I am wrong

I stated as fact, in my MRR #375 column, that Hannibal Shakur participated in the massive Trayvon Martin protests in Oakland on July 13-15, 2013. I was wrong. I do not know who did or did not participate in those actions. I am reprinting one of the more eloquent take downs of my column below, without further comment:

Another thing

I’m imagining sitting in a room with all of this conversation going down. I’m reading a book that no one seems to have ever heard of in a quiet corner. Some dude rips it out of my hands and says, “You’re reading Gerald Horne! You’re not an anarchist! You don’t know what you’re doing!”

I think to myself, in this imaginary moment, that whoeverthefuck, that guy who just ripped the book from my hands, must have just crawled out of a time capsule. I think I should be patient and hold his hand and gently outline for him what has gone down and what continues to pass for the last several hundred years, leading to now – 2014. I tell him that here in this part of the globe, people are still starving, are still being beaten and killed – often times just because they exist. I tell him that he will emerge from his capsule and that he will move through the world and if his skin is not considered to be “white” by people who don’t know him, that he is in danger every second of his life because this is what has been occurring and what continues to occur.

I’m still imagining his imaginary face, so I tell him what I believe; people should be free to make their own decisions about their own lives without repression; that no power should hinder their ability to live without suffering, because that’s what I believe (in a nutshell). For some strange reason I want to show him what I mean. I want to walk down a street with him at night and I imagine that he would be totall invisible and he would see how I’m treated and how others are treated and how we treat each other and he would know what I mean. As I think about how much time this would take, to really see how far the breach of white supremacy is, I recognize that at this point in time the would have already sought out many books by academicians who wish to shape his mind and the minds of others with stories and theories of old. They say, “Back in the 19th century, this is how people chose to think, and so we will hold their thoughts with the utmost fidelity, never questioning how or if we can apply their thoughts to what is happening now. We will only revisit the past when it affirms our collective right to radical thinking.” In this imagination, he is questioning who is a revisionist and who is thinking in the now? He doesn’t really know, and how could he? He’s only recently emerged and his head has been buried in the dusty chapters of by-gone revolutionaries who at once mattered and then ceased to exist. If he never lifts his head from pure theory, he will probably never truly exist in the world as it is now, for those of us who do not have the luxury to simply exist.

I take a deep breath. I’m exhausted. I have to stop imagining. I think about this ambling thread. I realize that many of these folks have never had to second guess their thoughts or beliefs. I don’t have all day to write and cite and write again.

I wake up and remember that what I did was write a response to a column I found dangerous and egregious, and rather than discuss the points made in my paltry letter, folks would rather re-hash and re-write history, all the while avoiding the multiple premises of my letter which of course makes me feel like I should continue to clarify my points:

In the 21st century, within the borders of the so-called u.s., Black and Brown people are incarcerated, beaten and/or killed because “society” basically thinks that they are less than people. While an ethos of color-blindness can be considered admirable, it is delusional. Even Black and Brown people view each other with suspicion and derision because the dominant cultural norms dictate that we are dangerous, uncivilized, and should be caged. I refer to the footnotes of history for a deeper study in the ways and means by which people considered non-white have been subjugated by the state.

Another point that I made is that writing a column in a widely read magazine, which states (not supposes, not imagines, not wonders) that a Black man participated in a riot and attempted to physically harm another person is irresponsible. The reason that this is irresponsible is that the state – the current state, not the theoretical one – has been persecuting, lynching, jailing and killing Black people since its inception in order to maintain an order of white supremacy and free-market capitalism. This is not a theory, this is a reality. The state has never hesitated to use whatever it can find to implicate Black people in crimes in which the state then uses as an excuse to confine or kill them – all for the purpose of making money. Implicating Black people in state-defined crimes in order to make a political point serves the state and keeps all of the masses in line, absolutely.

Lefty Hooligan attempted to define the discourse about leftist separatism on the backs of Black and Brown people, naming as hero Lawrence Jarach and as foe, “people from Qilombo”. In doing so, he also attempted to passively paint “people from Qilombo” as not anarchist enough while painting Lawrence Jarach and his “post-leftists” as somewhat closer to the real deal. This is not necessarily important in the grand scheme of things.

His analogies (using pieces of the history of maximum rock n roll) were aimed at a particular crowd.

Over all, I deduced that his writing reflected modes of eurocentrism, which I interchange with white supremacy.

I related the anecdote about “burning all churches, even Black churches” because it was glossed over in Lefty Hooligan’s column. I did not intend to defend christianity on any level. I said that Black churches could be santuaries for people within Black communities when they needed respite from white influence. I did not say, at any point, that christianic practices in Black churches are in anyway practical, useful, or revolutionary. I do not conflate Black churches with the practices of christianity.

I’m tired and going to bed now.

Melissa/Shakes

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