Category Archives: Editorial

FBI “Black Identity Extremist” Characterization is False

By S. Christopher Emerson

A leaked report hit news sites last weekend revealing that the FBI has been spending its time and resources generating a stigma around Black anti-racism and human rights work, erroneously labelling it “Black Identity Extremism.” While its comes as no surprise that the foremost domestic defenders of American white supremacy would find new, or rather, regurgitated, ways of making Blackness illegal, the contradictions in this false characterization are glaring and absurd.

We have been bombarded on news and social media with examples of white nationalist violence of the highest order. These incidents are predictably marked by the reactionary “thoughts being with all those affected by these tragedies” and the knee-jerk conversation about gun violence the sinister NRA lobbies that rub and, sometimes, twist, lawmakers’ ahem… arms. The fallacy of intraracial crime, specifically, crime in Black communities in major cities, often comes up as talking heads on conservative faux news organs continue to blame Black folks for EVERYTHING except prosperity. But for real… we see this deflection from the broader issue of acculturated of American violence, or as Parliament Funkadelic eloquently put it, “America Eat(ing) its Young.” But it looks like the FBI is buying the hype lock, stock and barrel.

Let’s all take this moment to revile Dylann Roof, who murdered nine innocent Black members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC after prayer service on the evening of June 17, 2015. While many Black folks remark how he escaped his manhunt unscathed, and was even bought Burger King by his arresting officers, we imagine him rotting in a jail somewhere, longing to drape himself in the confederate flag from one of the few disturbing images that surfaced from his Facebook page. And let’s not forget that of the thousands of armed, tiki torch brandishing, khaki and crew cut rocking white nationalists that descended upon the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (what’s with wypipo and the name Charlotte?) one weekend in August 2017 to oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The one death that occurred was that of a counter protester, inflicted by a neo-Nazi enthusiast who drove his car into hundreds of Black Lives Matter demonstrators just off campus that Saturday.

…but the FBI is worried about Black folks fighting oppression- naturally.

To add insult to injury, a Black man, DeAndre Harris, who was attacked by white nationalists in a parking garage during the Charlottesville riot, has been issued a felony charge of unlawful wounding. Cell phone video of the incident shows several white guys attack  Harris, causing a spinal injury and a head laceration that required 10 stitches. Reports say a self-proclaimed “southern nationalist” accused Harris of hurting him during the fray. Wypipo wypipoing to wypipo authorities so wypipo can use the law to wypipo.

Charges against the pummeled Harris come not even 48 hours after white nationalists, led by self proclaimed Alt-Right spokesman and punching face Richard Spencer returned to UVA for a follow up “Unite the Right” rally this past weekend. No racists were arrested or harmed in the exercise of race rioting, though…

White cultural and political leaders have been building the Black Boogeyman for generations from The Heart of Darkness, to Birth of a Nation, to King Kong to the Kerner Commission Report to Faux News’s constant South Side of Chicago funeral dirge. The most recent iteration of Black villianization is *ominous music* “The Ferguson Effect” (if you listen closely, you can hear middle aged white women screaming in terror in rural locales across the country). Coined by former St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson, officials in all levels of bureaucracy have scapegoated the protests following the police murder of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, MO to undermine the swell of awareness and work against racism and toward progressive social change. This conveniently ignores the causes of citizen anger including, but not limited to, racism, police brutality, lack of access to resources, injustice in courts systems, government and police officials are engaging in trickle down victim blaming. But this is a basic strategy of oppressors- pee on your head, tell you it’s raining, then call you a criminal for wiping yourself clean and fighting back when the smell of urine hits your nostrils.

This leaked FBI mischaracterization of Black freedom fighters as “Black identity extremists” is another falsehood; a bastard child of white supremacist theory and fear. This is the same fear that generated the rise in NRA membership in response to Civil Rights and Black Power efforts and gave rise to groups like the Black Panther Party and the Deacons for Defense. “Black Identity extremists” labelling is no less than racist status quo isolation of the folks that have the courage to fight back against systems that subjugate people of color, and ignore the behemoth of racism and the root causes of protest.

Racism, Racist Police and the Flag that Represents Them- Ain’t No Love

By Steppin’ Razor

Currently, we’re several weeks, or about a year, depending on how you’re counting, into the kneeling protests during the singing of the US national anthem. And now that we got everybody kneeling in a co-opting attempt at showing unity against President Cheeto Dangerfield, let’s bring the attention back to what this protest is all about:

  1. Ending racism and oppression
  2. Dismantling institutions built and functioning with racism and oppression
  3. Creating institutions that treat ALL people equitably
  4. Ending police brutality, which is affected by institutional racism, and specifically yields a preponderance of racist police murders of Black folks

This is just in case any of us were glamoured by our favorite football players and the racist owners of their teams FINALLY attending to the issue, even if they are trying to slant the national conversation.

Racists have tried to straw man the protests to demonstrations against the flag and the military. And while, some of us frankly might be ok with that, given the military’s history of violently spreading American ideals across the planet, that ain’t the focus here.

But if you wanna play that, cool…

Since “the flag” represents the racism, white supremacy, land theft, manifest destiny, genocide, slavery, capitalism, specific sexualization and other abuses of Black women, commodification of people of color and their cultures, hypocrisy of fighting the tyranny of White settlers while enslaving stolen Black folks, the hypocrisy of fighting for White euro freedom while forcefully occupying Native land, segregation, violent racial intimidation, night riders, Black codes, voter suppression, sexism, social abuse, classism, LGBTQIA suppression, support of apartheid and euro and Zionist occupations, police brutality, and the denial that any of this exists that has made this country what it is today… Yeah, ain’t no love for that flag.

When “the flag” starts representing the fullest human potential, dignity and equity of all citizens, guests, allies, friends and families, then it will deserve our full respect.

History Honors Freedom Fighters

By S. Christopher Emerson

Muhammad Ali was once roundly criticized, surveilled by COINTELPRO, arrested, stripped of his boxing titles, and made to defend himself in court for protesting. More specifically, he weathered the full brunt of Civil Rights era white supremacist vitriol for publicly objecting to the Vietnam War and refusing to enter the US Army.

Ali is now considered one of THE GREATEST athletes, sports personalities, statesmen, global representatives, and freedom fighters ever known. This includes some of the same people (including some Black people) who have conveniently forgotten his being on the shitty side of history for many decades because of his activism.

The same will happen for those of us who are clear and committed to our struggle against racism and police brutality.  And we should support each other too by giving each other our roses now.

A major function of protest is to raise and highlight contradictions. These contradictions are often ignored and/or popularly accepted, and are hallmarks of the status quo. Raising them is often contentious, oppositional and unpopular. Challenging the status quo can and does get downright ugly. But, if it were easy, everyone would do it; that’s the struggle. The fight may be sour to them, but sweet to us; and it’ll make yo’ teeth white.

But raising these contradictions also gives us an opportunity to view the issue(s) from another side besides our own, to experience someone else’s hardship under the force of the state of affairs and help us change our perspective. Better to be on the righteous side of history as it’s happening than to BS’ing your grandchildren when they ask you about it, while you hide your dumb ass critiques in the back of your mind.

Otherwise, you’re LITERALLY delaying society from reaching its more human, loving, and fun potential.

I mean, for real… Are you ready to tell your children and grandchildren that watching other people play football is more important than working a strategy to keep those same children from being gunned down by the blue gang that defends white supremacy? Nah, Son… But such is niggerdom…

Protests, and the movements that bring them forth, must remain focused and protected from co-opting so the message remains clear. In a recent case, NFL boycotts, kneeling during the anthem and protests in the streets of St. Louis are challenging the history and current application of racism in US institutions, especially the police and courts.

Don’t let these silly pinkfolk and negro lackeys turn this around to some trite fight against the flag and the national anthem. And don’t let them tell us that demonstrators are simply trying disrupt their muhr-kin way of life or try to throw that tired ass Black-on-Black crime trope in the mix. We’re not the problem; they and the wealthy folks that they allow to run their lives are. Racism is illogical and ill-telligent; don’t expect it to be reasonable, but be ready to march, kneel, talk, or fight right through it.

This Time is Ripe for Change and Strategy

By Steppin’ Razor

As if any other time in St. Louis wasn’t appropriate for ramping up voter registration, this is the time.

As the protests churn forward keeping the city’s police  in a state of hyper vigilance over impending disruptions of  businesses and government districts, some are wondering- “Which place will they hit next?”

The larger question is- “What will our leaders and our people do next?”

Here in St. Louis, in the state of Miz-uh-ree, we need to build power however creatively we can.

As the protests continue to include the concerns of the people, community support will continue to grow. This could be an opportunity to add and/or activate more strategies toward progressive social change.  New city legislation to support equity and reallocation of resources to people of color and disenfranchised folks would be a good move. The people have been clamoring for subpoena power for Civilian Oversight and more powers and more accountability for police for years. This could be the time to move forward with them.

I suspect many pieces of progressive legislation are soon to come in the wave of progressive cultural change in St. Louis, and we can take advantage of this time. We can be ready for it by making sure that our voter registrations are up to date, and that we are educated on all initiatives and bills. When the bills come up, let your alderperson know how you feel about it. And if ballot measures hit the street, VOTE.

Protest raises the issues and disrupts the status quo, and it works best when coupled with other measures. This is getting good; let’s be sure we’re on the right side of the issue.