Friday, August 28, 2015

Black Lives Matter Is More Than Its Media Personalities.

 There is more to Black Lives Matter than the direct actions, sound bites from activists, and the rhetorical firestorm from reactionaries in response to those actions and soundbites. 

But this is largely ignored by most media, because to uncover that one has to actually investigate, one has to really be in the streets in the cities where Black Lives Matter operates.And, one has to study beyond a subjective 'bare minimum'.

In Seattle, BlackLivesMatter is much bigger than Mara Willaford and Marissa Johnson, and BLM's history on the streets of Seattle began months, arguably years, before either one of them even joined the fight.

Today, there's #BlackLivesMatter the official Seattle chapter, chartered by Patrisee, Alicia, and Opal; and then there's #BlackLivesMatter, the larger local social movement.

Right now, they are in contention with each other over a host of issues relating to how the leadership of the official chapter treats the local movement; even as all of us applauded the shutting down of a presidential candidate in our city.

What both mainstream and grassroots media outside of Seattle miss is that long before Mara and Marissa jumped on that stage, we had already shutdown businesses, thoroughfares, and restaurants under the names “BlackLivesMatter, “Outside Agitators206”, and “Black Brunch”.

Really, one could call these actions under those names in this period 'repeat performances' in one respect: direct assistance and wisdom came from people, black and white, who were involved in Occupy Seattle, who gained experience in this type of activity by shutting down the Port of Seattle, in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and L.A. These prior actions served as both 'proving grounds' and 'training grounds' for the #BowDownBernie action that grabbed headlines nationally.

To speak of BlackLivesMatter as a single, politically cohesive, top-down, national organization of automatons is patently false.

Indeed, to speak of most Black people in America as somehow inherently “revolutionary” and not at this time a mostly loyal American labor aristocracy is even more ridiculously false.

Believing that most of mainstream white America has a conscious that supersedes any actual material interests on their part is especially fanciful in light of recent news reports (both 'mainstream' and 'grassroots'), years of sociological and economic data, historical materialism, and numerous poll results.

Black people in the U.S. live in a country where the majority of its working class (white and non-white) are in fact "a reformist, petit-bourgeoisie that fears revolution". All Americans, despite deepening economic inequality within America itself, are still 15% of the world's wealthiest.This is due to generations of systemic economic imperialism and parasitism by the entire population of America upon the entire populations of the so-called 'under-developed nations', or 3rd world. 

This goes 'in hand-in-glove' with a similar parasitic relationship between the whole of the settler/white population of America and their non-white neighbors. This phenomenon exists as a major, material and ideological barrier to actually getting beyond "business as usual", let alone getting 'justice' for anyone.

There is a reason actions such as the shutdowns of the port of Seattle, then years later Bernie Sanders' appearance at Westlake Park stand out: such actions are still relatively rare, even as they slowly increase in frequency across the country, largely due to the social and economic factors mentioned earlier, and the general lack of understanding around them by most activists.

In Mexico, rural residents are increasingly becoming armed activists, seizing power locally and regionally; replacing the corrupt police officials and officers with like-minded, all-volunteer forces. It is no mystery as to why this is. 

Most who are active in the movement in the U.S. today are still largely working strategies that revolve around appealing to the moral conscious of the indifferent; a decidedly, fascistic American public and their political representatives in both major parties. And it is no mystery as to why this is.

 The real cardinal question today, especially for [astute] Black people is: who is a willing, loyal "amerikkkan", and who is genuinely not a willing, loyal "amerikkkan".

Without the concentrated, disciplined, organized force of the most directly effected persons taking power to actually implement what we are demanding from those in power at this time, all we are doing is making enough noise to successfully build our individual FBI file(s). 

And nothing else.