Friday, July 8, 2016

Minnesota, Louisiana, Oakland: Black People are “Hunted Every Day”

By Facts For Working People

Like the rest of the US population we have few details about the events in Dallas last night.  What we do know is that 15 people have been shot sniper style after a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally. As of this writing, five of the dead are police officers; two of those shot are civilians.

If this attack is in response to the two black men murdered by police only hours earlier, one in Minnesota and one in Louisiana, we completely understand the anger and fear black Americans feel about the constant murder of black men by police forces throughout the US.  

But these actions are counterproductive and will undermine, and are already undermining, the support and sympathy that had been developing across the country after the two latest murders. 

We can only speculate at this point. But if it is a revenge attack on the police nobody can be surprised.  When justice fails people, they are forced to institute some of their own. The mother of the young African American man killed in Minneapolis a day earlier spoke for the majority of African Americans when she said: “we are hunted every day”.

As Jeb Lund pointed out in Rolling Stone Magazine yesterday, "Seven days into July, and police in America have already shot 561 people. Three people per day, one person every eight hours, with 2015 data showing young black men nine times more likely to be killed than any other group, and blacks as a whole twice as likely to be killed while unarmed than whites. “  These statistics are the result of state terror.

The media claims a suspect says he wanted to “kill white people”. But if that was the primary motive it does not make sense.  Other scenarios and locations would have provided much more opportunity to kill white Americans.

It has even been suggested this massacre could have been carried out by state forces. While we think this unlikely it cannot be ruled out. The murder of black people by the police is so prevalent and blatant that there is a growing movement against it, not just among the black population but all Americans. These Dallas killings will at least temporarily cut across this movement and the growing criticism of police violence and will increase sympathy and support for state security forces.

We are compelled to raise once more the criminal role played by the heads of organized labor. They lead an organization of 12 million workers which is diverse, all genders, African American, White, Latino, Asian, Native American and whose living standards and rights are all being savaged daily. This provides the basis for building a united movement to take on all the issues facing all working people including police brutality and repression. But this has not happened. This trade union leadership at the highest levels have been absent as black people have been murdered by police forces. They have done nothing except utter a few empty phrases. Their cowardly refusal to lead on this issue leaves the working class movement as a whole totally unprepared for the attacks that are increasing against all workers.

The union leaders have the resources to link these attacks on the African American and minority populations with other issues facing workers and working families. Housing, education, health care, wages and jobs are all important issues to working people. Workers from all backgrounds are united in the trade unions and labor councils.

The union leadership could organize rallies, protests and work stoppages to stop these murderous attacks on this section of our class, link such a movement to these other issues and the general assault on our living standards. If yesterday’s shootings were in response to these most recent police murders, these sort of responses would be less likely if a generalized powerful working class movement was an option, a place to turn to fight back.

Suicide missions and isolated acts of revenge, if that’s the motive for yesterday’s killings, are not the acts of people who are optimistic about the future. They offer no solution, no hope. They are a setback for the fight against racism and police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. A mass united working class movement is the only solution. 

1 comment:

Mike Gogulski said...

phew, good things there's no racism in the Dallas PD tho...