just a reminder that this was 50 year ago
And even when those signs came down and technically integration was legal black folks were still getting their asses beat for daring to do things around white people.
Integration aint help nobody
I WOKE up today to find my Dutch morning paper, the Volkskrant, dominated by a full-page spread on the results of the independent autopsy on Michael Brown, the shooting victim whose death has plunged the town of Ferguson, Missouri, into protests and riots. The situation in Ferguson also headlined today’s editions of Spain’s El Pais, Portugal’s Publico, Denmark’s Politiken, France’s Liberation, and Germany’s Der Tagespiegel, Die Tageszeitung and Die Welt. The racially charged protests over police brutality in Ferguson are an important story, but the level of attention they are drawing in Europe is frankly bizarre. Police killings of unarmed black men occur regularly in America, and Ferguson is a small, faraway midwestern town. Yet the protests there are drawing more focused attention in northern European media than the anti-austerity riots in Greece did during the euro crisis. When Paris saw anti-Semitic riots following pro-Gaza demonstrations on July 13th, it did not even make a sidebar item on the front page of the next day’s Die Welt.
Part of the attraction of the Ferguson story for Europeans may be a bit ofSchadenfreude enjoyment of America’s racial woes. Europeans got tremendous political mileage out of America’s racial conflicts in the 1960s, using American racism as a negative pole to rally support for counter-American projects both on the Gaullist right and on the socialist left. In recent years it has been Europe that has struggled with anti-immigrant racism and an integration model that seems to work much worse than America’s. Europeans weary of criticism over rising xenophobia may be relieved to see that America still has its own troubles.
In a similar fashion, countries such as China, Russia, Egypt and Iran are exploiting the Ferguson riots to try to blunt human-rights criticism of their own repressive activities. “Obviously, what the United States needs to do is to concentrate on solving its own problems rather than always pointing fingers at others,” huffed an editorial published byXinhua on Monday. “We would like to advise our American partners to pay more attention to restoring order in their own country, before imposing their dubious experience on others,”Russia’s foreign ministry declared Friday.
That said, there’s another reason why the events in Ferguson are so interesting to a European public, and for that matter to everyone else. The confrontation in Ferguson, as many observers have noticed, looks uncannily like the ones in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq. There is clearly some kind of a global blowback going on, in which military techniques of forcible population control developed for use at the periphery of states’ areas of sovereignty are now being applied at the centre. Leonid Bershidsky, a brilliant Russian journalist and editor, laid out the similarities in a fascinating column yesterday in Bloomberg View. “Police officers around the world are becoming convinced they are fighting a war on something or other, whether that’s drugs, terrorism, anarchists or political subversion,” Mr Bershidsky writes. “This mindset contrasts with the public’s unchanged perception of what the police should be doing, which is to keep the streets safe, a conceptual clash that can lead to unexpected results.”
The difference between these two kinds of policing, Mr Bershidsky writes, can be modeled as the division between the London Metropolitan Police Force established in 1829, which conceived itself as fighting crime in concert with the populace, and the repressive colonial police forces the British Empire employed in “colonies of rule” such as Ireland and India, who conceived of themselves as keeping potentially hostile local populations in line. He cites the argument of Emma Bell, a faculty member at France’s Universite de Savoie, that the colonial policing culture is now “coming home”, as local police forces come to see themselves as hostile to the populations they police. And he recalls how militarised police provoked the conflict in Ukraine.
I am not entirely convinced that Mr Bershidsky is right that increasing the level of militarisation of the police response in Ferguson will have the opposite of its intended effect. Ferguson’s own police force may have been heavily militarised, but they were also untrained and incompetent. Better trained and more efficient militarised police have been highly successful at containing and shutting down popular protests in New York, Moscow, Cairo and so on. The depressing reality is that, as repressive as modern police tactics of population control may be, they seem to be very effective, and the boundaries for autonomous civic action are growing ever narrower. Indeed, even as Ferguson was featuring on the cover of today’s Volkskrant, the paper was also reporting on efforts by the mayor of The Hague to ban an anti-ISIS march by Dutch right-wingers in a largely Muslim neighbourhood, after an earlier march led to violent clashes. Europeans are right to be riveted by what’s happening in Ferguson. It is in the same genre as the stories of protest and control we see playing out all over the world.
Violence continues to erupt in Ferguson, Mo., more than a week after the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown by policeman Darren Wilson. The 18-year-old’s family demands justice be brought to their son with the arrest of the six-year veteran officer. Protesters have clashed with authorities as control over security shifted from local police to St. Louis County officers to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Gov. Jay Nixon has since called in the Missouri National Guard. And the Brown family continues to prepare for the teenager’s funeral arrangements amid completion of three separate autopsies.
On the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.
Photos by Alex Welch
Reactions to Barack Obama’s statement on Ferguson
The last words said by Black youth murdered by policemen.
via The Huffington Post.
"It has nothing to do with race"
Let me be clear: Unarmed college hopefuls don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids heading to work or trade school don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids floundering aimlessly through life don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids who have been in trouble—even those who have been nothing but trouble—don’t deserve to be shot.
The act of pinning the tragedy of a dead black teen to his potential future success, to his respectability, to his “good”-ness, is done with all the best intentions. But if you read between the lines, aren’t we really saying that had he not been on his way to college, there’d be less to mourn?
That’s dead wrong." - Black Kids Don’t Have to Be College-Bound for Their Deaths to Be Tragic by Jasmine Banks (via gwest650)
While Black experiences with racism and anti-Blackness are used as analogies/metaphors and narratives to shape the experiences of non-Black people while erasing Black people’s experiences and humanity (as I discussed in White People Using Blackness and Anti-Black Racism Analogies For Their Experiences Is NOT Intersectionality), these experiences past and present are indicative of our lives, our history, our deaths. A reality. Not an anecdote to lead into something else.
Michael Brown's execution and all of these extrajudicial executions are indicative of violence that never was truly “past” as it is always present. And it is a REALITY—not a metaphor—with a human cost in Black mental and physical health, in Black safety, in Black bodies.
Below are the links mentioned in the tweets that I sent above: Black Women Were Lynched Too, Consuming Black Death, Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life.
And look, I am disinterested in White supremacist sociopaths, anti-Black non-Black people of colour or unfortunately some Black people who have internalized racism and believe that the politics of respectability can protect us to now throw out the violent lie, derailment and misnomer (“Black on Black crime” is a misnomer and epistemic violence) that Black people “don’t care about intraracial crime.” This is a VIOLENT type of derailment and is dehumanization. When every race has intraracial crime yet only Black people are deemed to “not care” despite evidence to contrary and then civilian crime is juxtaposed to extrajudicial executions as modern lynchings and State violence? The false equalization is not solely epistemic violence; it is a direct attack on the mental health and well-being of Black people. Save it. (And notably, this derailment only addresses violence between cishet Black men; never a mention about any other Black people cared about or not.)
Black life is valuable in it of itself. Not solely as a trope for consumption with erasure and a demand that we feel gleeful about the erasure to prove “solidarity.” Anti-Blackness and misogynoir are not “progressive.” Michael Brown’s life MATTERED…FULL STOP.
Peace to every Black victim and family of this violence. (My own family is one of them, by the way.)
Peace to Michael Brown’s mother and his family.
side note: i don’t like the “next civil rights” language on the cover because it erases the fact that laverne’s experiences aren’t just that of being a trans woman. laverne cox is a black trans woman. that is important.
to suggest that the ongoing lack of civil rights for black folks in this country doesn’t directly inform the particular form of transmisogyny she receives is ridiculous in a world where black trans women are disproportionately affected by both physical and economic violence.
^^^^^ very true
And more could be coming.
Way to do it, Clippers. Classy way to show solidarity, stand together, and tell the world how you feel about your despicable, hateful owner.
Amy Davidson on the Los Angeles Clippers owner’s racist remarks: http://nyr.kr/1h6Y5jk
“What are we saying, really, when we ask how an N.B.A. owner, of all people, could say those things? Is the idea that part of the job is putting on a non-racist mask that somehow isn’t required elsewhere in society?”
Photograph by Danny Moloshok/AP.