by Ikemba S. Mutulu
But the struggle ain’t over. Those who’ve given in to the euphoria of the moment need only speak with young people in the hood. Try telling them how far we’ve come from the lynchings, trained attack dogs, our leaders murdered and shut up in these pens on trumped up charges. Those youngsters will tell you that’s the same shit they see every day.
One Time just smoked a brotha at a liquor store last week. And their mothers and fathers are in the pen right now for some shit they didn’t do. Check what’s happening in the prisons throughout the country. The criminalization of religions identified primarily with people of color, and all of our true teachers and s/heroes from the slave rebellions on up to the civil rights era – we get slammed in the hole just for speaking their names.
Back in California, the Terminator said it all when he gave the OK to murder Bro. Tookie, condemning him for acknowledging his teachers who helped to redeem him as a man, transforming himself from a destructive force in the community to a positive force for peace and unity. The fact Mr. Obama felt he had to bite his tongue and apologize for being critical of the Cambridge police who unlawfully arrested his friend, Professor Gates.
It’s all testimony to the fact: The struggle ain’t over. We must understand the momentum of this feel-good moment will not carry us – just as MLK needed Malcolm X for people to know what the alternatives would be if people of color in this country were not given their civil rights.
It troubles me so many people actually believe somehow racism died upon the election of a Black president. But these courts are still falsely convicting and excessively sentencing Blacks and Browns by the thousands, the prisons are still implementing these archaic policies to strip us of our strength and humanity, the police are still murdering us like wild animals in the streets.
And the government’s foreign policies dealing with nations of color are still as racist as ever. They ignore the plight of our friends and neighbors, Haiti and South America, living in extreme poverty, while pursuing the mythical terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan – sending these unmanned drones to drop 200-pound bombs on the heads of innocent women and children, that are ironically navigated from a joystick right here in Nevada.
Shit, we still got judges in this country who refuse to marry interracial couples. And it is troubling still to hear some Whites speak as if Blacks and Browns owe them something for electing a Black president and allowing us to put a Latina on the Supreme Court. As if these things were given to us as a gift from the goodness of their hearts, rather than won from the blood and sacrifice of our own.
But we as a country must shake off the fog and understand there are no magic bullets or symbolisms that can kill the stink of racism in America. We must continue to be conscious and work together to remove the flaws in our system that foster the divides of race, class, gender etc. We must clean up the courts, reform the prisons and bring personal accountability to the police departments, so that if a cop kills an innocent civilian, uses excessive force or lies to falsely incarcerate someone or cover up a mistake, they’ll be prosecuted just like anyone else.
There are no magic bullets or symbolisms that can kill the stink of racism in America.
Maybe when we do this, and we as a country have learned to reconcile our past, not only in our minds and monuments, but in our schools and textbooks, when politicians are no longer allowed to be bribed or bought off, when health care and higher education are respected as rights rather than privileges for rich people, then real progress can be claimed. But for now, the struggle ain’t over.
Send this brave and brilliant soldier in the struggle some love and light: Ikemba S. Mutulu, s/n Marritte Funches, #37050, P.O. Box 1989, Ely, NV 89301, and check out his work on the August Initiative at Augustinitiative.org.