Anti-black racism and challenges to the state


Zoe Samudzi is the sort of writer I appreciate, with the ability to connect two seemingly unrelated phenomenon by their rhetoric. Here she examines the parallels between the defamation of anti-fascist groups and black liberation:

Anti-fascists displaced the Berkeley Police Department in their role as community protectors (despite the claims made in media accounts of the day), a role the police abrogated following that brief but tense standoff. The potential significance of that power unquestionably represents something fearful to people who endorse the state’s sole capacity to act as the arbiter of justice. There is a reason that Dr. King, whose words are constantly weaponized by centrists to discredit anti-facist (and specifically forceful Black liberatory) action, referred to the “white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to ‘justice’” as “the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom” as he addressed the world from Birmingham City Jail in 1963. Any media that is understood to be legitimate in the United States defaults to protecting the state’s monopoly on violence and its mechanisms even when it, despite the freedoms afforded by our beloved First Amendment, brutalizes and silences dissent. It is no mistake that liberal and so-called “progressive” politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, have tended to respond to militant anti-fascism with the racializing languages of containment and punishment inherent to the carceral state. There is nothing surprising about Mayor Arreguin’s suggestion that the state “should classify [antifa] as a gang” while many city and state law enforcement officials in California, even while describing the murder of Heather Heyer as an act of domestic terrorism, refuse to classify hate groups as gangs or domestic terrorists (despite fitting the state’s definitions) because “law enforcement officials are wary of being perceived as investigating any person or group for political views.” Black and Brown communities are overwhelmingly targeted and criminalized by anti-gang measures, and these injunctions, along with the emergency ordinance passed by Berkeley City Council, lay the foundation for a liberal “solution”, compatible with fascism, to the anti-fascist “threat” posed by opposition to white supremacists.

Read more here.

-Shiv

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