When We Have A Voice
June 10, 2018
Wayland “X” Coleman
When we have a voice, those whom we speak against will act to suppress it.
I often tell Christine that you can’t be an activist if you’re not willing to get arrested. The strongest tool that any system of oppression and repression has against the people it’s designed to control, is fear. Fear of punishment. Fear of suffering. Fear of being made uncomfortable. Fear of death.
Fear is not only used to break a person’s will to resist, it’s also used to turn people against you when your will cannot be broken. In other words, when your own fear cannot be used against you, other people’s fear will be used. So, with that said, I want to talk a bit about countermeasures.
First, it’s important for us to understand that those who are in power don’t want anything to change within the operations of the systems that gives them their power and control. When there is a strong message that speaks against the power structure of this country effectively, countermeasures are applied in order to minimize – or diminish altogether – the strength of the message. When government counteracts, then you know that you have something of value to say or to move out on. It means that you struck a nerve within the control system, because, whatever the message, it threatens their structure of authority and creates a platform for change in a particular way of doing things.
The Black Lives Matter movement – for example – did just that. The message was so direct, and carried with it so much threat to expose the ugly and hidden truths about the racist practices and attitudes within this country’s police force. The movement had the power to expose the police for the bullies, racists, and public safety frauds that they are. Because there was so much potential for damage there, and because this potential had the ability to create change in the operations of the system that was being critiqued, a counter movement was designed – the form of “Blue Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter”, and “All Lives Matter” – in order to neutralize the exposure of the violent discrimination and unjust practices within the policing system. They sought to strategically take the attention off of race.
The statement, “Black Lives Matter” had so much impact on society that nationwide conversation sparked regarding police accountability. This lead to the suggestion of having body cameras on policemen, which is not a solution to police corruption and racism, and really doesn’t matter since there are no consequences for cops even when they are caught on camera killing, but it did show that there was enough power and voice there to create a significant change within the operations of their system.
The movement and organization became so strong that key members of Black Lives Matter- in conjunction with other organizations- were able to organize Massachusetts to March Against White Supremacy, and effectively. Why wouldn’t a white supremacist powerhouse such as Donald Trump want such a powerful counter organization to be labeled as a terrorist group?
So, has Black Lives Matter effectively struck terror into the hearts of racist bigots? I’d say so. An entire white supremacist movement was stopped in its tracks last summer, and that sent a message to the world.
When you have something to say, and you have a powerful message, a message that has the strength to change something within the system of control, the government, or the power structure that you are challenging will implement a countermeasure in order to turn the people against you. Since 9-11, the Amerikkkan public has become extremely fearful of the word “terrorist”, so the countermeasure here was to create a law that would label Black Lives Matter, and other black activists, “terrorists”, the most dreadful word in the existence of Amerikkkan fear. When someone is considered a terrorist – or “extremist” – as the federal government so colorfully put it – our society’s fear responds, and people say “A terrorist, oh no! Please do what you must to rid us of that!” Your fear gives the government, and it’s policing system, the authorization to kill, illegally incarcerate and disappear the people who have effectively challenged them.
Our government is designed to silence voices against it – and I’ll just cite Amerikkka’s history as a reference. The First Amendment is a lie, mainly because the people haven’t protected it enough. You allow government expectations to impede its application, and eventually, because of your entertainment of government needs and exceptions over people needs, we risk one day being completely voiceless by way of the first amendment.
Let’s consider the current threats to our athletes, who simple exercised their first amendment rights to protest and speak out against police brutality and racism, by kneeling during the national anthem. In addition to the disgraceful, and disrespectful countermeasures employed against black activists – being call “Black Identity Extremists”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean- a recent countermeasure was also employed against – and I’ll say here – primarily black athletes, in the form of “Stand for the National Anthem, or stay in your locker room.” In other words, recognize and submit to the political dominance over you, or don’t show your face. The argument – going all the way back to John Carlos and Tommy Smith – has been that athletes shouldn’t make sports a political arena. The problem with that is that anytime the Amerikkkan flag, the national anthem, and the military are involved, it is political. If the government wishes to extract politics from sports, why not remove those components? Let’s make it completely nonpolitical. No anthem, no military, and no flag. Just sports.
Athletes have a tremendous voice and influence. What they think and feel about things can spread all over the world, so that power must be suppressed. Because if it is ever fully tapped into, it can literally reshape our political structure. Because our athletes can effectively change the conditions and behaviors in this country, and because they have the power to change the operations within political and social power systems, a countermeasure is necessary against them, even in violation of the first amendment. Essentially, there won’t be an NFL without the athletes, so they hold all the power. Hopefully, they will not allow themselves to be bullied.
In the struggle,
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