I have lived long enough and studied history diligently enough to recognize that perspective means everything during any conflict. The recent shooting of law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas, is a classic case of how perspective affects our judgment.
Consider for a moment, if one viewed the American Revolution from the perspective of the colonists’, George Washington is a heroic figure that should be lauded by all of those who love ‘freedom, justice, and equality’, while the British would consider this same figure a treasonous traitor who learned military science at their foot and then used it against them. The divergent perspectives are attributable to perspective.
Maybe another example will convince you of my point. The individuals who executed the recent attack in Dallas, Texas, that resulted in the deaths of 5 officers and the wounding of others are simultaneously being hailed as either heroes or villains for the same actions.
This issue of perspective will lead Americans to either denounce the shootings or adopt H. Rap Brown’s perspective that the Dallas shootings are a valorous revolutionary statement that should be replicated throughout the nation by all oppressed populations.
I will never understand why many Americans are shocked that oppressed communities will sporadically rebel against their oppressor. Although it is extremely difficult for the ruling class and the ‘law enforcement personnel’ that protect their material assets to comprehend, however, those who exhibit the courage to fight against oppression are actually operating out of the tradition that birthed this nation; put simply, they are assuming the role of this nation’s ‘founding fathers’ and fighting against tyranny ‘by any means necessary.’ There is little difference between the political violence that was displayed last night in Dallas, Texas, and that exhibited by the ‘founding fathers’ as they are both operating out of the same spirit that is best exhibited by Patrick Henry who publicly pleaded to his British oppressors to either “give me liberty (freedom) or give me death.”
There is a popular mantra that exists within activist circles that states ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ The repeated murder of African-American males by rogue law enforcement officers definitively proves that law enforcement agencies across the nation have been absolutely corrupted; even ‘good cops’ understand that their careers, if not their lives, are dependent upon them towing a frequently immoral company line.
So as white America seeks to generate a plausible explanation for the Dallas shootings, Black America, a population who has witnessed several generations of people who look just like them have their political agency muted via a wicked cocktail of oppression that includes, among other things, a lack of education, absence of political connections, and a gross lack of economic resources will feel compelled to voice their angst in any way possible. Maybe now the nation will finally hear their pleas and cries of the oppressed.
And for those who out of fear will automatically relate that the alluded to shootings are not the way to get their point across; I will close this piece with the reverberating words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who remarked. “It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.”
I ask again, “CAN YOU HEAR THEM NOW?”
Or do they need to repeat their statement throughout this nation? If history is any indicator, they will continue to express their angst, misery, and suffering in every way imaginable.
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016
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Author, Creating Revolution as They Advance: A Historical Narrative of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
Author, ‘Foolish’ Floyd: The Life & Times of an African-American Contrarian
Author, O’Bruni: An African-American Odyssey Home?