An Op-ed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, May 30, 2020, LA Times (a few outtakes; my bolds)
“What do you see when you see angry black protesters amassing outside police stations with raised fists? If you’re white, you may be thinking, “They certainly aren’t social distancing.” Then you notice the black faces looting Target and you think, “Well, that just hurts their cause.” Then you see the police station on fire and you wag a finger saying, “That’s putting the cause backward.”
You’re not wrong — but you’re not right, either. The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges.
There are likely other reasons as well, especially psychological ones, including sociopathic levels of need for extreme control ‘the other’, even when ‘the other’ is the same color or ethnicity. Of course black cops kill other blacks, including unarmed ones, and as an honest black Chief of Police had said a decade ago: ‘When a cop zips on the uniform of the security state, he becomes what the Police Chief demands’. I wish I could remember his name; he’d not allowed his force to carry guns, and back then, it was working to cut down on actual crime .
Some background from my life:
I went to Kent State as an early admissions high school student in 1967 and 1968, where I stood in vigils against the war as we were photographed us from the roof a building next to the student union. We were a sure we had FBI files, but who knows? Paranoia strikes deep…
In 1968 I went to CU, Boulder, and when Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia was announced, at about noon the streets exploded with furious protestors: a motley crew, which included men and women in suits who’d walked off their jobs. The rage was palpable: fists punching the air, chants of various kinds. We marched to the city/county building, but to what effect? None, really, save maybe a photo-op? Later a Student Strike was called, and some of us later occupied a few seemingly relevant buildings (admin?; I’ve forgotten), but no one seemed to care. No arrests, no notice, no nothing. We all went home just before dawn feelin’ a bit let down, maybe even…silly.
frida kahlo; The Wounded Table
Or: Will there be a post-coronavirus world or more of the same?
Some of our rights are ceded willingly, if reluctantly due to the intensity of the pandemic panic; others are more covertly arranged. My last post demonstrating our disappearing rights was global, but included for the US:
InJustice Department has quietly asked Congress to suspend habeas corpus, as in: ‘Let them rot in jail until we have the time for trials’.
‘UK Johnson government launches anti-Gypsy/Traveller/Roma measures’, Paul Bond, wsws.org, 28 December 2019
Back in April and May of this year, a group of as many as 50 people calling themselves the Embassy Protection Collective had been occupying the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. in order to keep the many supporters of Juan Guido out of it. The group had the support and encouragement of VZ President Nicolas Maduro to do so.
A number of people, among them Blumenthal brought food, medicine, sanitary supplies, and so on they’d toss up into open windows, in aid of breaking the siege of Guaido supporters trying to starve them out of the embassy.