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Lots of meaningless appeasement being offered to protesters by an establishment worried about their hold on the power structures. But the painting of #BLM’s slogan in big yellow letters in front of the Whitehouse and renaming a street the same are mere trinkets and distractions meant to pacify and assuage the oppressed. And do not solve the historic problems of institutional racism endemic within every police force across the nation.
Workers must take this opportunity to establish communal committees and elect their own armed bodies to patrol their neighbourhoods and protect them from the current corrupt Police forces, which present a real and present danger, and are beyond reform.
lipika in reply to Him_over_there: Power finds its way to bribe n pacify protests. Eventually it loosens its teeth.
Yes, it is [EYEOFTHEDESERT]. The implication being all those who either shrink into the background at such vital junctures in history, or accept the authority of an institutionally racist system are little more than caricatures; esp. compared to those who are prepared to act in defence of their fellow Human being
All those who question the reality of institutional racism within the police departments of the USA should listen to the cracking noises of his metal baton against her bones, as this Georgia Police ‘officer’, P.J. Larscheid beats Katie McCrary, an innocent Woman, as though she were an escaped plantation Slave, with all his might; and for no other reason than the fact she stood too long in the same place at a store, for the manager’s liking,
Lucy Bullish Pearl: Abolish the police. Replace them with a peacekeeping force that has a clean objective: crime prevention, de-escalation, and conflict resolution. Accountable to the people in the community they serve.
What we have now are the heirs to the slave patrol, and violent mercenaries of aristocracy.
punxnotdead_sean: It doesn't matter what you replace them with you end up back in the same place.
Getting rid of the police is the stupidest idea anyone ever had.
You going to call a social worker when someone breaks into your house?
Think about it.
I tend to agree with U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar:
“The Minneapolis Police Department has proven themselves beyond reform.
It’s time to disband them and reimagine public safety in Minneapolis.”
Surely [punxnotdead_sean] it shouldn’t be too hard for an urban punk-rocker to embrace the value of people power over the authority of a corrupt establishment?
punxnotdead_sean in reply to Him_over_there: You're a nutcase. Cops are heroes and black lives matter people are delusional. Give your head a shake. What does "disbanding" the police do for anyone except make us all less safe? If disbanding the police really makes sense to you, there's no point in talking to you.
Impassioned speech from Kimberly Jones
Support the Struggle - Replace Racialist Law Enforcement - Bring Down the Capitalist State:
Seiren: You underestimate the power of political art.
The BLM street lettering projects with municipal support have sparked communities to have real groundlevel reactions and conversations—there was a lot of outrage even in my own community; there was also, to my surprise, tremendous support. It’s unifying. Outrage will spark change in communities—I hope for the better, especially since we see cities are choosing diversity over white supremacy.
Why do you think feds are being deployed to some
of the most progressive cities in some of the most progressive states?
If even a southern city in the US coming out in public support of diversity and equality is, to your mind, just lip service... I think you’re missing a vital piece of what systemic racism actually looks like in America—particularly along class lines.
Silencing has been the most effective strategy for eternity—it’s been used to quell reform before it can even begin. Systemic racism in a southern town typically would have killed any of these projects on arrival. This, my friend, is what slow progress feels like. I’m honestly surprised I’m witnessing *something* being said and done *at all*.
Another example of the power of art? That cartoon. To my eyes? commentary in that cartoon is nothing more than a derisive rehash of dehumanizing racist tropes (I see “mammy”, “pickaninny”, and “uncle tom” up in front.)
To others? There’s no telling, really. But nothing like a little faux nuance commentary to confirm existing elaborate biases. It’s damaging any way you slice it.
Him_over_there in reply to Seiren:
Political art? Seriously! Big, yellow letters, laboriously imprinted on the road ‘political art’? I don’t think so.
On the contrary. This was an historic insult to an oppressed group at the height of their revolt. Here the ruling elite descended from their ivory towers and said:
"Listen.. you can play with the street" - "Aren't you lucky?" - “Here's some nice yellow paint, now write anything you like; we’ll even help!.. just don’t rebel.”
And the docile amongst the group found it soothing enough to console their discontent. The act representing nothing in of itself other than superficial virtue signalling by local politicians. Mere diversion.
As for the cartoon, I find it refreshingly honest; the derision well deserved. Those caricatures actually represent the mindset of many lumpen Blacks who are too meek to take a stand.
Seiren: You immediately generalize and conceptualize and dehumanize the entire movement—you deign to water down these ubiquitous political street mural projects just so it looks more like an ugly little yellow straw man you can blow right over.
They’re beautiful. And they’re everywhere. Some have since been vandalized, then repaired. Many were planned community-led projects, so that everyone could pitch in and each letter is different. In my town, local artists were commissioned by the city itself. They hired one artist per letter—each artist charged with designing their own letter. The city had contractors survey and outline parameters of the words on the downtown road—in front of Town Hall—waiting to be filled with color. Each artist would then translate their creation onto the pavement with the permanent road-ready paints provided.
It was a socially distanced event given the pandemic, but local news did come out and cover the event, it was all over social media, there were drones taking aerial photographs. My own small town.
I couldn’t have imagined this ever happening even five years ago.
Was there outrage over this government sanctioned project? Oh fuck yeah, there was. The city’s Facebook page exploded with shock and outrage—“not *my* town!”. E-mails filled up. Phones rang off the hook. Oh yes, city communications had their hands full; there was much fielding of those wailing, of those gnashing of teeth. Endless deluge of middle aged white folks, countless Karen videos descending on their FB pages struggling not to cry, struggling not to scream n—r. Oh The Great Nudging at their privilege, their city-favor in question.
But the small, yes very small, local victory was felt that week. Because it happened in a very red, very southern town.
The city was firm in its support of this movement, following the police murder of George Floyd; what continues to happen to Black people to this day.
I would have you go tell all the Black artists who poured their hearts, their sweat, their souls into this pavement how lumpen and meek they are for doing so.
I would. You could. But one. No. One of the artists has died. In December. He was only my age, 33. I never had the chance to meet him, but I followed his work on IG and FB closely. He was so fucking talented. Its a God damn tragedy he’s gone. I don’t know how he passed. I haven’t bothered asking anyone yet. I just feel grief over it. There has been an outpouring of community grief over his loss—his work is the best I’ve ever seen come out of my town.
You see, he painted the R. I imagine for the letter of his first name. And following the publicity of this project, he was finally getting the recognition and support he deserved for his gifts.
I know. I know, “yellow blocked letters” makes for an easy narrative, but there are real stories you’ve allowed yourself to ignore. The groundlevel invisible seemingly innocuous work you would ignore. Someone of privilege might be less adept at detecting the nuances of actual
social oppression; and by contrast the nuances of social progress. To some eyes—the yellow belly blocks and the lumpen meek caricatures you brandish with derision to support an idea that couldn’t stand on its own without facing reality—to some eyes that might just look like more blind racism.
Since this thing you shared, Stacey Abrams (who was swindled out of the Governor’s seat in Georgia) got her dues and baby she helped turn Georgia blue. With rallying voter turnout, she gave us senate majority. This will in turn actualize legislative progress. Oh I know. Two sides of the same coin, two wings of the same bird. Yadda yadda.
Come back down to reality, and see a person hungry enough to eat that bird.
What your macro-narrative misses are the threads. The social threads that communities have been tirelessly weaving this last year—that Black Americans have been weaving just to abide living under this oppression. Yeah, the docile ones. The docile folk Abrams lifted up. Maybe if you hang up all that work it looks a lot like just another flag. Maybe it looks like a tapestry of a common history—one I suspect you wouldn’t recognize or understand from over_there. Some of the threads? They can look a lot like colorful block letters and rollers of paint of a man now gone.
Symbols of meaning. Of hope. Like the youthful, hopeful words of Amanda Garmon. Yes, be cynical, she was a stand-in, lip service. Meh. I saw all the little girls behind her who would be lifted up by her words.
The artist who passed was witnessed by this community, by me, and the letters are still there reminding the racist white folks driving by that Black Lives Matter. I grieve the loss of his future works, I grieve never having known him. But I turn the leaf snd see there is still cohesion in such silly little acts as political art projects, and that it does coalesce on a grander scale.
Someone a long time ago once looked at a fiber and saw that spinning a bunch of them together would make threads, and then someone realized weaving those would make cloth. Colorful cloth. Tapestries. Not just yellow banners. Not just white flags.
But go on with your yellow megaphone and your cartoon and tell these Black American folks how they’re doing it wrong, and keep heckling for some wild spectacle of an American revolution safely from over_there.
It is strange to me that you view a cartoon using that degrading depiction of black americans (the racial stereotype of 'big' lips and low class dress) as positive in the fight against the degrading of black americans.
In what line of reasoning is it beneficial to the cause of uplifting black americans? How is it helping in any way? It's using the exact same tactics those who created that racist cartoon style against other blacks who in their own right are hesitant in doing what you might want to do. The better way is through encouragement. You don't throw your own under the bus like this for simply not being active enough in your cause.
Him_over_there in reply to WHlSKY:
This cartoon is very clever. Firstly it rises above the genre of racist propaganda this style of art emanates from, and by doing so defeats the original motives of those artists. And why should Blacks shy away from having dark skin or full lips. There is a thriving market, esp. amongst White Women to transform their bodies along those lines.
Notice [Oso Malvado] how the one character who assumes a more realistic appearance; the protagonist, doesn’t regress to a monochrome state ‘because’ he embodies the progressive attitude, amidst the weak reactions of the other bystanders. No patronising Government sponsored finger painting (see the exchange above with [Seiren]) for this guy. He picks up a brick, and is ready to defend his community against racist thugs in uniforms.
WHlSKY: idk how can that be clever when it further divides African Americans. It placed all the negative attributes of that past style of art to African Americans who have their concerns on not choosing to engage in a physical form of rebellion/revolution. Instead of addressing their concerns and encouraging them to join the revolution it isolates them. It puts subtly hatred onto them.
That style of art was originally not just racist, but also had the purpose of demeaning, lowering and portraying that group as dumb/stupid, isn't it serving those same purposes too?
Why should there be a division? There are other forms of rebelling and addressing the issue than to 'pick up a brick', once they are all on the same page on what's wrong, that's all that matters.
Anyway, I guess art is meant for us to think and each might take a different view. I'm all for revolting when necessary, just can't see the reason why hate should be directed at those who may not join. Especially when they're of the group that's experiencing the injustice.