Self-Determination Is The Highest Expression Of Democracy

No Justice from an Unjust System: President Kalambayi Speaks on the Ahmaud Aubery Verdict and the Need for Black Community Control of the Police - InPDUM

“Seven years ago, when I met Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party, I met a revolutionary Party that had an understanding as to why Mike Brown was murdered. They weren’t shocked or surprised at this because they had seen this over and over again. Chairman provided the understanding that this fight that we’re in is not about racism. It’s about power. These white men who brutally murdered Ahmad Aubery were exercising power, state power. It wasn’t just about race, this  was about power.

So our discussion today has to be about power. Our demand has to be for real power. Our demand can’t be for a review board with no power and our demand can’t be for some kind of therapist to get all of the “racist thoughts” out of white people’s heads. 

We can’t be satisfied with any of that, there is way too much at stake- my kids future and your kids future. From Emmit Till to Tamir Rice to Mike Brown to Ahmaud Arbery to the Africans who’s murders never reached a news broadcast or a courtroom, we have already lost too much. This is why our fight has to be one for power and nothing less. Power in our hands is the only thing that will prevent us from having to go to the same people who oppress us and beg “massa, can you please give us some justice? Massa, can you lock this policeman up? Massa, can you please lock this racist white person up?” Because I am telling you, whether they’d given a guilty or a  not guilty verdict, it wouldn’t have been justice. It won’t be justice until they ALL are locked up. It won’t be justice until this entire system pays for its crime of genocide against African people.

Just going out there and screaming “black lives matter” or “hands up, don’t shoot” won’t do it. 

Our demand must be for black community control of the police. The people who police our community must be under the control of the community that they police. This is our democratic right and this must be our demand. We’re not just calling for “community control of the police”, you have to put the Black word in there. You have to put that word in their face and let them know that we’re  talking about power- black power. We’re talking about black people having power over the people who police our communities. We all pay taxes right? A huge chunk of our taxes go toward funding the police department so it is our democratic right, as tax payers, to control the police that operate in our communities. 

Its important for us not to be fooled by individual white people going to jail for killing one of our people. Though this might look like a victory, this is just smoke and mirrors. These are attempts by a desperate system to make black people believe that it is working in our interest but it absolutely is not. The system thinks that if it sends the occasional white man or white police to jail for killing us then it’ll be able to get away with all of the other atrocities it commits against our people. We won’t be fooled. Until the African community has the power in our hands to handle our own affairs and hold these killers accountable in our own courts, we won’t be satisfied. 

Because again, this is not about fighting against racism, this is a fight for power and one strategy for getting power is through black community control of the police. We have to build review boards to determine who is allowed to police in our communities and these review board will be made up of people from the community. We don’t care if you have a record, we don’t care if you owe child support, we don’t care if you’re homeless or if you’re a street walker. 

As a matter of fact, these are the very people we would want to have on our review board because who better to determine who can police in our community than the very people who’ve been victimized by this system? The bus driver, the school teacher, the garbage person, Pookie and Ray-Ray, these are the people who need to be making decisions about who can police in our communities. If the police are carrying guns that can potentially kill us, the people should be able to have control over them in our community. I don’t know about you, but this makes a lot of sense to me.

Black Community Control of the Police is a practical demand that will bring practical to the African community. This isn’t a call for classes to make police “non-racist” and it’s not a call for body cameras. All these body cameras have done is allow us to see our people be killed again and again and again. Body cameras may have allowed us to see Eric Garner being choked to death on our social media timelines but still nobody went to jail. I don’t even want to see these videos anymore. You don’t have to show me what happened, I know what happened. I’m not asking questions anymore because I understand that this system of colonialism has to murder colonized people in order to sustain itself. And they will continue to murder us until we take away their power to do it by building genuine power for ourselves.

So now we have to decide what we’re going to do.  We can sit here and yell “black power”, “fist up fight back” and “touch one, touch all” but, as powerful as these slogans are,  these are just words and we need to take action. So I say let’s build comrades. This verdict is irrelevant. Whether the court ruled guilty or innocent, the court itself is guilty and in the words of Ida B. Wells, “the same system that lynches you cannot also give you justice”. This is why we have to build so that we can overturn our oppression, overturn their courts, overturn their entire system and bring true justice to our people. Build InPDUM comrades, fight to bring true justice to our people.”

Kalambayi Andenet

International President, InPDUM

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