by Solomon Comissiong
The U.S. system of mass Black incarceration cannot reformed, but must be dismantled, root and branch. “The job of the police force in predominately African/black communities is to make sure those communities are contained and kept in a state of constant fear and terror.”
Modern Day 'Slave' Patrols and the Ongoing Legacy of Police Terrorizing African/Black Communities
by Solomon Comissiong
“Reforming this system wont work in any way, shape or form.”
The United States’ system of policing is structurally racist to its very core. This should hardly be seen as a controversial statement, especially when carefully examining the facts and contextual backdrop. African/black people are routinely brutalized and outright extra-judicially executed by trigger-happy racist cops. Black ‘America’ has existed under a police state for well over 200 years. The origins of the system of policing, within the United States, can be traced back to slave patrols. These slave patrols were the United States’ first police force, and their responsibility was to protect the interests of white plantation owners throughout the South. This protection of “interests” included making sure African slaves that escaped were captured and brought back to their slave “masters.” And in the year 2016, the job of the police force in predominately African/black communities is to make sure those communities are contained and kept in a state of constant fear and terror. This is done by way of incessant harassment and routine brutality, including murder. Recently two of these brutal assassinations – of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – were captured on camera.
These African/black men were shot multiple times, execution style. Latinos and Native Americans experience the same inhumane conditions in the US. The common foe of people of color continues to be that of white supremacy and institutional racism. No matter how many African/black entertainers and sports figures they try to distract us with on television, murderous racial oppression continues to be the oppressive reality for the majority of Africans/blacks. This reality will remain in perpetuity until the system is completely deconstructed and reconstructed into something humane. Reforming this system wont work in any way, shape or form.
“Black ‘America’ has existed under a police state for well over 200 years.”
The white liberal reformists are, without a doubt, a large part of the problem. They have no interests in consistently working to radically change this destructive system. They cling to ineffective reformist policies in an effort to maintain much of the status quo that keeps their white privilege intact, all the while massaging their white liberal egos. They are much like white missionaries. They are not friends to the African/black community---they are exploitative opportunists. The system suits them just fine. They are not trying to be inconvenienced by having a system that is no longer class-based or race/color based. They only wish to do enough to make themselves feel good. They want no discussion about the concept of white supremacy, capitalism or institutional racism or how to eradicate these systems from society. The reality is that white liberals, like white conservatives, benefit from these European creations.
Everything the white men who created these nefarious systems must be soundly rejected, including their revisionist and hypocritical holidays. What is the point in celebrating holidays like the 4th of July -- a holiday established to celebrate the freedom of white men, while many of those white men continued to hold Africans/blacks in the evil institution of slavery. And today, millions of African/black people are held within the bondage of the US prison industrial complex.
Dismantling the structural oppression woven until US society will not be easy; however it must done in order to save lives in the present, and thus ensure a much better and peaceful society for future generations. We must speak out, we must mobilize, we must organize, and we must support those organizations that have a long record of doing this kind of noble work. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Solomon Comissiong (www.solomoncomissiong.com) is an educator, community activist, author, and Founder of the Your World News Media Collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. Solomon is also the writer and producer of the documentary, Hip Hop, White Supremacy & Capitalism: Why Corporations Infiltrated RAP Music. He can be reached at: [email protected]