When the Memphis police released videos of the brutal police beatdown that murdered Tyre Nichols, I immediately watched them and recorded my response. This statement incorporates much of those initial reactions, and elaborates.
The whole time I watched the four videos released by the Memphis police depicting the brutal savagery of the cops who murdered Tyre Nichols, I could hear in the back of my head the pain, the cracking in the voice, of RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, at a press conference where she spoke of her loss. My heart is with her and the family.
Yes, it’s hard to watch. If you think doing so will upset you too much, that means you haven’t lost your humanity yet. But we must watch. We have to confront this, in all its depravity. We have to confront ourselves and each other, and answer: what kind of person, what kind of people, are we going to be? Broken, paralyzed, or worse, cynically complacent who, in one way or another, accept and allow this to go on? Or people with the heart to fight, for real, until this truly is NO MORE?
Look at these videos. Look at this unmitigated savagery. See how these police pounce on him from the beginning. How they hunt him down, and take turns beating him. Listen as these police sneer and taunt Tyre before AND after they've brutalized him. As one cop opines of his fellow cops that “I hope they stomp his ass.” Hear them complaining and whining about how they hurt themselves, and sprayed themselves in the face with mace or pepper spray. Bonding and bragging afterwards about their takedown of Tyre Nichols.
Compare the barbarity, and utter inhumanity, of the police with the beautiful picture of Tyre’s life. We’ve learned how he worked the late shift at FedEx, and would return home to mom every day for his lunch break. He had a son, four years old. He started on his skateboard as a kid, and never put it down even when his pops told him he was getting too old for it. He loved to photograph sunsets.
Tyre Nichols 10' (Film by Austin Dean)
Everyone who has been, or who will be, in the streets in rebellion is righteous to do so, and challenge others to join in. But we have to ask: How Long!?
And you are going to have to ask yourself: how long are you willing to put up with this? In Memphis they had every reform you could ask for. Body cams, Black cops, Black police chief, sensitivity training, rules and regulations that required police who saw other officers engaged in illegal activity to stop it. All of this did nothing to save Tyre's life. All of this, and this country's police continue to kill more and more and more people, every single year.
How much clearer can it be? Even for a unit full of Black cops, the humanity of Black people counts as nothing. Because whoever puts on that uniform—in whatever department, in whatever precinct, anywhere in this country—THIS IS AMERICA. THIS is the system of capitalism-imperialism, and this system will require its enforcers to be brutal, savage, murdering PIGS who will violently maintain white supremacy so long as it exists. That's why we have to get rid of it.
Getting rid of this system means an ACTUAL REVOLUTION. NOT empty talk about change, or dealing with the “culture of policing” or “system of policing” within the existing system of this country. It means OVERTHROWING and DISMANTLING the system that these police enforce. It means a revolutionary people of millions defeating and dismantling the violent enforcers of this system and overthrowing its relations of power, of ownership, of ruling, and getting to a new society where people will only learn of the atrocity of America in museums and history books. It is not impossible, it is not even THAT HARD, to have a security force that is trained to sooner die themselves than act as vicious, cold-blooded MURDERERS. It is only impossible so long as we are forced to live under this system which, above all, counts people (especially Black people) as things to be exploited or discarded… a system which recklessly plunders the earth, despoils the environment, and jeopardizes the future of humanity… which continues the traditions of gender oppression and enslaving women in ways new and old… which makes the world unlivable for millions of people who are then demonized and terrorized at the border… and which blindly threatens to plunge into a new world war with potential for nuclear holocaust.
The revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, Bob Avakian, has written a constitution for a radically different and far better society that would replace this cesspool of a society we live under now. Instead of a dog-eat-dog economic system which feeds off of exploiting the people, and requires barbaric enforcers, it will be a system that is emancipating humanity, with security forces who serve that.
We who follow Bob Avakian are determined to put ACTUAL revolution on the map this year. We are recruiting YOU, NOW, into a force with the courage and daring to break people away from this system’s thinking, to stand up to the injustices and outrages of this system, and to defend people who are coming under attack by the violent enforcers of this system and the fascist thugs who want to make it even worse. All as part of preparing millions and building up the strength to make an actual revolution, in these times. This system has nothing, nothing good, and no future worth living for. There IS a future worth living, and fighting, for—Revolution, Nothing Less!