I keep seeing white liberals on social media posting that they can’t
believe what is happening in Ferguson, or that they can’t believe this
is happening in America. Now I normally wouldn’t care enough about any
of that to make any commentary, but they are sending me messages,
outraged at what America has become. This America is strange to them.
“Are you seeing this?” Yes, I see it. “How is this happening?” Have you
all not noticed that I’m Black? Do you genuinely believe that you are
sharing confidential information here? Is white supremacy and the abuse
of power by the police supposed to be breaking news for me? It’s like
they’re saying “us good white people wanted to let you know that there
are bad white people out there doing bad things. It’s shocking! Just
want to let you know in case you weren’t aware.” They can’t believe it
There are only 3 reasons why they can’t believe that Black people are
under siege in the United States and those reasons are as follows;
1. They know nothing about the country they live in. Absolutely nothing.
2. They haven’t actually listened or payed attention to anything Black people have said before.
3. They are deep denial about their country.
This is a country that dropped two bombs via air on Black
people in Philadelphia in 1985. When it comes to raids and sieges, all
white people know is Waco and maybe Ruby Ridge. They don’t know about
MOVE in Philadelphia. Go ask your white liberal friends if they know about MOVE and you will probably be met with blank stares.
Since the inception of the US as a settler nation, Black people have
been under siege. Black people being under siege is something many white
liberals cannot fathom because they have never been under siege and
they don’t know Black history beyond Martin Luther King having a dream
and Rosa Parks sitting on a bus. They are comparing Ferguson to war
zones outside the US because this doesn’t seem like home. Certainly not
the home they know. They can’t fathom it happening in their country. No
my friends, this is America. This is your country. This is what it has
always been. Violence committed against Black people is as American as
This level of savagery is foreign to white liberals because they
don’t encounter openly hostile and aggressive law enforcement as a
default. They don’t have to deal with the indignity and dehumanization
of barbaric policing and then get told that them being targeted for
abuse is the law (i.e. stop and frisk, broken windows, Rockefeller drug
laws etc). They’re not accosted by officers with K9 units. They’re not
dealing with aerial outposts of police surveillance in their
communities. It’s not their blood flowing on the streets. Pictures of
dead white bodies murdered by the police and white vigilantes isn’t a
reality that gets shared on social media. Their dead bodies aren’t used
by opportunistic media outlets looking to garner traffic and clicks for
profit. Their dead bodies aren’t consumed by an eager audience looking
to take a bite out of the latest ‘strange fruit’ that fell off the
poplar tree. Cops are not barging into their homes and destroying
everything in sight. It’s not their naked grandmothers being dragged out of their homes.
It’s certainly not their 7 year old daughters getting shot and murdered
as they sleep like Aiyana Jones, nor is it their teenage sons being
taken to remote marshes, forced to strip, beaten to a bloody pulp and
then abandoned nude, like Rayshawn Moreno.
Do they think these cops became this aggressive, violent and
militarized overnight? They evolved into the beasts you see by enacting
brutality on Black people. Evolved is the wrong word here. They’ve
always been like this. They just have better equipment at their
disposal. Gone are the water cannons and fire hoses. They now have
rubber and wooden bullets, tear gas and sound cannons that cause permanent hearing loss.
The looting narrative is dead. Anti-Black racists can’t spin this
with the classic Black criminality boogieman. The police are assaulting
residential neighborhoods. The tide turned for white liberals after
journalists started getting assaulted. Then it got real. It wasn’t real
before when it was only Black bodies. Black suffering is meant for
consumption and profit, not for enacting justice. Anti-Black racists
wanted to conflate the issue with a handful of looters, as if the entire
Black community in Ferguson were looters.
The question that should now be posed is that if journalists are
getting arrested, physically assaulted, pelted with rubber and wooden
bullets and even getting shot at with tear gas;
if this is how the police is acting when everyone is watching, how do
you think the police acts towards Black people when no one is watching?
How do you think their policing in Black communities is conducted?
Please note, after shooting journalists directly with tear gas, the
police took their cameras. See here.
All this is happening in Ferguson because Black people dared to
demand that the cop who murdered 18 year old Michael Brown be held
accountable. They have to fight for mere accountability. Justice is not a
given, they have to literally take to the streets and brave a police
force that looks like an occupying military presence, complete with
weaponry for warfare.
Ask yourselves white liberals, how often do white people have to
galvanize entire communities and protest to get someone charged with
murdering a white person? This is what Black people have to do time and
Anyone who “can’t believe” what is happening in Ferguson is someone
who is ahistorical and ignorant about the relationship the US has with
Black people. We live in a country where the first air strikes delivered
on US soil was on Black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Their communities were destroyed. Incendiary bombs and explosives were
dropped on them by white law enforcement via World War I planes. I
repeat, they dropped bombs on Black people in residential neighborhoods.
I made no mention of the ground attacks, just the aerial assaults. So
by all means, after you feign shock at what is happening in Ferguson,
crack open a book (written by a Black historian) and see what your
country has been doing and getting away with for time immemorial.
We are living through and watching Ferguson in real time, and this
will be history. Like with previous sieges and assaults on Black
communities, the grandchildren of today’s white liberals who know
nothing about MOVE in Philly or Black Wall Street in Tulsa or Rosewood
or the Colfax riot or the Wilmington insurrection or any of the numerous
state sponsored and funded assaults on Black communities will feign
shock and disbelief when Black people are again assaulted and they will
say “I can’t believe this is happening in America”. These are the same
white people who are outraged at wiretaps and declare that “the
government is invading their privacy”. They will say “this country is
turning into a police state”. They will say that when this country had
the FBI’s Cointelpro. Surveillance is something that is shocking to
them. It’s shocking because they don’t know about Cointelpro and what it
did to Black people and Black progress. Black people have lived under
siege and under surveillance. This might be new for you, but it’s not
new for Black people.
In the future when the young Black protesters of today’s Ferguson
will be old, the young white liberals, much like their forbears who have
never heard of MOVE, will know nothing of Ferguson. White people have
the privilege of not needing to know. Ferguson will be another ugly
chapter in the annals of US history that will not be part of a school
curriculum outside of a Black studies class.
Black people will soldier on. They are survivors. The very existence
of Black people in the US and the Americas is a tale of survival. Bless
them. Bless us.