2016... And the Dogs Are STILL in the Street

March 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In 1978, Gil Scott-Heron released “A Poem for Jose Campos Torres,” a 23-year-old Chicano murdered by Houston police in 1977, tossed into a bayou to drown while pigs “joked” about let’s see if this “wetback” can swim. Early in the poem, he says:

I had said I wasn’t going to write no more poems like this

I had said I wasn’t going to write no more words down about people kicking us when we’re down

About racist dogs that attack us and drive us down, drag us down and beat us down

But the dogs are in the street

Now it’s 2016... And the dogs are STILL in the street.

In Houston, in March, Houston sheriffs and police killed Marco Antonio Loud. Then they went and killed Peter Gaines. But the night wasn’t over. Then they shot a third man who, so far, survived. All unarmed Black men, doing nothing wrong.

In Southern California, police in six counties have shot more than 2,000 people since 2004. Only one of those cops was prosecuted—and he was acquitted.

In Chicago, a cop murdered Quintonio Legrier on the morning after Christmas; they murdered Bettie Jones, who had come to help Legrier; and then the pig who did it sued the family for mental stress.

How many Black people do the police have to shoot and kill in one night...

To terrorize a whole people,

The way the Klan did in the days of the Old Jim Crow?

How many murdered Black men will lie in hot midday sun for hours, like Mike Brown? How many will be bent like a pretzel and have their backs broken like Freddie Gray? How many Black women, like Sandra Bland, will be “put in their place” by racist murdering pigs?

Body cameras? They wear them and they keep killing. Two Los Angeles cops had body cameras when they shot and killed 37-year-old Norma Angelica Guzman—a woman described by neighbors as harmless. The depraved state-sponsored terrorist who murdered Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, smirked and waved at a video camera as he left Eric lying handcuffed and dying on the sidewalk.

Ugly fascists run for president. Their rallies smell like the lynch mobs of old. They scream “support the police” as if racist murdering police are an endangered species. And what kind of “friend” is Hillary Clinton who called our youth “super-predators” that need to be “brought to heel,” and—so far—can’t even bring herself to call Donald Trump a motherfucking racist?

Yeah, it’s 2016... and the dogs are STILL in the street.

There is a Black man in the White House, but his IN-Justice Department ruled that the pig who broke into the unarmed Ramarley Graham’s home without a warrant and murdered Ramarley in his goddamn bathroom did not “willfully deprive an individual of a constitutional right.”

There are promises of reform, but Jackie Salyers was a 33-year-old mother of four, a Native American, a member of the Puyallup tribe, pregnant and unarmed. She was in a car with a man she reported for perpetrating domestic violence against her. Police showed up and murdered her. Another dead Indian in 500 years of ongoing genocide.

Is there any excuse that isn’t too absurd, obscene, or insulting that it cannot be used to justify police murder?

“He was going for a (nonexistent) gun.”

“I feared for my life (based on racist demonization of Black people).”

“She seemed angry (in a society that sadistically torments people and drives them to desperation).”

“He was making unusual movements (unlocking his door and going into his house).”

“He ran from police (based on an entirely justified fear of being murdered).”

You’re gone, Gil, but your poem still rings too goddamn true. The dogs are STILL in the street. And the people behind the dogs still wield power.

How many more people will this system kill before this nightmare is forever stopped? How much longer will the system bring down its daily terror against Black and Latino and Native American and other people of color? How much longer all its unjust killings, fast and slow?

For just as long as it stands.

The dogs are still in the street. But they don’t have to stay there forever. Check out the revolution and get into Bob Avakian... and right now stand up AGAINST those dogs in the street.

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution



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