Revolution#137, July 27, 2008


Chicago Mayor Daley tells people that “we have to end the cycle of violence that... takes our children from us,” and he says that “parents better capture this responsibility.”

OK, let’s talk about responsibility.

Yes, it is terrible—and it is a CRIME OF THIS SYSTEM—that the youth are driven to shoot at and kill each other. It is terrible—and a CRIME OF THIS SYSTEM—that they internalize the message they get every day through the worthless schools and degrading conditions and sneering brutalizing cops—the message that this system has no future for them, and that they don’t even deserve a future—and then act it out, against each other.

But Mayor Daley shouldn’t say a goddamn thing about it. He shouldn’t be allowed to even open his mouth, okay? It is not all that long ago that the youth DID have something better—when the revolution promised them a better future, and gave them something real to fight for. Not all that long ago when a movement arose and directed the anger of the youth where it belonged, against the system. A movement that got the youth out of all that reactionary shit and into fighting the system and trying to make revolution…and in the process of doing all that, changing themselves, too— including how they treated each other.

Responsibility? Let’s talk about what happened, right in Chicago—to take just one example. The Chicago establishment—under the rule of Daley I (the current mayor’s father)—and the FBI joined together to violently stamp out and crush this movement. First they tried to use the gangs, but the gangs told them no, they wouldn’t do it. So the cops launched a raid in the dead of night. These cowardly pigs murdered Fred Hampton, the 22-year-old leader of the Black Panther Party in Chicago. One of their people had drugged him ahead of time, and they stood over him while he slept and pumped his head full of bullets.

Fred Hampton’s blood was all over the hands of Daley I, of the police, of the FBI, and of the DA’s office. But none of the cops who pulled the trigger, none of the authorities who hatched the plan, ever did a minute of time for this crime. That is because they were acting in the interests of the system—against the masses but for the system—the same system that Daley II heads up in Chicago.

The brutal cowardly assassination of Fred Hampton was part of a whole plan to violently crush the revolutionary movement that arose in the ’60s. And it was the demise of that movement—along with the removal of jobs from the inner cities, the drug explosion, and the deeper segregation that was created for a whole section of the Black masses—it was all that and more that created a void which the gangs were allowed (and to a large extent encouraged by the powers) to fill. And yes, with a desperate way of life, with a desperate form of survival, comes desperate acts. But Daley and all the rest of them knew that then, and know that now.

The system doesn’t have a plan to stop the youth killing each other, because they don’t want to stop it. Never did and never will. Their plan is to keep the youth at each other’s throats, and then use the violence these youth get caught up in to bring down still more violence and repression against them. It’s the system that’s responsible for the violence among the people.

But the revolution does have a way and a plan to stop this. And the revolutionary movement coming into being now has a vision and a strategy that could actually go all the way, when conditions come together, and win. It has a real future for the youth. A future that starts with politically fighting back against these authorities, getting into revolutionary ideas, and enabling the people to change themselves as they fight to change their conditions. A future that turns their anger where it needs to be directed, that raises their sights above the dog-eat-dog, and that can lead to the emancipation of humanity.

So fuck these lying and worse-than-hypocritical sermons and phony crocodile tears. And fuck this murderous system. We got something better…revolution.

[For more on the murder of Fred Hampton, see the DVD boxed set of the 1987 PBS miniseries Eyes on the Prize, available for purchase online.]

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