We look at where the holiday of Juneteenth came from and why it’s still a mystery to so many people.
The Rebellion Against Police Repression Must Guard Against ALL Enemies, Whether Red, Blue, Or Green
As movements develop, the need to define the character of the enemy system and its overseers becomes more acute.
By Danny Haiphong
Black Agenda Report (6/17/20)
The terrain of struggle will need to expand for the movement to avoid a Democratic Party-induced slumber.
“The movement’s enemies in blue not only include the cops but also the entire Democratic Party.”
The masses are in motion and public opinion about U.S. policing has rapidly shifted in three short weeks. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s assassination at the hands of U.S. police departments unleased a flood of anger toward the special bodies of armed forces that occupy the streets of Black American communities across the country. New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C. have seen tens of thousands of people march several miles per day demanding that police departments be defunded or abolished altogether. Protestors of all hues have been brutalized and journalists have been targeted with flurries of rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas cannisters. The Trump administration and local politicians, many of them Black, have taken a “law and order” approach to the demonstrations which has further emboldened “local” police forces and their protectors in the National Guard to use any means necessary to crush the protests.
It is thus essential for the movement to develop an understanding that the cops are not some institution that stands alone but rather one that operates as the violent bodyguard of the biggest enemy of them all: American capitalism.
War is an extension of politics. The war currently being waged on Black America and the mass movement against police repression is an extension of a broader political reality that has been in development for several centuries. Settler colonialism and the racialized mass enslavement of African labor looted trillions of dollars of wealth and prematurely ended hundreds of millions of lives. Over the last four decades alone, police departments and prisons have become highly militarized tools for the continued suppression of the Black liberation movement and the disposal of the large number of unemployed and underemployed Black workers who have been rendered unnecessary under late stage capitalism. Late stage capitalism’s reliance on state repression has also eroded the wages of whiteness and compelled once middle-class aspiring white youth and other social groups to reject their state overseers and join the call for an end to policing as we know it.
“The Trump administration and local politicians, many of them Black, have taken a ‘law and order’ approach.”
Movements are defined by their demands, but they are also shaped by the struggle to define the adversaries who must receive and respond to these demands. The masses in the streets have clearly drawn a line of demarcation between the movement and the police, local governance, and the Trump administration. Ruling class organs of all kinds have taken notice and have begun mobilizing to keep themselves out of the line of fire. In early June, corporations such as Amazon and Nike released statements of support to the mass movement. Michael Jordan pledged one hundred million dollars to non-profit organizations participating in the daily demonstrations. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued an apology to the movement for its role in minimizing racism. Democratic Party leaders in Congress kneeled in Kente cloth for a photo opportunity before introducing police reform legislation.
The movement has sparked the attention of its enemies; the next step is to define them as such. Rebellions and mass movements become increasingly confident that social change is possible when it appears that politicians are making efforts to address their demands. However, spontaneity also runs the risk of the movement underestimating the scope and power of the enemy class. As movements develop, the need to define the character of the enemy system and its overseers becomes more acute.
On the political front, Donald Trump’s administration is looking more vulnerable by the day. The combination of a failed pandemic response, a crushing economic crisis , and a mass rebellion against police repression has placed Trump’s bid for a second term in peril. Such vulnerability, however, leaves room for the repetition of dangerous, and deadly, political mistakes. There are forces within the non-profit industrial complex and the Democratic Party who are attempting to operate in stealth to divert the movement toward acceptable means of protest. With the November election fast approaching, much of this activity will be geared toward electing a Democrat to the White House. …