Monday, June 26, 2017

Aja Barber: Do Not Expect Black Folks To Cry Hard For Otto Warmbier---and some context and analysis

"Once again in the US, I feel compelled to call out a cycle of abuse that seems to occur over and over again. One which involves white America expecting solidarity from black people in regards to white life and how it is valued over black life, clearly. It’s similar to how after Dylan Roof walked into a black church, murdered nine black people, got the police to buy him Burger King … the press then immediately asked the black community for forgiveness. Because black people have to forgive over and over and over again regardless of the cost to our bodies, lives and humanity. For the death of Otto Warmbier has caused a ripple in the much divided union. So much that Donald Trump himself issued a statement over his death, all while blithely ignoring the verdict of Philando Castile which was dropped on black folks less than a week previously. Because to exist as black in America is to know good and well that the law and the state is very much never on your side and your skin color can very often be a death sentence."

Read the entire article here.

And some context:

The Boston Herald reports:

It was announced Friday that Lisa Durden, a former adjunct professor at Essex County College in New Jersey, would be let go from her job following a heated argument on the June 6 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight. While speaking about an “all-black Memorial Day celebration” hosted by a Black Lives Matter group, Durden, who is black, told the host “you white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white privilege card” to attend the event.

The former professor, who taught communications and pop culture classes as an adjunct according to the Newark Star-Ledger, also called America a “racist society.”

“The college was immediately inundated with feedback from students, faculty and prospective students and their families expressing frustration, concern and even fear that the views expressed by a college employee (with influence over students) would negatively impact their experience on the campus,” newly appointed Essex County College President Anthony Munroe said in a statement, according to “I fully believe that institutions of higher learning must provide a safe space for students… The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion, and unity. Racism cannot be fought with more racism.”

What people need to come to terms with here is the contradiction between the rhetoric of this country being a safe and free place, and institutions of higher learning being places for free inquiry and learning, and the reality that Black people understand a very different set of circumstances, have analyses of the situation and face repression when trying to formulate those analyses and take mass democratic action. It has been quite awhile since we could talk reasonably about a healthy social consensus in the U.S., and the oppression of nationally oppressed peoples and the conditions of bourgeois rule now make healthy and fully inclusive social consensus here impossible. For those of us at the bottom, at the grassroots, our task is to push the old to the breaking point while birthing the new; it becomes less a matter of choice and more a matter of necessity every day.

1 comment:

  1. Some context on the Otto Warmbier situation: the US doctors that initially examined him did not find any evidence of physical trauma (neurological trauma- which the media has been hyping- is a RESULT of the coma, not the cause), and noted that his symptoms were consistent with an overdose of some kind. The fact is, we simply do not know what happened to Warmbier while he was in custody, nor do we know much of anything about the circumstances of his arrest. Needless to say, the savage treatment of the DPRK by the United States, the systematic killing of the civilian population during the Korean War, and the seemingly endless rounds of sanctions designed to inflict maximum suffering on the Korean people, must also be kept in mind.