“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: Right Where They Want Us
The video of unarmed father and grandfather Eric Garner being choked to death is terrible and horrific, just like the death of the unarmed teenager Mike Brown. It might remind one of some kind of ISIS propaganda, the only difference being the police did not release this footage themselves.
The part after they kill him and they have him limp and propped up, yet still seem confused like, "What's wrong with him?", should make everyone stand up in outrage. In Spike Lee’s movie “Do the Right Thing”, when the police choke Radio Raheem to death, how did people react? It might seem like there’s only one thing to say in this situation: FUCK the police!
However there have been serious problems with the response by the general public to these events. For those in America who even do consider it an injustice and aren't taking the side of the police, their position can be summed up by the soundbites and tag-lines “black lives matter", or "we need justice." What we need to do is destroy capitalism, smash the state, and bury racist police forces with them.
Think about it; to finally escape the astral disassociation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the comfort of your homes only to point out that all humans deserve the dignity of not being killed by the police is not profound at all. In fact, it’s not much different from saying the police should kill the same amount of black people as they do white people, or Latino or Asian. In the end they are still killing people. They are killing poor people.
Believe it or not, the American government used to kill white people all the time, too. If you're not fimiliar with this, just take sometime and learn about the history of the labor movement in this country. The police have a murderous habit, history has already given us this indictment many times.
It’s tragic the majority of people still have not recognized that the role of the police, and the state in general, is and has always been to separate the haves from the have-nots, in the interests of the ruling class.
That should be the main take away; poor people are the victims under capitalism. And instead of sobbing and rioting, the reaction should be focused and conscious. But instead what we hear is “we need justice”, go easy on us, “hands up”, we surrender.
Meaningful resistance to these situations can only come from one place: an awakened, united and revolutionary working class. However, the slogan “hands up, don’t shoot” is representative of a working class which is none of these things. It is instead reflective of a class that does not know it exists, that doesn’t know it alone has the power to carry out meaningful social revolution that can stop the police, the greedy bankers, capitalism itself, and create a new society that will focus on peacefulness and the fulfillment of peoples lives and need— instead of, “How can I make a quick buck and get this money?”
The focus, the fetish of “non-violence” among social “activists” is equally concerning and also provides hard, material evidence of a working class that has basically surrendered. So instead of focusing on these motifs, as humans and people who work to make a living, we should take more radical stances. Instead of arguing pointlessly about whether or not this capitalist society is post-racial (which it clearly isn’t and never will be), we have to say we are workers and together we can halt this system. That’s the only way forward.
When even Jon Stewart doesn't know what to say, we say this: a communist future is the only future worth fighting for. Question what you have heard and start to realize this reality. Or keep getting murdered by the cops.
3 December 2014