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    Where Is The Lie? This Movement Is Right On Time.

    Millennials across the nation are hot. Thousands of young Americans have been responding appropriately to the police violence, systemic racism, and smear campaigns in the headlines by taking to the streets and local ballot box. Read this powerful call to action written by one young activist.


    White People.

    The history of American policing surprised you, but it wasn't hiding. The force began with private mercenaries and kidnappers who were contracted to terrorize runaway slaves. You later learned that they were hired by regional elites seeking to cripple Union agitators, many of whom embraced integration and wealth redistribution.

    You've watched policing grow from a profit-motive, which means that it sees color and is exploitative, but you're afraid to say any of this. You're afraid that you can't draw purity from impurity. Will you at least mouth the words with us? White supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy has supported the unjust occupation of America and the Global South for centuries… Stop… This occupation accrues enough equity to perpetuate Eurocentric wealth, power, and cultural domination… Stop… This agenda is reflected in institutions like local law enforcement, public education, and public housing because racism is systemic. It doesn't need your intentions. You're still afraid to say it. Yes, some of the hate is pathological, and some of it is just prejudice— but both are supported by a culture designed to satisfy your great grandfather's imperial profit motive.


    Comfortable Blacks.

    It makes sense that you want to divorce race from your conversations about class. The history you're looking at shows that Asiento Enslavement wasn't initiated by a burning hatred for your family, but an economic opportunity. A desire to develop an under-caste for colonists in the New World. But if you look closer, you too will see how this system has had the same consequence as hatred for you where you live (and so functionally means the same thing).

    Didn't African and Indigenous labor build the infrastructure of America? Didn't the new under-caste create platforms for European monarchs to retain wealth they did not produce? Didn't they use it to dissolve your Wall Street, your Rosewood, and your freedoms because they were too expensive? Didn't justifications for doing this come from their race bigotry, their pathological Southern Confederacy, their fear of your brilliance, and their illusion that racism is of the heart and mind, not of the hands or feet? Didn't it kill seven year old Aiyana Jones in Detroit, Michigan?


    Black Struggle.

    You can no longer afford the rent. The maintenance has become too costly. The infrastructure is flooded with the historical oppression of your people, and the craftsmen only ever reinforce your second-class status. The bottom line is that your foothold is too expensive and the Master's* house is killing you. Doesn't His* T.V. show you a war on democracy that looks like the War on Drugs? Won't He* juxtapose this with "crack-downs" on school violence that go hand in hand with Blacks in special education? Won't He* insist that no child was ever left behind (so they must have just run away)?

    Black Struggle, you see the obesity in your refrigerators. Where is your food? Where is your justice? You see the industry built around your culture, but where's your protection from gentrification? Black Struggle, when will they gentrify you? Where are your enterprises? How many homes have you lived in this year? Who knew that a Starbucks on every corner could hurt more than a liquor store, anyway? Or a pawn shop? Black Struggle, are you still awake?

    Steve Pavey / Via Facebook: StevePaveyPhotography

    Black Youth.

    You talk about race. A lot. At times it concerns you, but you cannot get away from the conversation. You see it in the air that you breathe. It's in the asthma rates of the South Bronx. You see it on T-shirts with faces of Black men, there to tell you when it's gone. You see it in jail cells, filled with survivors, and see its outline in chalk. Drawn by one twelve year-old, and drawn for another. And even then, people are in your ear telling you to calm down. Don't get sensational. Don't loot. You try to relax, but it wears on you. To find health, you force yourself to question whether or not race is real. Maybe you're just a slave to feeling entitled. Maybe this is wrong. Maybe it's in your head. Maybe you went to class once, with a mantra like "You'll be that progress, you'll be that proof it's in the past" and on the way there, you saw how everybody on the bus looked like you, and nobody in your wallet did. So now all you sing are freedom songs.


    John Crawford III’s Child.

    You once had to explain why you were angry. Your classmate couldn’t understand and wouldn’t accept your answer that your father wasn’t around. As he’d learned it, everybody had a daddy. He must have just been at work. You didn’t argue with him about it. You didn’t know how to. He made so much sense that you doubted your own truth and pushed him down. It was probably the first time that anybody demonstrated how you weren’t supposed to exist.


    Black Pride.

    Your counselor once told you that the ego of the Black man was the most destructive force known to him. You’d always thought it was capitalism, which takes his resources and replaces them with conflict. You wanted to learn more, so you asked what ego? What language are you speaking? Tell me where it is. Black history is White. Black media is White. Black markets are White. In your neighborhood even the water is White. You don’t follow. You don’t think that he should worry about it. You believe that when Black People come into a full understanding of themselves, something tremendous will happen. You believe that once we recognize that I am you, my sister; and that you are I, my brother; and that by depending on each other we are self-reliant, we will embrace freedom.


    Black Progress.

    You don’t ever recall feeling sad about your difference; you’ve been quick to anger and sometimes quicker to action consistently, and for this you should be proud. Years later your neighbors won’t like the person you become or the movement you help to build. Their children will ask yours about the narratives they write when they go out and chant Black Lives Matter. They’ll ask if you aren’t just sensationalizing race. They’ll talk for hours about theory, and hours about history and they’ll tell you that it takes more than shouting Black Lives Matter to make them believe you.


    Black Strength.

    Don’t you talk to them about your time and don’t you talk to them about your work! Your voice will carry as you remember that you’re the ones who have to re-learn your history. You’re the ones who have to rise from the ashes of shitty schools. You’re the ones who have to watch your friends and families preyed on for parking tickets, their dignities tested. You fund their prisons. You fund their police departments. You’re the ones who are DYING to build these cases for change. All they have to do is suspend their disbelief? You get in their faces and you tell them not to talk to you about America, and not to talk to you about this narrative unless they’re testifying or amending the constitution.

    Patience Zalanga / Via Facebook: pzalanga

    Black Inhibition.

    You smile because you know how White Privilege must feel to them. Like “Original Sin.” Foreign. Backwards. Inconveniently phrased so that there is no question about its totality and indiscriminate branding. When you point this out your voice is steady. You say, you’ve been trading our investments around the ghettos of the United States for generations. There’s a lineage of sub-prime loans and high percent points that was pulled from our mothers and pumped into your children’s pockets. They are the descendants of ancient, documented capitalists they will never meet, earn the gaze of, or break bread with.

    Steve Pavey / Via Facebook: StevePaveyPhotography

    Black Man.

    You know that this is hard to swallow, because male privilege was hard for you to understand. But you are thankful that this movement forced you to do it. You are male and you recognize that you participate in the systematic harm to your sisters. So you will work on this. You see and know that it is more difficult to be a woman or non-conformative in this world, and you know that you'll never be able to understand this as intelligently as they do. You do not deny that sexism is responsible for more of the deaths of women in this country than disease. That it spreads disease. That it is disease. You do not deny that a portion of your identity has it "easy" and that your sisters are more exceptional in all that they do because they do it under pressures you do not have the experiences to bear. You know this because you saw Ferguson. You saw Dayton. You saw Los Angeles. You saw Manhattan. You saw Black Women doing what they’ve always done.


    Be Black.

    You cannot remember the first time you became aware of conflict. Maybe it was while fighting sleep. Your supervisor called you a nigger today. He said, “Niggers don’t like to work.” He said it brave and with integrity on his chin. It makes sense now. Only the most unimportant people in your life have ever helped you to feel your social identity. Or at least rubbed until it bled. And almost always in an underhanded, intentional type of way as this. Your senses will burn out a dull tingling and it will follow your shadow for weeks. Finally, it will evaporate. It will take something with it, this time. Your fear.

    Steve Pavey / Via Facebook: StevePaveyPhotography

    Be Black. You are not alone.

    At your first demonstration you will see the most human faces you’ve ever known. Content, excited faces that crease and frown and know dignity. At the head of the congregation, there will be a child, maybe 12 years old. A young, royal woman with plaits in her hair. Old Gullah jewelry will cascade from her face as she pronounces the rhythm with her hands. She will remind you that “It is our duty to fight and it is our duty to win.” And she will ask you, if you don’t learn to sing well, how will you honor you father’s death? You’ve no resource, no love, no audience. Have you forgotten? Oh, but you’ve voice! Sound; the only of your senses you may release unto others… she will tell you to sing. Yes, sing! However will you mourn, child? Sing!


    #BlackLivesMatter. Baltimore.

    We must sing it louder. Our words will stick if we make it hot enough, and enough of them will flood this apartheid. We are young, and gifted, and black, and bleeding. We have been the pillars of capitalism, enslaved by the injustices that fund this nation for centuries and if we do not stand up for ourselves, the fulfillment of our sorrows will drown our destinies. We are mighty people of the Sun and we will rise.

    *America’s white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal status-quo.

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