Editor: President Barak Obama promises swift action against ISIL in Syria in retribution for the shooting of 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., even though he said that there is no evidence that ISIL directed the attack. Yet where is the “swift action” by the DOJ to get stop the slaughter of Black Youth by police across the US?
DOJ: Protect Black Activists from White Vigilante Violence, Investigate Shooting As Hate Crime
DOJ: Protect Black Activists from White Vigilante Violence,
Investigate Shooting As Hate Crime
“We Cannot Live without Our Lives”
—Audre Lorde, Black author, poet, activist, and academic
The Black Lives Matter Network stands in solidarity with the five members of the #BlackLivesMatter Minneapolis chapter that were shot on Monday night. All five are reportedly in stable condition. Protestors were shot as they attempted to move a group of apparently armed white men away from a peaceful protest over the fatal shooting of unarmed Black 24-year-old man Jamar Clark by a police officer.
While activists on the ground at the #4thPrecinctShutDown are shaken, they are not derailed in their efforts. They will remain at the scene, occupying the precinct, until justice for Jamar Clark and his family is served.
The war on Black lives is escalating, and it’s time for President Obama to intervene. The Black Lives Matter Network urgently calls upon the Department of Justice to investigate this shooting as a hate crime.
This shooting of Black activists by white vigilantes in Minneapolis is a symptom of a much larger problem—that while the homegrown domestic terrorism of white supremacists is alive and well in 2015, it too often lives in the shadows of media coverage dominated by the international terrorism of so-called religious extremists.
But, organized white American vigilantism too, is terrorism.
It is a terrifying kind of terrorism where the “radicalization” of white supremacists is allowed to grow in plain sight, erased by an invisibility cloak of media neglect, endorsed by politicians, egged on by online trolls, and entrenched by an anti-Black state and civil society.
When white males of the far right carry out violent attacks, they are typically described in media, and by neocons and Republicans, as independent actors, rather than members of well-organized terrorist movements. In fact, a recent study found that, despite Presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s desire to increase targeted surveillance of Black activists and Muslim communities, white supremacists are actually more dangerous to America than foreign terrorists. Most terrorist activity has come not from Muslims or from Black people, but from a combination of radical Christians, white supremacists, and far-right militia groups.
The Black Lives Matter Network also calls upon the Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis police department’s negligent and incompetent conduct in response to this crime. Instead of responding appropriately to secure the safety of protestors who had previously reported credible threats made by white supremacists, the concerns of protestors were ignored. Instead of immediately assisting those injured, Minneapolis police maced protestors who were attempting to record events as they occurred. Rather than take witness statements, Minneapolis police mocked the suffering of Black activists, insisting that by demanding answers in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black teenager, protestors had brought the violence upon themselves. Blaming the targets of racist violence is an old trope, but one we must actively and wholeheartedly reject. Our right to organize in defense of Black lives is inherent and inalienable, and beyond the jurisdiction of any law enforcement or white hate group.
White vigilantism is a persistent threat that exists to uphold the war on Black lives, reinforce existing racial power dynamics as the status quo, and terrify Black people into silence. But we will not be silent in the face of this long-held extension of state violence.
We will continue the occupation of the 4th precinct. We will not be intimidated by white supremacy. We will not bow down to white vigilante terror. Just as our ancestors in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s sang, we ain’t gonna let white supremacy turn us around.
Not now, not ever.
We demand #Justice4Jamar, justice for the five victims of this racist hate crime, and all victims of police violence.