USM Statement on School Shootings: It’s not guns or mental illness. It’s white society.

It’s not guns or mental illness. It’s white society.



It’s not guns or mental illness. It’s white society.

Parkland was the 18th school shooting on a predominately white school campus in the United States in this year alone – and it’s only March.

Clearly, we are not looking at some freak occurrence that can be understood by studying the psyche of the shooter; we’re looking at a problem within white American society itself.

And although the U.S. government and media are working overtime to exploit the deaths of seventeen children to hold empty, meaningless debates and rally us behind their cynical agendas, the reality is that no amount of “gun control reform,” or “mental health counseling” will solve this problem.

How can we expect to reform a society built on murder, violence and rape?

America and white society are built upon mass murder of children, millions of African and Indigenous children whose hopes and dreams and lives were crushed to build the pedestal of stolen wealth that has fed white people for the past six hundred years.

When the media refer to Parkland and Sandy Hook as the deadliest mass shootings in American history, they are using the deaths of these white children to deny and obscure the massive scale of the murder that forged the U.S. social system from its inception.

No school shooting compares to the Sand Creek Massacre on November 29, 1864, when 700 white people attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho people encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory killing and mutilating nearly 200 Indigenous people.

No school shooting has ever approached the scale of horror that unfolded during 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 culture of white society is spawned by the daily lynchings that we carried out against African people for over 100 years at the turn of the century, hanging black bodies from trees and mutilating them for fun as we posed in front of their burning corpses with our children smiling for the camera.

This is the substance from which our violent white culture was born. And this violence began long before the invention of the AR 15.

As Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, wrote in Overturning the Culture of Violence:

“White people are indeed forever haunted by our past and present relationship to the genocide against the native and African peoples. Could it be that the inherited weight of these crimes on the shoulders of white youth plays itself out in the epidemic of violence against their parents, teachers, and schoolmates?

“White youth are simply turning back on white society what has historically been our normal and consistent behavior towards the majority of other peoples on the planet.

“The mass murder, mutilation, dismemberment.. should be no surprise when we [white people] discover our true history. We are witnessing an implosion of the culture of violence.”

Nothing short of complete social transformation can bring this to a halt.

And if we are genuinely grief stricken by the murder of children, then our grief cannot be reserved only for white children.

The implosion of white violence that reared its head last week in the form of Nikolas Cruz prowling the halls of Parkland high with an AR 15 is rooted in the daily, global killing of African, Mexican, Arab and Asian children. And that should fuel us to take action to change the world so that all children are free to live and grow in peace.

Every white parent should think about this. We don’t want our children to die, but we should be equally disturbed by the fact that under this social system, the only way for our children to live is for other children, colonized children, to die.

This is the inescapable dialectic, as Chairman Omali Yeshitela defined it, between the happiness of white people and the suffering of African people. As Chairman Omali wrote, “every white dream and aspiration requires drone strikes in Pakistan.” Our security depends on their suffering.

It was a normal, peaceful day at school for America’s white children on the day when Tamir Rice, 12 years old, was gunned down by Cleveland police as he played on a playground.

It was a normal day at school for our white children when the Detroit police stormed into the home of 7 year old Aiyana Jones, and shot her in the head in front of her grandmother who was quoted as saying, “I watched the light in her eyes go out.”

The white school children of Pinellas County, Florida did not have to hide under their desks on the morning after the Sheriff’s deputies chased three teenage black girls, Dominique Battle, Laniya Miller and Ashaunti Butler, into a cemetery pond and forced them to drown in a painful, torturous death.

On every normal afternoon when a white kid jumps into the back seat of the car after school, the peace that we take for granted translates thousands of miles away into the horror-stricken screams of Palestinian children whose arms are blasted out of their sockets by the genocidal Israeli military forces.

There is a direct relationship between these two realities and it is that violent reality which boils over every time a white kid picks up a gun and walks into a school campus.

This is the hidden price of our white lifestyle. This is the violence of white society turning inward.

It is the violence which African people who are forced to bury their children every day are fighting to overturn. It is the violence which Arab and Mexican people are forced to bury their children are fighting to overturn.

It is the violence which we, too, as white people, must take responsibility to overturn, by working under the leadership of the African Revolution which will liberate all of humanity from the fear and insecurity of life in a dying empire.

The African People’s Socialist Party is the heroic revolutionary Party of African workers fighting to build a peaceful, socialist world where no child lives at the expense of other children.

The way we can join this future is by taking responsibility to overturn our culture of violence by organizing in the white community to build a new revolutionary culture of reparations to African people.

We owe reparations and it is through repairing the damage we have done to the rest of humanity that we can end our own self-imposed isolation in a cold, inhuman society where violence is the norm. We have no future inside the society of the slavemaster.

And we should make a commitment to our children that they will not have to inherit the legacy of the slavemaster that we inherited upon birth into this social system. Nor should they have to inherit the culture of white violence.

The next generation of white people should inherit the legacy of white reparations to African people.



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