Curfews & Repression in Ferguson Represents Further Consolidation of Right-Wing Power

This is a response post from former political prisoner and Black Panther Dhoruba Bin-Wahad. He was responding to a post I had put up that was dealing with how the corporate media had capitulated to police last night and went along with the curfew and allowed themselves to be placed in Free speech zone pens. I also noted that they were allowing the focus to shift from the murder of unarmed Michael Brown to be one about curfews and debates about whether Ferguson police shot smoke or tear gas..

I also noted how the corporate media was pushing the narrative of a killer cop being a hero. I’m posting this so folks can get a sense of history as he lays out some important things for us to think about especially in the area of right wing consolidation of power and how its being manifested in Ferguson. Below are his remarks..

-Davey D-

Former Political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad

Former Political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad

We discussed this for years haven’t we? The militarization of American Law Enforcement has accompanied the Racist and corporate Right Wing consolidation of Power in America that has taken place over the last 35 years.

It started with Vietnam era Government response in the sixties to wide spread urban rebellions and civil disobedience much like the rebellion presently occurring in Ferguson MO that seemed to occur every summer.

In 1968 the government established LEAA (Law Enforcement Assistance Association) to train local police in counter-insurgency and SWAT, while supplying them with military grade equipment. This was the precursor to today’s Government programs that turn over large quantities of surplus military equipment to wannabee Special-Ops soldiers that permeate today’s Law Enforcement establishment.

There was then as now a “carrot & stick” approach to our struggle against institutional white supremacy. What many people don’t fully appreciate is that this “historical” increased Police militarization was accompanied by special laws such as the “Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act“, on the “stick” side and “War on Poverty” on the Carrot side. The latter produced many of the anti-poverty pimps who would morph into local political leaders and politicians and Black entrepreneurs.

The Black comprador class back then was created to stem the rejection of “non-violence” by Black youth and to misdirect the militant thrust of “Black Power” that gained traction with every Black youth murdered by police, or White owned business burned out of the Black community. It was these Black opportunists who called for more intensified “policing” in the Black community (to fight crime) and who justified the foundation for the mass incarceration we face today.

The sad lesson that seems to emerge from Ferguson is that Black people have been cut off from this history and are therefore susceptible to machinations of the Governor who appointed a Black cop to calm the people of Ferguson MO. The Governor’s rationale? The Black cop grew up in Ferguson! People do not see this move as a sly deception.

For over 3 decades the call for community control and decentralization of police was opposed by police unions, Black politicians afraid of Police Union, helped mislead Black people into meaningless reforms such as toothless “community complaint review boards“, police sensitivity training, and increasing minority presence on local police departments. All of which are patently meaningless reforms.

Today, despite all the Black cops on police forces around the country the institution of policing is more vicious, racist, and reactionary than ever. It’s like the slaves are running the plantation system! Of course the White media’s coverage of Police-Black community relations helped by defining the issues as questions of reform rather than institutional change.

Whenever we (old BPP/BLA, Black Radicals, and supporters of Black Political prisoners) called for referendums to decentralize police, establish residency provisions for cops patrolling our community we were completely ignored – especially by so called community activists and groups with their own self-serving agendas who didn’t want to do the work necessary to build broad coalitions dedicated to the abolition of institutional policing rather than reform of existing police departments.

On Black campuses Black students prefer to mobilize reformist events based on revisionist analysis that proclaim “the New Jim Crow” as today’s plantation system and pay Black intellectuals honorariums to pontificate on their own political cowardice.

To this day, no where in America is there an organized Black mass movement to decentralize police and Public Safety, take over their local command and control structure, and to politically confront the power of the Police Unions who politically protect and defend murderous cops and underscore racist institutional policing. Nowhere. Yet many activists, Black leaders, and all sorts of reactionary celebrities flock to Ferguson to be on the “front lines”, holding their press conferences, when in fact the front line between the people and militarized policing runs right through their own living rooms. We are bombarded with images of “looting” as if that’s significant.

Since when has stealing hair extensions and TV’s expressed anything other than the opportunism of poverty born of material consumerism and ignorance? In comparison the opportunism of many of those who came to Ferguson to project themselves as “Black leaders” is far more pernicious.

Below is an excerpt from the prophet speech Dhoruba gave at the Hip Hop Political Convention in Las Vegas in August 2008. He talked about how the election of Obama would lead to the type of repression we are seeing and experiencing now..

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