Rome, september 4th 2020. published few hours before the state assassination of Michael Forest Reinohel news crossed the atlantic seeOriginal Italian writing
The “Black August” is the month marked by historical and epic moments in the struggle for the freedom of the exploited black Americans of the last century. Month of which we also remember days of mourning of the past decades for the disappearance or killing of many African American activists.
August 28, 2020 is also the anniversary of the famous march of Martin Luther King and the black people 57 years ago in Washington DC, the day in which King Junior delivered his famous speech “I have a dream …”.
57 years have passed since that date, but it is like it just happened yesterday, because little or nothing has changed in the structure of global racial and systemic capitalism, which in the USA reaches its maximum level of expression.
We could admit with the “deniers” of systemic racism (the same “deniers” that say the main culprits of violence against black people is the black people itself) that it is true that some layers of the black middle class has taken advantage of the social elevator made possible in the America of the last century and that they gained some positions in the context of unequal, combined and racial exploitation: there is a growing number of black mayors, city police chiefs who are blacks, a few governors who are blacks, and even a few more wealthy new business men who are blacks.
But this social emancipation (it has been only for certain sectors of the black middle class) has been conquered through the conflict and struggle of the African American people and exploited across more than one century of history, and it was possible in the ascending phase of development of capitalism and American economy, which took place in the context of the whirlwind growth of global capitalism (and which at the same time, to realize itself, had to throw billions of people in the world oppressed by Yankee and white Western imperialism into servitude and neocolonialism exploitation). But that phase is now definitely past.
The chances to access that social elevator are increasingly reduced, clashing with the unfolding of a general and systemic crisis of capitalism on a world scale, to which the coronavirus pandemic is acting like a precipitating demiurge, and it is unveiling from under the carpet and it is accelerating by starting to hit hard not only the black proletariat and growing sectors of the white proletariat (especially the youth white proletariat), but also it is hitting large sectors of the whole middle class, black and white.
So, despite 57 years have passed, it seems that August 28, 1963 was yesterday, that only a few days have passed. Because in the meantime for the exploited millions of blacks, natives, Hispanics, immigrants and young white proletarians, the living conditions have not changed, and the violence and exploitation by the capitalist economy and institutions has not diminished, and racial capitalism is more and more defining an increasingly marked social and racial polarization.
At the same time, the close frequency of the killings and savage violence against blacks people made by the police, by the state and by white squads, makes these last two weeks appear as if these events had occurred over months or years, because, day after day, the rapid succession of new violence and new assassinations by the police is making us quickly to forget the names of the black lives killed in the days just preceding.
These last two weeks have seemed like days of war, social and class warfare, which saw thousands of white supremacists and white middle class demonstrators taking down the streets in the Oregon capital every Saturday, armed to the teeth and with the official slogan “let’s take back Portland” and ” no to Marxism in US”. It is an explicit aim of intimidating and terrorizing the Portland struggle movement left to act “undisturbed” (?) by the local police and the federal DHS police (who met again in the square precisely two Saturdays ago to protect the retreat of the white squads by the BLM struggle movement), encouraged and invoked by Trump in calling for good citizens to uphold “law and order”.
These are not mere episodes, but they materialize a deep dynamic which is both cause and effect of the intensification of the overall reaction of capital against the multiracial national struggle movement of young proletarians surged on the George Floyd name against the racial capitalism, a reaction which overflows into all state institutions and through bourgeois classes.
It is this reaction that gives rise to the acceleration and increase in deaths and killings by the police of these very last days, carried out with the methods of the brutality of the most cruel bourgeois class violence:
Trayford Pellerin (shot in the street by police with 11 gunshots in the back on 23 August, Lafayette Lousiana); Jacob Blake (shot in the street by police with 7 gunshots in the back on August 23, Kenosha Wisconsin); Anthony Huber (killed by a 17-year-old white squad with two shots from an automatic rifle during the Kenosha protests on August 27); Joseph Rosenbaum (killed by same Anthony’s assassin on 27 August); Dijon Kizzee (shot in the street by the police on September 1 in Westmont, a popular neighborhood in Los Angeles, against which – according to direct testimonies of the people they have reported – about twenty gunshots were fired); Deon Kay (18-year-old boy killed by police in Washington DC on 2 September last). [At the time of this writing has been published the Michael Forest Reinoehl State assassination did not happen yet. The attorney William P. Barr stated “…The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed, and the actions that led to his location are an unmistakable demonstration that the United States will be governed by law, not violent mobs.”: it is and admission about the State moves on in an immediate killing strategy and this kind of reaction is what working class and multiracial proletariat must expect if they put at risk the class property and its reign. – n.d.r.]
If we think about how we imagined the world in the days before the coronavirus, today we are faced with an “unimaginable” advance towards scenarios of anti-proletarian civil war in the USA, determined by the crisis of the declining capitalist system, which proceeds in the direction of a confrontation no holds barred, with the aim to defend and strengthen the domination of the capital forces and the perpetuation of modern capitalist and neocolonial slavery.
It is this crisis (which is economic, social and political) that determines, induces and forces Trump to legitimize the “illegal” violence of the white squads and to crumble the creaky constitutional order of the Federal Union State, amid of an election campaign for the US presidency that is and will be unprecedented.
The tones and words spoken at the march on August 28, 2020 in Washington D.C. on the part of the representatives of those historic organizations of the civil rights struggles of the last century, therefore, speeches appear out of real time, they seem a plaintive and powerless recrimination in the face of the speed of the events in progress, which are causing all social structures to collapse which in the 1960s and 1970s allowed the black middle class to access that social elevator of American capitalism.
Repeating from the stage set up under the Abraham Lincoln memorial that the movement must pursue the path of “useful votes” and counting votes as a strategy of the struggle, against “social unrest and senseless violence” in the streets of Kenosha is disarming and meaningless, while white supremacist society is armed, and while Trump already declares that if he is defeated in the electoral contest he will contest its validity. Just as reiterating once again the illusory way of the police reform based “on the education of policemen and the reading of the bible” is a blind appeal from those who do not realize the profound social reasons that underlie the dripping of black lives broken of these very last days.
This August 28, 2020, organized by the historic and pro-institutional civil rights organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for Advancement of People of Color) has been far from being in tune with the voice of the oppressed of all colors, which vice versa Luther King could how to modulate in his famous speech 57 years ago, back in 1963.
Today’s words expressed by its followers are just as far from the burning ones of Tamika Mallory in Minneapolis no more than 3 months ago, she spoken after the start of the proletarian multiracial revolt that broke out across the country following the cowardly assassination of George Floyd (and that in the wake of the events of Kenosha, Portland, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC these days is likely to rekindle). The Tamika’s words:
“The reason these buildings are burning is because this city and this State prefers to preserve its nationalism and its white supremacism…. The reason the buildings are burning is not just for our brother George Floyd. They’re burning because the people here in Minnesota are telling the people in New York, the people in California, the people in Memphis: enough it’s enough…. And don’t tell us about looting, you are the looters, America looted black people, America looted Native Americans from the moment they came. Looting is what you do.”
If the traditional and pro-institutional black organizations conceive the Kenosha uprising, as well as the demonstration of the previous night and August 27, always in Washington D.C. (when thousands of young people of all colors – from that precarious and unreserved youth proletariat – gathered near the convention of the Republican party and were confronted with repression and police charges), as actions of “senseless violence”, it is because they fear that the struggle of the exploited blacks, combined with that of the exploited Hispanics, immigrants, natives and whites, could put their allies reference represented by the white middle class, liberal and American Democrat in some uncomfortable situation.
The expression of August 28 in Washington D.C. represents the sliding towards political impotence that these historical traditional organizations are reaching, precisely because of the objective condition in which their social base of reference, the black middle class, is found. In a situation in which the consolidation of the emancipation achieved in the past decades by the latter, it cannot disregard the overall social mechanism of capitalism exploitation, and it cannot escape from the necessary defense of private property which the police are called to protect. In essence, his “racial” emancipation depends on those same economic and social interests and on those same needs of capital, which the State and the white social squads correctly and perfectly understands to be jeopardized and at risk by the proletarian and multiracial revolt against the systemic racism of these months. Hence the political impotence of these organizations.
This political drift of these traditional organizations fighting for civil rights, therefore, is the result of the position in which the black middle class finds itself in the whole of social relations within American society, forced to move between the anvil of need for capital in crisis, and the hammer of this unprecedented proletarian and multiracial insurgency and in the anti-capitalist and class perspective.
An obvious political drift that even the younger generations of this same black middle class are beginning to feel.
On 28th August in Portland an equivalent celebration march occurred and it was organized by the same traditional organizations of the black Americans civil rights struggle and by NAACP Portland.
The voices of young black women engaged in these three and more months of Portland battles against police violence, feds violence, systemic racism and white squads have been heard.
This voice expressed the irreverent demolition of the traditional interpretation of the struggle for civil rights of the last century represented by the pro-institutional organizations such as the NAACP. A frontal attack, a desecration of the temple of the memory of the struggles of the past.
A complain that is at the same time an observation of growing parts and sectors of the black proletariat in struggle, but also of part of new generation of black boys and girls sons and daughters of the same impotent black middle class, who have reduced access to the benefits that their parents and grandparents had at their disposal (and perhaps they feel closer to their proletarian and proletarian “black brothers and sisters”), while the society in which they live is increasingly racist. In fact, it is not a casuality that while the Portland NAACP looked at the Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Democratic Governor of Oregon as allies to thwart the presence of federal police troops during the weeks of July, Portland’s young women and girls, activists of the recent struggles of the last few years (which certainly are not revolutionary organizations, nor working class antagonist), demanded and continue to ask in the streets aloud the resignation of the democratic mayor Ted Wheeler, without ever ceasing to clarify that racism violence dominated Oregon well before the advent of the Trump era, well before the arrival of federal troops.
“We can do better than forging relationships with murderously minded cops we pay to stalk our streets. We can do better than allowing archaic institutions run by gatekeepers like the NAACP to speak for us.
The same agencies that politicians call on when Black people in Portland die are the same agencies refusing to help the families affected. Teressa Raiford is who I witness spending time speaking to these families when they need it, whether it’s day or night. The one thing these families have in common is not only losing their loved ones, but having no support from the organizations getting recognition.Time and time again we’ve been shown that Black lives don’t matter here by PPB, our city officials and these faulty partnerships. Yet some of you choose to forget it. There is no compromise in complicity. It’s time to divest from Blackploitation, sexism, nepotism, misogyny and white supremacy. Thank you.”
The burden and the task of extolling the inextricable tangle of contradictions is on the hands of this struggle movement of colored and white exploited of these recent months, that only the path of the social conflict and the worsening of the general crisis will allow them to unravel.