We Must Resist Attempts to Silence Our Voices on Police Violence

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The man who targets people for assassination every Tuesday has no moral authority to counsel Black folk on how to resist oppression. “We know that Obama, the Black Mis-Leadership Class, and the majority of the U.S. public really does not believe in the equal value of all life, and certainly not in the value of poor, working class black life.” We are a peaceful people, but this will not be “a one-sided war.”

We Must Resist Attempts to Silence Our Voices on Police Violence

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

“We cannot afford any illusions regarding the nature of the state, the role of its police forces and the impossibility of a racist, capitalist state to render justice to a captive, colonized population.”

The state will use the attacks in Dallas to attempt to silence the voices of those who continue to oppose the systematic slaughter of black and brown people by the police across the country. Barack Obama, the hypocrite-in-chief who cold-bloodily decides who lives and dies every Tuesday in his illegal drone war, proclaims that we need more love and peace. He uses this incident to increase his calls to disarm the people in the form of gun control.  But Obama and all of those who make gratuitous declarations of commitments to “love,” non-violence and rule of law when police are killed, strangely don’t seem to have the same level of moral indignation in response to the almost weekly stories of a black woman or man being murdered by a cop, even when the murder is caught on video.  

So we are not confused.

We know that if Obama and the general public in the U.S. really believed that all lives had equal value that belief would be reflected in behavior. For example, moral consistency would compel Obama to take a position in opposition to the Israelis who kill and maim Palestinians on a daily basis.

“We know that Obama, the Black Mis-Leadership Class, the majority of the U.S. public really does not believe in the equal value of all life, and certainly not in the value of poor, working class black life.”

And for those in the general public who pretend to oppose violence and call for gun control, they would also have to condemn the arms merchants from the U.S. who make the U.S. the number one arms dealer on earth.  They would have to oppose war and demand peaceful negotiations to end the loss of innocent life in conflicts that their government created around the world. They would have demanded long ago that the Department of Justice become more aggressive in demonstrating that police officers who kill unarmed black and brown folks would face some kind of “justice.”

But we know that Obama, the Black Mis-Leadership Class, the majority of the U.S. public really does not believe in the equal value of all life, and certainly not in the value of poor, working class black life. That is why there is such a small anti-war and peace movement and why the state finds it so easy to align public support – even among “radicals” – for its imperialist violence across the globe. 

What this means is that the lives of poor and working class black and brown people have to mean something – to us. While strategically we continue to make demands on the state for “justice” we cannot afford any illusions regarding the nature of the state, the role of its police forces and the impossibility of a racist, capitalist state to render justice to a captive, colonized population.

“If the state attempts to use this incident to further erode our fundamental human rights, they must know that we will resist.”

We have to be prepared to defend the value of our lives. If the state attempts to use this incident to further erode our fundamental human rights, they must know that we will resist. That is the human right that we claim.  

We are a peaceful people who only want to be free to develop ourselves, our communities, to see our children grow up without the fear of being killed by some mindless individual who happens to be wearing a uniform.

Yes we are a peaceful people.

We have not asked for the war that is being waged against us. But like all people being subjected to aggression, we have the right to create the conditions in which the war is not a one-sided war.

Black Lives Matter, like all lives, and it is up to us to protect ourselves – and we will.

We have faced moments like this before. We will not be intimidated and we will not be silenced.

Struggle, resist, win, that is our historic task.

Ajamu Baraka is a veteran activist and organizer. He is currently an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. Baraka was founding executive director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) from July 2004 until June 201.1 He has also served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA) and the National Center for Human Rights Education. He is currently on the boards of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Africa Action; Latin American Caribbean Community Center; Diaspora Afrique; and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. His website is www.ajamubaraka.com