Philadelphia police beating and the "true" state of Black activistism
by, 05-15-2008 at 10:48 AM (2306 Views)
You know, when I see what I saw happening in Philadelphia (again), I ask myself how far have we came, and are we sometimes deceiving ourselves about how progressive and so-called “conscious” we are in this country. Are we using these terms too superficially in describing our African-centered and political-cultural movement here in America? For how conscious and progressive are we, as the would Last Poets say, as “related to what?”
To keep this in perspective, we need to understand that these unprecedented police beatings and killings are not happening in some small backwater redneck town, in some rural all-white area full of redneck sheriffs, or in one of the historically well-documented areas of the deep south where this was almost a given, these incidents are happening in major US cities with large Black populations, and most interesting, cities historically known for large numbers of culturally progressive and even in some cases both financially and politically powerful Black people as compared to the rest of the US.
When places like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles' Black people are being constantly treated worst than dogs and brutally beaten and slaughtered by the authorities, and when places like these have very high Black-on-Black crime rates, the questions becomes what is going on with progressive African-centered thinkers in these communities? With not disrespectfully excluding many other metropolitan areas that have their own share of brilliant Black minds and progressive thinkers, the major cities cited above have been cultural and political satellites and magnets that have historically attracted Black progressive people from all over the country, and are still today hubs where large numbers of our progressives scholars, activist, writers, and cultural revolutionaries reside.
I raise this question to ask, where do we really find ourselves today? Are we being delusional or misdirected in our efforts? Have many Black progressives in our present-day conditions become shells of cultural “hip-ness” and activism, which put on a good show, but when examined closely have not really done much to change their immediate conditions?
When Progressive Black people went to Jena, Louisiana there was this sense of organizing against the old white-racist Southern justice system trying to raise it’s ugly head again, but is the justice system and racist white population in that rural area any worst than that of cities from which everyone traveled, and are these rural Black populations any less progressive?
Just something to think about…
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