Wed, 21 October 2015
Find Out What the “Or Else” Is: March with the Black Is Back Coalition in Washington, Nov. 7
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“The only way to shield Black children from killer cops is through Black Community Control of the Police.
The struggle for justice begins with a demand. Not with an empty threat that everyone knows is a bluff – like the Nation of Islam’s “Justice or Else” bait-and-switch, which left hundreds of thousands of Black people dangling in the Washington Mall with no hint of direction for the future. And, we definitely don’t stand a chance of getting justice by holding racial sensitivity sessions with an infinitely corrupt, profoundly racist war criminal like Hillary Clinton. Who cares what goes on in her wicked mind – a mind we already know too well, based on decades of experience.
What we know is that “Power concedes nothing without a demand – it never has and it never will.” Frederick Douglass’s voice resounds across the generations, yet presidential candidates are allowed – no, beseeched! – to come up with their own ideas for bringing justice to Black people, without having to grapple with actual Black people’s demands. And we know that an aging Muslim minister can summon a million Black people as a backdrop, speak for two hours, and make not one substantive demand of those in Power.
The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations has a demand: Black Community Control of the Police – now, and in every Black community in the United States. The Black Is Back Coalition will rally and march on the White House on Saturday, November 7, as it has every year since 2009. This year, the theme is “Black Power Matters” – because the power of a mobilized people is the hammer that backs up the demand for Black Community Control of the Police.
“Impunity is the law of the land.”
It’s the proper demand for Tamir Rice, whose murder at the age of 12 by a Cleveland cop has been declared a “reasonable shooting” by two law enforcement “experts.” The only way to shield Black children from killer cops is through Black Community Control of the Police. That’s why Black Power Matters – because only Black Power can ensure that Black Lives Matter.
So far this year, the police have shot dead 789 people, 28 of them unarmed Black people. But only 12 police officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter, and not one officer has been convicted this year. Impunity is the law of the land, and will always be so until we demand, and then seize, Black Community Control of the Police.
How is Black Community Control of the Police achieved? With great difficulty, and sacrifice, and disruption of the ruling order – because it is the ruling order that is killing us. That’s why, on the Sunday, November 8, the day after the rally and march on the White House, the Black Is Back Coalition will convene a conference at the Blackburn Center Auditorium, at Howard University, to discuss concrete strategies for ending the reign of terror, poverty, miseducation and mass incarceration that has been methodically inflicted on Black America.
Black Community Control of the Police is the most fundamental demand that can be made at this juncture in history – and Black lives will only matter if Black Power Matters. Make it matter, on November 7, in Washington.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
For information about the Black Is Back Coalition and the November 7 march on the White House, go to http://www.blackisbackcoalition.org