Revolution Online, October 10, 2010
Fighting Police Brutality, and Transforming the People, for Revolution!
Fourteen years ago I said there was a nationwide epidemic of police brutality. That epidemic is still in effect today. Youth get stopped and frisked by police all the damn time. Black or Latino parents worry when their teenagers go out: Will he be the next Sean Bell or Oscar Grant? Will she be the next Tyisha Miller? Black parents have to talk with their kids about how to survive being stopped by a cop—no matter whether they are straight A students or street youth who sag their pants. All too often, such an encounter ends with a young person beaten down, arrested or even dead. Just ask the families of any of the several thousand innocent victims murdered by the cops since 1990.
Or just meet some of them, sit down and talk with them, and work with them, like I have. Nicholas Heyward Sr. will tell you what it feels like when the police kill your 13-year-old son for having a toy gun. Or Margarita Rosario will tell you what it's like to hear that your son and nephew were shot in the back by cops while they were lying face down with their hands up. And they and other family members of police murder victims will tell you what it's like to watch the cops who committed these crimes get off with no punishment.
Some thought Obama's election would lead to a reduction in police abuse, but what has happened? September 5: Manuel Jaminez Xum (Manuel Jaminez) is gunned down by cops in L.A. in broad daylight on a busy street. July 8: Johannes Mehserle, the cop who shot Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face down and handcuffed, is let off with a conviction for involuntary manslaughter, which is like saying it was an accident. May 16: Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7-year-old girl, is killed by Detroit police who conduct a midnight raid into her apartment searching for a suspect who lived in the apartment upstairs!
The dogs are still in the street.
Some people blame our youth for all this, or say it's our own fault. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the cops have to come into the neighborhoods the way they do because of the violence the youth are involved in. Speaking at the funeral of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Reverend Al Sharpton said: "I'm looking at the man in the mirror. All of us share some of the blame for Aiyana's death." This is plain wrong, and it's poisonous! We need straight talk on who's really to blame for the situation our youth face.
Neither Oscar Grant nor Aiyana Stanley-Jones did anything to cause their murders. Neither did most of the people who were killed or brutalized by police. And the system itself is responsible for the crime and violence our youth are caught up in. It was the capitalist system that stripped the inner cities of jobs that pay a living wage. The capitalist system that wrecked the educational system. That in 1,001 ways, spreads the message that the lives of our youth are worthless. That promotes the mentality of look out for number 1 and being for yourself, and for your group before anything else. Yet when our youth take up this outlook and apply it to the ways the system has out there for them to survive—whatever hustle they can find, legitimate or illegitimate—the authorities use this to demonize the youth.
As the Message and Call from the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), "The Revolution We Need ... The Leadership We Have," puts it:
"Look at what this system is doing to youth right here in the USA. For millions in the inner cities, if they are not killed at an early age, their likely future is prison (nearly 1 in 8 young Black men is incarcerated, the prisons are overflowing with Blacks and Latinos, and this country has the highest rate of incarceration of women in the world). This system has robbed so many youth of the chance for a decent life and has got far too many living, dying and killing for nothing—nothing good—nothing more than messing up people and murdering each other on the streets of the cities here...or joining the military, being trained to be murderers on a mass scale, massacring people in countries across the globe."
This system has no future for the youth, but the revolution does!
We need to make this revolution. We are building a movement for revolution to get us to a whole different world. A world where the majority of people are no longer forced to slave for the benefit of a wealthy few. A world where there are no more divisions between women and men or between people of different races or nationalities. A world where the backward ideas that help keep this dog eat dog setup in effect are no more. And as a first step in that, making revolution and building a revolutionary society that values the youth as representing the future, instead of criminalizing them like this one does. A revolutionary society that unleashes them to contribute their thinking, spirit and energy to advancing society, and doesn't pen them in, beat them down and kill them off like this one does.
Things don't have to be this way. Through communist revolution, we could bring a totally different and far better world into being. We are spreading revolution and communism everywhere. And we are mobilizing people to resist the attacks this system brings down on the masses as part of getting ready for revolution. And the youth need to be in the forefront of this movement for revolution, and they will be a backbone of the new structure that runs the revolutionary society!
Now I'm not saying these youth could help lead a revolution and build a new revolutionary society the way they are today. No, they couldn't do that, but our youth weren't always into the things they are now. The conditions created and enforced by the capitalist system itself are what changed our youth from beautiful children to gangbangers and criminals.
We need to get our youth out of this shit and into something in the interests of humanity. But lectures about pulling up your pants or sermons won't do anything to change them for the better. Neither will threats of intensified repression. The only way that they can get out of all the bad shit they're caught up in now is by getting clear on the real cause of the misery and brutality inflicted on the masses—the capitalist system. And by joining in the struggle against this system and what it does to the people. We know that these youth are impatient and defiant. Given what the system does to them, this is a good thing. The movement for revolution can tap into that impatience and defiance and give it positive expression, right now. This can play an important part in getting to revolution. In this way, they can join the emancipators of humanity and become a part of bringing into being a totally different and far better way for people to live here and around the world.
As the statement from the RCP, "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" puts it: "The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world…when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness…those days must be GONE. And they CAN be."
October 22, 2010, the 15th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, needs to be a day marked by determined resistance. It needs to be a day when young people and older folk too pour into the streets and manifest their outrage at the brutality and murder this system's enforcers inflict on the people. It needs to be a day when the victims have a platform to expose how this official brutality has devastated their lives, and when people from different backgrounds and of different races come together to say NO MORE to these outrages. We in the RCP, who throw our hearts and souls into building this movement for revolution, will be there that day and in the days leading up to this to build this resistance as part of that movement.
To repeat, there IS a movement for revolution out there that the youth can get with now. A movement that can tap into their defiance and anger and show them how to direct it to building resistance to the ways the system comes at the people. Resistance that gives people a sense that things don't have to be this way. Resistance that exposes the illegitimacy of this system and the horrors its enforcers inflict on the people. Resistance that shows people another way for people to relate to each other than the dog-eat-dog mentality this system promotes.
And again, anybody who is really concerned about what the youth are into and wants to see them doing better needs to be helping them see that the system is the real problem and encouraging them to join those who are fighting the power and transforming themselves and others, for revolution. Not giving them lectures about pulling up their pants and taking personal responsibility, or getting into god.
All Out for October 22nd, the National Day of Protest To Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation!
Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!
This System Has No Future for the Youth, But the Revolution Does!
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