Saturday, July 9, 2016
CONGRESS OF AFRICAN PEOPLES"S DEFINITION OF BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
Congress of African People's Definition of Black Lives Matter Movement
Attempts to Devalue and Redefine the Black Lives Matter Movement by the dominant society and its mass media in light of the incident in Dallas will not be allowed or tolerated by the Black Community. Therefore, as an act of solidarity and collaboration, the Congress of African People takes the positive and pro-active position to issue this working definition for all involved in supporting this Movement for Justice in America.
1. BLM exercises its constitutional right of Assembly and Free Speech in its attempt to redress and demand equal and just application of the Laws of the United States of America, as they apply to its citizens of Color.
This action has been made necessary by the continual denial of Justice in the long list of murders of black citizens at the hand of the police, who then ask our communities to wait for long investigations, which for the most part hardly result in any convictions of police officers, for what cameras reveal are blatant murders, many without any provocation of innocent people, such as Trayvon and Tamir Rice.
2. BLM is also defined by the historical context of racism and race relations in this country, certainly, no fault of its own.
Even as the Constitution of this country was being formulated, its writers were owners of slaves. Lest we forget, the sale and barter of slaves was a legally sanctioned behavior at the founding of this country. Africans were kidnapped and stolen from their homeland, chained and put into the bottom of ships like animals, tarred and feathered, whipped until they changed their names, bought and sold like meat at market, used as studs and breeders, families torn apart, tied to trees and bodies torn apart, boiled in pots like soup, hung from trees, denied jobs and affordable housing, denied the basic rights to vote, represent the highest percentage of incarcerated persons, serving unjustified amounts of time for non violent crimes, stopped and frisked more, profiled more, and now, in the last three years, many have been filmed on camera to either be gunned down or murdered while in police custody, while being asked to await investigations, all of which have resulted in no convictions of police officers or their agents. The list just gets longer: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Gray, Oscar Grant, Alton Sterling, Philando Castille to name only a few.
3. Given the historical context, Black Lives Matter is defined by the assertion of the Youth in our communities to mobilize and organize our people, progressives and all those who care to demand that the Justice System in this country works for everyone in a more equitable manner.
4. BLM understands that in order for the Justice System to be revamped in everyone's interest, that it will require a Restructuring of Social Relationships, and Structures in society.
This is in recognition of the fact that America is a multi-national, multi-cultural society, and that respect must be build for each community's contribution if we are to realize Dr. Kings' dream of a Beloved Community. BLM also negates Racism which is defined by one Race having POWER and DOMINION over another. Blacks cannot be racist, as we do not have the ideological or institutional foundation to impose our will on another race. We are victims of racism, not its perpetrator. African descendant people were never invited to engage in negotiations of how we were to be integrated into American society. BLM demands this discussion start NOW!!!
5. BLM demands immediate Equal application of all laws to all people, especially, its people of color, who have been affected in a disproportionate manner.
6. BLM is defined by its demand and recognition of and respect for Cultural differences and nuances which exist in this society.
Many of our people have African and/or Native American roots and are culturally linked to these heritages. The police nor the media have the right or ability to force our people to negate their culture in favor of some fluid, undefined popular American culture. Rather, American culture is defined by the confluence of the many diverse cultures which mingle here, and find ways to co-habitate, without European culture seeking to dominate and impose itself on others.
7. The Black Lives Matter Movement is defined by its insistence that the Black Community has the right to thrive and build itself as an economic unit in this society, and asserts the Right and Responsibility to do this in a Self Determined manner.
Black Youth have vowed that gains made in the near and far future will be secured much differently than what happened to communities such as Black Wall Street in Tulsa, and Rosewood. Blacks not only have the right to develop themselves personally, but also collectively, and to defend what is developed from those who would try to come and tear it down.
Together, We Rise!!!! MK 7716