very white citizens and soldiers called “heroes” when they come home from the wars of aggression and occupations.
As a member of African People’s Solidarity Committee who has taken the stand of solidarity with African people, it is my place to speak to other members of the white community about resisting the notion that the only people whose humanity is worth mourning are white, and that the issue is “gun violence” or “racism.” I’m making the call to others to join us under the leadership of African People’s Socialist Party in fighting the U.S. wars against oppressed peoples around the world, including the domestic colonized African and Mexican/Indigenous communities .
I’m from Connecticut originally. I understand about the conditions and environment of the multitude of insular, affluent, mostly white communities and their assumed “safety.” I also work with elementary-aged children. The thought of them being slaughtered is horrifying and of course no one deserves to be shot or attacked violently, no matter where they grow up.
The reality, however, is that Newtown and every single town and city in the U.S. and Canada was built on the pedestal of indescribable violence against African, Indigenous and other oppressed peoples that paved the way for wealth, affluence and even the bare minimum expected for white working class families in this parasitic system that lives off the blood of the world.
I’ve seen a lot of talk around schools “no longer being safe for children,” and I can completely understand the terror people feel at this moment. This terror has been felt by Africans on a daily basis who are constantly invaded by thugs with guns, usually known as the police. The fear of a stranger murdering you in your home, school, or anywhere already well known by so many African and Indigenous people, and we shouldn’t forget this in our grief.
Between 1900 and 1960 hundreds of young African males were forcibly sent to a “reform school” in Marianna, Florida where they were tortured, terrorized, and murdered by the faculty – in some cases burned alive or drowned to death. Nearly 100 graves have been discovered at the site of the school.
In the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, the bodies of at least 700 Indigenous children have been found buried on abandoned property. These children were murdered while enrolled at the colonial Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School.
In Detroit, Michigan in 2010, the police shot and murdered 7-year-old African child, Aiyana Jones with a bullet to her head in front of her grandmother.
Africans are regularly terrorized and abused within the colonial education system, such as 6-year-old Jaeisha Scott in St. Petersburg, FL who was handcuffed and arrested by police inside the school.
The Connecticut school massacre must be understood in the context of a social system built and sustained on violence against African and Indigenous children, women and men.
The nationalist blinders so many of us choose to put over our eyes prevents us from seeing how this could happen in white schools, as white people intentionally ignore the violence that is being perpetrated against the “other” – whether children in Pakistan being drone-bombed, in Iraq or Palestine suffering the starvation of U.S.-imposed sanctions, or in Afghanistan being shot, blown up and set on fire by Marines and soldiers who come home to the same “safe” towns like Newtown as “heroes.”
Many of us stay silent about the the violence in U.S. cities where the colonized African population is on police lockdown, including Connecticut cities like Hartford, New Haven and New Britain. The vast majority of white people support the police thugs with guns under the reactionary assumption that by keeping the African community under containment then affluent white communities are “safe.” Hopefully, this can be a wake-up call that Columbine, Aurora, or 9/11 should have been.
This isn’t just an idle advertisement, this is a call to action. If the senseless murder of children in a place you thought was “safe” from violence doesn’t motivate you to DO something, what will?
This is imperialist violence turned inwards. And the source of this violence – and ALL violence in this world – is U.S. imperialism
If you hate that this violence, normally reserved for black and brown people whose names you’ll never know, then you MUST hate imperialism
We cannot end imperialism by taking “Unlearning Racism” classes. Racism is the ideological underpinning of colonialism, which provides the wealth and affluence in our white communities through the process of stealing black and brown people’s resources, labor and land.
If the solution was simply a struggle against “racism,” then those courses could somehow magically end the police containment of the African community; then, African and Mexican people wouldn’t be victims of murder by police or white citizens acting as the police every 36 hours in the U.S.; then, the white nationalist settler state of Israel wouldn’t be able to occupy Palestine and bomb the men, women and children of Gaza for another day.
The only solution is to become part of a movement that is openly, directly and effectively challenging colonialism right at the source, and calling on us as white citizens to break our complicity with the system that benefits us at the expense of everyone else – to take the right stand and fight until imperialism and colonialism are overturned!
I implore you to take a right stand and find out more about, join and get involved in Uhuru Solidarity Movement (UhuruSolidarity.org) and attend the International Conference of the African People’s Solidarity Committee: “African Resistance, White Solidarity” in St. Petersburg, FL January 6-8, 2013.