State violence does not only show up as false arrests and physical harm. State violence is also the unwillingness of the State to rehabilitate those that are impacted by it’s terrorizing reach.
Many of our Black history idols have been immortalized for their work against racism carried out by whites, from the federal government on down. They have been applauded for their magical strengths and abilities to overcome insurmountable odds. Their legacies are contextualized through brief chapters in k-12 history classes, where examples of racism are narrowed down to physical harm and explicit parameters that describe what Black people could and couldn’t do “a long time ago”. As a result, many of us were socialized to understand Black history in a way that has been whitewashed or sanitized. The stories we are fed as young people that immortalized, or mainstreamed, our Black figures of inspiration conveniently left out important details, such as the anti-capitalist leanings of their work.
We are in a time where need the full story of the experiences and perspectives of our ancestors, and we need to reclaim those radical beliefs so that we can create space for true progress not just against racism, but also against capitalism.
The look and feel of movements for justice and equity are changing thanks to social media’s ability to spread messages and create access to information, resources, and actions. Pushing these limits of social media use are young people of color and their networks (the ignition of #BlackLivesMatter is an example), as this group finds different ways to spread messages focusing on the things they care about. In this way, communication and movement building tie together by tightly spreading information that can’t as easily be hidden, whitewashed, or ignored. Thus, these young people are creating a digital toolbox for justice.
The current political moment requires that young, socially-savvy people lead on issues of gendered oppression, racism, education inequality, and many other issues facing marginalized groups.
In this way, communication and movement building tie together tightly spreading information that can’t as easily be hidden, white washed, or ignored and creating a digital tool box for justice. Project NIA and The Barnard Center for Research on Women have added a resource to this toolbox, aimed at helping you respond to situations of violence on individual and systemic levels.
At 19 years old, Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom) became a political prisoner within the United States “justice” system after being charged and convicted for the killing of two police officers in New York. As a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Muntaqim was a target of COINTELPRO. He has been in prison for 46 years.
There are a number of things in this world we cannot measure with metrics, time, or money making it difficult to account for their effectiveness or worth – allyship has always been one of those things. When it comes to allies, there are more questions around their purpose and usefulness than there are answers. Enter the Safety Pin Box, countering everything allies thought their role actually was.
Unfortunately, we should now accept that Donald Trump will be President of the United States come January 20, 2017 (over a month later I’m still experiencing some disbelief in this truth). But what I won’t accept are his disingenuous attempts to be inclusive and to work for Black people.
“Why do we accept forms of security that are rooted in violence?” – Angela Davis, Lecture at University of Chicago November 2016
When I first learned of prison abolition it was from Angela Davis during a lecture she gave at my college campus in 2009. The concept of prison abolition seemed so large and out of reach and it wasn’t something I put much thought into until this year, but a defeatist attitude isn’t what abolished slavery – so who am I to doubt the possibilities of abolition?
On Friday, the world learned that Fidel Castro, at 90 years old, had died. Over the days since, I have learned more about both the revolutionary and the tyrant than I did in school. Honestly, I have more questions than answers.
I am by no means an expert on Fidel Castro or the longstanding political conditions in Cuba but I do believe that we should advance radical ideas in the pursuit of justice; and to do so, we have to study.
For those of us who consider ourselves believers in social justice, reckoning with the Thanksgiving holiday can easily become hairy.
On the one hand, it is a rare opportunity for families, particularly those that are working class, to come together, eat delicious food (depending on who makes it) and strengthen their bonds. And yet, as law enforcement officers pepper spray Native activists at Standing Rock, set dogs on them and hose them down in frigid temperatures, the guilt behind grabbing a Turkey leg and proclaiming ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ has, for some of us, become much more difficult to ignore.