As it turns out, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is constitutional gobbledygook only afforded to those favored by power, resources, and pigmentation.
Boston – US President Donald Trump just spoke to the nation and threatened to unleash military forces on demonstrators citing the provisions of 1807 Insurrection Act. From early tribal societies to contemporary ones, the State has retained the prerogative to use physical force.
Trying to argue this is an exercise in futility. In fact, when framed in this fashion, this prerogative appears legitimate and exclusive. But, does it ever happened when the state uses power in manners that a reasonable person would deem illegitimate?
When does misplaced use of power becomes misplaced aggression? Is there such thing as the State’s disproportionate use of force? Does the State forfeit its right as the custodian of force if found to be applying it discriminately?
States have behaved badly and the fact that there is a full body of study devoted to the study of transitional justice is a testimony to documented and rampant state violence. These are all legitimate questions that all members of any democratic society ought to be reflecting on collectively.
The killing of George Floyd is the case of the chicken coming home to roost. To say that the Floyd incident is an isolated one is symptomatic of the luxury of privilege. To say that racism is not institutional is to say “the Emperor has no clothes.”
This is lazy opulent intellectualism drenched in hubris. Denying institutional racism is often the uninformed position of cushy armchair mouthpieces who have never walked a day in the shoes of blacks and oppressed minorities.
Those who insist on dragging us into peripheral discussions either suffer from an acute case of ADD or intentionally try to hijack what’s really at the crux of the matter. I am leaning towards the latter.
This is a calculated attempt to take the heat off the issue of police brutality and impunity. What we suffered as Muslims in post 9/11 pales in contrast to what our black brothers and sisters endure on a daily basis in America’s main street.
Isn’t it baffling how some people choose to focus on the looting instead of police brutality and the cold-blooded killing of African Americans? These same people develop a case of selective amnesia when you bring up the real looters, whose wealth increased many folds within the recent two recent economic crises.
This is not about Target getting vandalized. It is also a discussion to have but one that should take a backseat to that of police brutality, lawlessness, and discretionary use of force. Corporate media is a sophisticated, well-funded, well-oiled, and wicked machine with the unmatched skill to make you conflate the two and prioritize the one on the periphery. Don’t take the bait and easily acquiesce to the terms of their argument.
The irony will either make you laugh or croak in agony. The same people who are denying blacks the right to vent their anger cheer youngsters from Arab and African descent setting the Parisian suburbs ablaze.
Perplexing is the reaction of those who rightfully support Palestinian uprisings when meted out by Zionists’ aggression but reject black people’s show of indignation. Blacks are indeed the young Maghrebians of France and the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Destruction is an outward manifestation of grievances gone unaddressed or dismissed. It is a process of percolating frustrations coming to a full brew. The spontaneous outpouring of people of all races and colors on the streets is a strong indication that dignity is intrinsic to who we are as humans.
Reacting in moments of anger can’t possibly be rationalized. As it turns out, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is constitutional gobbledygook only afforded to those favored by power, resources, and pigmentation.
Let me reiterate that the countrywide protests are about black men and women getting killed with total impunity. Don’t think for a moment that you and your respective communities are immune from what’s befalling the African American community. Manufacturing an enemy and demonizing minorities has always been the modus of Operandi in this country.
You would be sadly mistaken to think that the minority you belong to is going to be spared. Those who think that their community is immune from this either have a short memory or have read a sanitized version of history. You are just sitting on the bench but do expect to be subbed in at any moment to play the villain and the rogue.
In the eternal words of Dr. King: ”We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Even bigots are now claiming him as theirs by distorting his words to suppress the voice of the protester and the dissenter.