"Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide/Break The Silence!"...
And the Need to Take a Stand and Act Now

February 24, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

Recently, in watching the new documentary film, The House I Live In, directed by Eugene Jarecki, an exposé of the drug war, the reality of the "slow genocide that could turn into a fast genocide" hit me again, powerfully.

For example, you have Ronald Reagan, during a speech, angrily exclaiming, "We intend to end the drug menace and to eliminate this dark, evil enemy within." Ostensibly, it's the drug war he's talking about, but not so covered up or coded is the actual program that involves the extermination of Black people in the U.S. I mean, he tells you this almost straight-up. Go see the film to really get how genocidal these comments are, and consciously so.

Something else to glean from this film is how successive administrations, from Nixon to Reagan, from Bush Sr. to Clinton and then through the turn of the century, consciously drove this drug war—and the vicious, racist revenge associated with this program. This war on drugs, which really is a war on the people, includes the arrests of 45 million people since it was started by Nixon, including a huge percentage of Blacks and Latinos, and of course the astronomical numbers of people not only arrested but imprisoned, some for decades, on nonviolent drug violations. A conscious post-1960s counter-revolutionary onslaught indeed.

However, a weakness in the film is the illusions it sows about how some forces in the U.S. Congress, and other spheres of officialdom, are coming to their senses and by implication can be relied upon to lead an effort to turn the tide. This type of reform-minded reliance on the powers can only end in disaster.

In the past period, Carl Dix and others have given speeches titled "Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide/Break The Silence!" where the situation we confront has been spelled out. Massive resistance has and is being called for to stop this dangerous genocidal trajectory. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network promotes this understanding and has been spreading this slogan. Ultimately, fundamental change, a real revolution of millions, is required to sweep away the system responsible for and driving this dangerous trajectory. For those who think genocide "could never happen here," the reality is that it already has happened here. And it was an almost total and complete extermination of a people. And it was not too long ago. Or ask yourself, what country in the world turned genocide—"cowboys and Indians"—into a children's game?

In thinking about this, including how the Christian fascist genocidal political program especially revolves around issues of "crime and punishment"—specifically the use of the "Biblical Model" as law and moral code in the U.S., which has "an unmistakable suggestion of the 'final solution' against the masses of people in the inner cities as well as preparation for the use of extreme repression, and even execution, to punish a broad array of activities which today are treated as minor offenses or no crime at all." (See Bob Avakian's book Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, especially Part Three.) I am reminded of this quote from the memoirs of Izhak Zuckerman, one of the few leaders of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising who survived when the Germans crushed it:

"In 1939 we did not understand—we refused to believe—both out of ignorance and from the desire not to see... If only we had realized; if only we had understood; if only we had been able to turn the historical tide back to the year 1939, we should have shouted 'Revolt at once!' For then we were at the height of our strength. Then we were possessed of vigor and self-respect."

"Never Again"—understood correctly: never again shall it be allowed that crimes against humanity can go on and people will be able to plead ignorance or impotence as an excuse for doing nothing to stop those crimes. Food for thought, and time to take a stand, and act.

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