Our Ancestors Did Not Die For The Right To Vote(Part 1)

The civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael, being arrested for participating in a civil rights demonstration in 1961.

We all have heard the saying, “Vote, because your ancestors died for that right.” It was ingrained in me. I then I finally learned that our ancestor’s did not die for the right to vote. Do not get me wrong, many did die for the right to vote, but voting was just a means to an end. In the grand scheme of things, our ancestors died to end colonialism.

One of the many event’s that changed my political views, specifically about voting, would be the Baltimore riots of 2015 and the police officers that were shot in Dallas in 2016. Coming up in April, will mark 5 years since the riot in Baltimore. Honestly it is not so much the riots that changed my views, it was (some)white people’s reaction to the riots that changed my views.

I viewed the riots and anger towards the police as a revolution. Black people rebelling against the police brutality that they experienced daily. It seemed as if every time we turned around there was a story about a black person being killed by the police. Due to those bottled up emotions, I posted on facebook how beautiful those riots were.

A few former white classmates got angry and commented how they disagreed with the riots and how violence is not the answer. I would soon learn that they were hypocrites. I asked them how they could be upset at the riots yet look up to people like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other founding father’s that literally used war to achieve equality. They said, “ that is different, that was colonialism, you are comparing apples to oranges”

Translation, “that’s different, that was dealing with white people being oppressed. Black people do not have human instincts or emotion’s, you guys should be okay with oppression.

It was the word colonialism that changed my views. It was obviously a term I heard through out history, but I never applied it to the African American struggle. Some of my classmates, stated black people were not living under colonialism because black people were not being “exploited” like the colonists/founding fathers during 1770’s.

This two part article will document how Black Americans, today in 2020, live under a system of colonialism and are being exploited economically and politically, in a manner way worse than the colonists experienced at the hands of the British Empire.

The white man made the mistake of letting me read his history books. He made the mistake of teaching me that Patrick Henry was a patriot, and George Washington — wasn’t nothing non-violent about ol’ Pat, or George Washington. “Liberty or death” is was what brought about the freedom of whites in this country from the English…And here you have 22 million Afro-Americans, black people today, catching more hell than Patrick Henry ever saw”

-Malcom X, The Ballot or Speech,1964

Many people including myself were led to believe that it was taxes, that made the colonists rebel, but it was actually the process in which they were being taxed. This process of taxation, as MSNBC host and author of the “A Colony Within A Nation” put it, …was “the first era of Stop and Frisk.”

The colonists were similar to drug dealers in low income black neighborhoods. From across the ocean, The British Empire controlled the trade of goods in the colonies in America. If a colonist wanted to import or export goods that were not produced in the colonies, they had to import it through the British Empire. Importing goods through the British Empire meant having to pay a huge tariff or tax to the empire.

The colonists did not want to pay those high taxes on the goods, so they began the early “dope game” or smuggling business. They would smuggle goods such as molasses. This smuggling business provided a bulk of the economy in the colonies. Similar to the black market in drug infested black neighborhoods.

Let’s take for example John Hancock. He was the wealthiest man in the colonies and a key patriot in the revolution against the British. He is best known for his unique signature on the Declaration of Independence. As we know, this is why people refer to a signature as a “John Hancock or a “Handcock.”

John Hancock, was also a smuggler of goods, aka a criminal. He was illegally smuggling goods, similar to how black males in the inner city illegally sell drugs. The only difference is the black males in the inner city sell drugs because they are in poverty and trying to do what they can to survive.

The way colonists would smuggle goods was by ships. The British government sent troops to America and began enforcing smuggling laws, in which the British navy would patrol the sea coasts of America and stop the ships of colonists and search them. This “stop and frisk” was what caused the colonists in America to use violence(War) to respond to their oppression.

This is why Thomas Jefferson wrote about police brutality initiated by the King of the British Empire, in the Declaration of Independence, saying,

He has sent hither swarms of officer’s to harass our people and eat out their substance”

As Chris Hayes notes in his book, this is no different from Eric Garner saying,

Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today. Why would you…? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn’t do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me ..selling cigarettes. I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. please please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me.”

Just last week, this occurred.

The reason why the word colonialism is so important to our liberation, is because, when one admits that black people are living under a system of colonialism, then that changes the whole way we should end our struggle. History has shown that the only way to end colonialism, is to become independent from the colonizers. This means, not trying to change the system from within, but becoming independent from the system and creating our own.

There are many definitions of colonialism. Merriam Webster’s dictionary definition of colonialism, “control by one power over a dependent area or people”, another definition said “a colony is a region of land that is under the political control of another country”

Black Americans live on a region of a land that is under political control of another country. Our ancestors were kidnapped from OUR country, by another nation(Europeans immigrated, to America), stripped from our land, heritage and language. We were then brought to another region of land, where we systematically worked to death, beaten, tortured, killed, raped, and exploited for our labor.

One of the main forms of colonialism that black people experience today, is police brutality and police harassment.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr stated that,

“The police are little more than “enforcers” of the present system of exploitation and often demonstrate particular contempt for poor Negroes, so that they are deprived of any sense of human dignity and the status of citizenship in order that they may be controlled and “kept in line.”

Civil rights activist and author James Baldwin said,

“Now, what I have said about Harlem is true of Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco — is true of every Northern city with a large Negro population. And the police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function.”

This last quote, by the black political philosopher, Franz Fanon , really simplifies things. He stated,

“In the colonies, the official, legitimate agent, the spokes person for the colonizer and the regime of oppression, is the police officer”

This is 100 percent true. If black people were to angrily confront the white developers or landlords in black neighborhoods who refuse to get rid of the toxic mold, rodents, and water damage, the white developers or landlords would send in the police. Just how the first police officers in America were slave catchers, police officers still target black Americans.

If you are black and are reading this and you already know how the “War on Drugs” and “Crack Epidemic” went down feel free to skip the next few paragraphs and start at, “Armed Tax Collectors

As we know the government started the “War on Drugs” to purposely lock black people up, for many reasons, including for profit. This is no conspiracy theory. This is American history, or shall I say current events, because Mass Incarceration and the War on Drugs, still exists today. A member from the Richard Nixon administration, the same administration that started the War On Drugs, admitted that the purpose was to lock up black people in hopes of destroying their community and arresting their civil rights leaders.

The link above contains the transcript which in which the aide says

You want to know what this was really all about?”

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”’

The icing on the cake is this.

It is historically documented the U.S. government officials knowingly allowed the deadly drug called Crack Cocaine to flood predominantly impoverished black neighborhoods. Crack cocaine destroyed the lives, minds, and neighborhoods of black people all across America. It was confirmed that people affiliated with the CIA were involved in bringing drugs to the black neighborhoods of America.

Feel free to check out the links below for proof.

Armed Tax Collectors

In 2015, after Michael Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson. The FBI investigates the Ferguson Police Department and uncovered a racist scheme. The email of Ferguson city officials exposed that in order to raise revenue in the city, they were going to write excessive fines on the residents in their city, who were predominantly poor black people. This is similar to the unjust taxation, that the colonists protested against.

The police operated as armed tax collectors, patrolling through black neighborhoods extracting wealth from its black citizens. This report also uncovered that it was not just Ferguson. It is nationwide. The studies showed that cities rely more on fines and tickets if the city has more black residents. Feel free to read the links below.

In DC, there is a speed camera placed in a predominantly black neighborhood that makes 26 million dollars a year off predominantly black residents. In 2018, it took in 100 million dollars.

Also in DC black residents have been subjected to a form of police harassment called “Jump Outs”. Jump Outs are DC’s version of New York’s stop and frisk. It is literally when police officers in unmark cars, jump out with guns and stop and frisk people, who have not been convicted of any crime.

To read part 2, please click the link below.

Thanks for reading!