Hey Al Sharpton...

September 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader

I was part of the "We Will Not Go Back" march, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton in Staten Island, New York City, on August 23. Thousands and thousands marched to protest the murder of Eric Garner.

I was furious on that march. Still am. Furious, for one thing, because there is still no justice. The pig who choked Eric Garner to death on July 17 for supposedly selling loose cigarettes is free. All those who supervised him, trained him, and made him what he is haven't faced justice. As Gil Scott Heron used to sing, here, and everywhere else, "the dogs are still in the street."

I wasn't the only angry one. Some people on the march carried signs: "Justice for Eric Garner" and "Stop police brutality." Others said, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," what the defiant ones and others have been chanting in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, demanding justice for Michael Brown, the 18-year-old Black youth gunned down, murdered, his body left to lie in the sun for four hours.

But I am also furious because all Al Sharpton was trying to chill out people's righteous anger, or divert it. Not just down the dead-end of electing so-called "progressives" (didn't they just do that in NYC?!), but twist and turn people's anger at police murderers against our youth! And those who stand with them. Turning everything upside down—making it out like the police are the good guys in all this!

Even running an ad in the paper saying:

"We know that New York's police officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve every day, and we respect and value their commitment to our city."

Oh, they serve and protect all right. Those pigs protect and serve a system of oppression.

Hey Al Sharpton: Stop and watch Rob Hustle's video "This Is What Happens When You Call the Cops." You don't know this? You don't know they brutalize, they degrade, they "stop-and-frisk." They terrorize. They humiliate. They insult. They are the ones who push our youth through the schools-to-prisons pipeline.

Not to mention how they spy on activists, beat, gas and arrest protesters, make a point of gassing, beating, and busting a lot of bystanders while they're at it just to make a point.

Oh. And they kill! They kick down doors and murder little girls (have you heard of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Reverend Al?). Atlanta police shot 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in her home in what they called a "botched" drug raid—firing at her 39 times. Thousands of Black and Latino youth, and others caught in their sights, have been killed over the past 10 years or so.

They kill youth for being defiant. For being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For having a comb. A cell phone. For putting their hands up and saying "don't shoot." For allegedly selling loose cigarettes.

But like Eric Garner said, that stops now. And since he said that, we had Ferguson. Now everyone has got to take the "Ferguson test." The uprising in Ferguson set the standard. The world saw the snarling dogs blasting away with their tear gas and armored personnel carriers and rubber bullets. And they saw defiant youth. For once, the reality of life for Black people in AmeriKKKa was on the stage—at least breaking through the bullshit here and there.

Credit the rebellion. With it? Or against it? Which side were YOU on?

People: go back and check out what revcom.us wrote when Al Sharpton was putting down those courageous freedom fighters in Ferguson:

Hey, Sharpton: instead of scolding the youth and others who directed their anger and their bravery and their daring where it NEEDS to be directed, who went up against tremendous odds in a righteous cause, how about SUPPORTING them? How about talking about how GOOD it is to see young people, who all too often direct their hurt and anger against each other, direct it instead against the real cause and the real culprits—this system, and this system's murdering police?
("On the Struggle for Justice in Ferguson, MO and the Whole USA").

And then you want to make these "you know who I'm talking about" kinds of comments about the revolutionaries, or others who aren't trying to chill out the just anger of the people—threatening to "expose" us?

Everyone reading this: look at what they said at revcom.us—Al Sharpton has a cause too: "the cause of getting people all caught up in the bullshit dead ends and safety valves that this system uses when people finally do rise up." And like the revcom.us article said:

WE have a whole different cause—REVOLUTION, to put an end to these outrages, these horrors and the whole genocidal program that the people on top of this prison-house society are running. That "cause" makes us totally down for fighting to win justice when this system brings its shit down on people, as it did to Michael Brown, and for standing with the youth and everyone else, of whatever view, who feel the same way. And it makes us totally down for REVOLUTION to bring in a whole other way, a whole other society, where millions of Black and Latino young people like Michael Brown are not harassed and hounded for nothing, are not disrespected by authorities and the larger society everywhere they go and with every breath they draw, and are not finally shot down in the streets for nothing, hours before he was to leave for college, and then left to lie there—NO!!!! HELL NO!!!! A whole better way is possible, where all nationalities of people can flourish and where women and men participate equally in building a new and emancipatory society, here and around the planet. And if jailing and shooting down one young Black or Latino person after another is all that the people running things now can do—and it is—along with all their other great crimes, then they need to get the fuck off the planet! And if all Al Sharpton can do is run his double-talk in defense of "working within the system" and against those who are fighting against it, then he needs to shut the fuck up.

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