The Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM), an organization of white people working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement, expresses our outrage at the police murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO on Saturday, August 9.
According to witnesses, Brown and a friend were walking home from a convenience store when the cops told them to get off the street. Brown was murdered in a barrage of 8 police bullets while his hands were in the air.
In an attempt to further demean and humiliate the African community, Brown’s body was left in the street for more than four hours.
The cops, the media and the St. Louis authorities have, as usual, issued lies and false statements slandering Brown.
In the wake of the brutal murder of Michael Brown, sustained righteous and militant African rebellions, marches and resistance have broken out in the face of intense military-style repression. The government has even issued a “no-fly zone” over the town of Ferguson.
Brown’s murder immediately follows the savage police suffocation of Eric Garner in New York on July 17 and the murder of John Crawford in an Ohio Walmart on Aug. 5 after he picked up a toy gun.
On August 13 another African was shot by Ferguson cops and critically wounded.
Ferguson, MO is a suburban town of 20,000 whose population is 67 percent African with a white mayor and a police department that is 94 percent white. (http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/8/12/5994181/ferguson-is-67-percent-black-and-its-police-force-is-94-percent-white)
Michael Brown, like so many others, is one more tragic casualty of the deadly U.S. war on the African community in a country where an African is murdered by police or white nationalist violence about every 26 hours, according to a study by the Malcolm X Grassroots Organization!
Since the formation of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement in the 1980s, we have seen countless police murders of African people whose families were defended and murders protested by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
Usually the victims are young African men who were targeted and gunned down like animals when the possibilities of their whole lives should be in front of them.
More than 5000 people have been murdered by police in the U.S. since 2001. Most of them are young and black or brown. (http://filmingcops.com/cops-have-killed-over-5000-americans-since-911/)
We name just a few: Trayvon Martin, 17, whose case is well-known the world over; Javon Dawson, 18 who was murdered by police here in St. Petersburg, FL during a high school graduation party; TyRon Lewis, 18, gunned down in St. Petersburg during a routing traffic stop; Oscar Grant, 22, whose point-blank murder by a BART cop in an Oakland, CA station was caught on video; Sean Bell, 23, shot to death by cops on the morning he was to get married; Amadou Diallo, 23, murdered when cops shot him 41 times in the doorway to his apartment building.
It goes without saying that the police do not ride roughshod with impunity in white neighborhoods, harass and gun down white teenagers and leave their bloodied bodies lying in the streets for many hours.
This exposes the bitter fact that two glaringly different political, economic, social and legal realities exist inside America. One is the reality experienced by white people and quite another for African, Mexican and Indigenous people. The American dream and the American nightmare.
Even during the current economic downturn, white families still have an astounding 22 times the assets of African families in this country, according to CNN. (http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/21/news/economy/wealth-gap-race/)
Thirty-five percent of African people live below the poverty line in the U.S. with 40% of African children growing up poor.
The U.S. has the highest prison population in the world with 2.3 million people locked down in the American gulag, half of whom are African and another third Mexican.
African men are given sentences at least 20 percent longer than white prisoners and are 25 percent less likely to receive a sentence below the sentencing guidelines. (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/black_prisoners_tend_to_serve_longer_sentences_than_whites)
Drug sales and use is a main reason put out by the U.S. government to justify the arrests and imprisonment of African people.
According to the Sentencing Project, Africans make up 12 percent of US. drug users, but represent 34 percent of those arrested for drug offenses, and 45 percent of those in state prisons for such offense as of 2005.
Since the U.S government’s COINTELPRO attack on the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s—an attack that included assassinations of movement leaders, long-term imprisonment of political activists and the use of federal agents to disrupt and destabilize organizations—the government has attempted to salt the earth by imposing crack cocaine, heroin and other deadly drugs on African communities across the country.
Militarized police forces and SWAT teams have been deployed to stalk impoverished, jobless African neighborhoods and round Africans up for mass imprisonment in the multi-billion dollar prison economy that has created a multi-faceted political economy of jobs and business opportunities for white society.
Simmering under the surface of every statistic is the reality that the U.S. was built on the mass enslavement of African people that was lynchpin of the U.S and world capitalist economic system for 500 years.
The political economy of slavery is the foundation of all white economic opportunity and success in the U.S.
As Harvard Professor Walter Johnson stated in his article “King Cotton’s Long Shadow,” published in the New York Times:
“It is not simply that the labor of enslaved people underwrote 19th-century capitalism. Enslaved people were the capital: four million people worth at least $3 billion in 1860, which was more than all the capital invested in railroads and factories in the United States combined. Seen in this light, the conventional distinction between slavery and capitalism fades into meaninglessness.”
Slavery created the “ladder of success” available to poor white settlers arriving daily on ships from Europe during the 19th century.
As African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela tells us, it is “the subject and colonial peoples of the world whose exploited labor and resources create the pedestal upon which all white people sit.”
“All white people” the Chairman stresses, because we are an oppressor nation living at the expense of colonized African, Mexican and Indigenous populations in our very midst inside the borders of the U.S.
America is no different than Occupied Palestine being assaulted by the colonial settler state of Israel—something some white people might take an active stand against.
But colonialism exists right here, even though it is never acknowledged by the white left or the majority of white people.
The so-called “war on drugs” inside the U.S. is in fact a colonial war on the African community where organized resistance and the struggle for liberation and independence are growing in this country and wherever African people are located worldwide.
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement calls on white people to open our eyes to the colonial violence being carried out in our name against African people right here and take a stand against it now!
African people have a right to resist this colonial violence just as the Palestinian people are fighting for the liberation of their land and society.
White people: Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement in building the Days in Solidarity with African People. Fight for reparations to the African community.
There can be no justice—or peace—without it.