By the time you read this you will probably know what the grand jury in Ferguson did or did not do. As I write this we are waiting to see. Nothing would surprise me. If they do indict, we should all remember that still doesn't mean a hell of a lot. What will mean something, never enough, but something will be the day this killer cop sees the jail door lock behind him. Until then, nothing. Even if that ever happens, which seems very doubtful to me, justice will, of course, not been done. Mike Brown will still be dead. White supremacy will still continue. Cops will still be shooting down African Americans. In other words, we are a long way from justice.
I want to add a few things I wrote in earlier posts on Ferguson that I think still are pertinent.
...point out how old the story of Ferguson really is. White cop shoots young black man, film at ten. Of course, the story didn't start in Lawrence or anywhere else in the 60s...it started long before when Africans were kidnapped by white men, taken to America, and sold into slavery. It is a story also of resistance. It is a story that has not ended. It is a story that I am sick and tired of living and writing about. It is a story that if I, a white man, is sick and tired of, I cannot even presume to imagine what African Americans are feeling about it today, yesterday, and beyond.
Any white people, regular folks, anti-racists, activists, communists, anarchists, whomever who are in Ferguson absolutely must act only under the leadership of the community, of African Americans. This is no place for some white, leftist agenda. I have no clue if there are people violating that principle, hopefully not, but if there are, that is shit. I have seen some things that make me wonder. I understand the desire for solidarity. I understand the desire to stand up. It is a good thing to stand together with the black community of Ferguson, but you must do so under the leadership of the people of the community. If you are a white person or organization with your own political agenda, then take it to the white community. African Americans do not need white people to explain any of this to them. African Americans understand this shit better than any white person of any political orientation.
That may sound like some sort of arrogant command, but it is merely meant as a statement of principle. I can't command anyone to do anything.
Malcolm X can though, and he did. In a 1964 speech at the founding rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity he said,
Now, if white people want to help, they can help. But they can't join. They can help in the white community, but they can't join. We accept their help. They can form the White Friends of the Organization of Afro-American Unity and work in the white community on white people and change their attitude toward us.They don't ever need to come among us and change our attitude. We've had enough of them working around us trying to change our attitude. That's what got us all messed up. So we don't question their sincerity, we don't question their motives, we don't question their integrity. We just encourage them to use it somewhere else in the white community. If they can use all of this sincerity in the white community to make the white community act better toward us, then we'll say, "Those are good white folks." But they don't have to come around us, smiling at us and showing us all their teeth like white Uncle Toms, to try and make themselves acceptable to us. The White Friends of the Organization of Afro American Unity, let them work in the white community.
Want it put more succinctly, Malcolm said in 1965 in an interview for the Young Socialist,
Whites who are sincere don’t accomplish anything by joining Negro organizations and making them integrated. Whites who are sincere should organize among themselves and figure out some strategy to break down prejudice that exists in white communities. This is where they can function more intelligently and more effectively, in the white community itself, and this has never been done.
Or how about this also from Malcolm,
3)If a white man wants to be your ally, what does he think of John Brown? You know what John Brown did? He went to war. He was a white man who went to war against white people to help free the slaves.If we want some white allies, we need the kind John Brown was, or we don't need any.
I can't understand why so much space is spent calling on us to be peaceful, rather then pointing out that it is the police who come with guns, tear gas, pepper spray, horses and the like.