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Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

As someone who has recognized the crucial role you played during the primary to secure Trump’s defeat in the election, I write to you from a place of deep concern in light of your recent comments following your party’s presidential win.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, in response to the host’s question about the tension between the left and moderate wings of the party, you said the following:

“I’ve been Black a long time. I don’t know of any Black people that I’ve been involved with in politics who are comfortable with socialism. They don’t like the term. They are very much a part of the mainstream, and they work to become a part of the mainstream here in this capitalistic society. … So, people can say what they wish to say about it, but the fact of the matter is that that’s a real problem. And that is what happened to us back in the Sixties. John Lewis and I were in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. All of a sudden we woke up one day, “Burn baby burn” was the big slogan back in 1965. It destroyed our efforts. And I saw the same thing happening to Black Lives Matter when it comes to “Defund the Police.” Nobody wants to defund the police. I don’t know of a single African American who wants to defund the police. And they tell me that’s not what they mean when they say it. Well, soundbites kill you. …


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It was the French philosopher Michel Foucault who is known to have said, “Politics is war by other means.” For African Americans, we have been engaged in a one-sided war since Trump took office. A war that culminated in one of the bloodiest summers Black people have experienced since the Red Summer of 1919. After enduring the insults of a president who despised us and used every opportunity to insult us, after the collective trauma of seeing video clip after video clip of another Black person killed by police or random white gunman, after surviving a worldwide pandemic that has wiped us out disproportionately, Black people took to the polls with the intention to achieve a measure of justice we have never known in this country. …


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Megan Thee Stallion was shot. And for a month she kept silent about the identity of the shooter as the internet denied her, mocked her and cracked jokes. People crawled out from under all manner of rocks to throw the kind of shade on Ms. Pete that never seems to subside when it comes to Black women.

Some of the worst gleefully trafficked in a Black patriarchal discourse of projection and blame. Retired NBA player Larry Johnson may have summed up the collective male dominant logic when he wrote, “Ladies, if you date a man who coined the term ‘Demon Time,’ and you get shot by him during Demon Hours, be accountable for YOUR stupidity.” But it wasn’t just dudes weighing in and adding insult to injury. Media personality Draya Michele claimed she was trying to find the funny in it when she said, “I predict that they had some sort of Bobby and Whitney love that drove them down this snapped-esque type of road. I’m here for it, I like that. I want you to like me so much you shoot me in the foot too.” Famed rap mogul and producer Curtis Jackson (50 Cent), saw fit to post a meme mocking the incident. Later stating, “I didn’t think this shit was real. It sounded so crazy @theestallion i’m glad your feeling better and i hope you can accept my apology. I posted a meme that was floating around. I wouldn’t have done that if i knew you was really hurt sorry.” …


A #BlackLivesMatter Solidarity Speech

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The Martinican revolutionary psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon once wrote, “We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe”

For many reasons. For many reasons we can no longer breathe.

In just three months over 100,000 people have died from the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

A disproportionate number of them are Black people who have lost their lives from a virus that did not discriminate in a society that continues to. In places sometimes double and triple the rate of the general population, the Black community is weathering an assault on our lives that is unprecedented in our community’s history here. …


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The initial word was that Black folks couldn’t catch it. Rumors began spreading that Black people were immune to the virus. But what we have learned and continue to learn with each passing day as the global death toll rises is that Black life is quite susceptible to this virus. But not in a way that makes sense biologically. Black people are not genetically predisposed to this novel coronavirus. …


a quarantined poem

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“Imperialism leaves germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.”
Frantz Fanon

Who knew the apocalypse would come by way of cough?
that a sneeze could kill you
like a scene from the Walking Dead
“avoid each other like the plague” is no longer cliché

What we fear is the dread our lives always been
unmasked now for the matrix of lies
unplugged as we huddle in an insanity of isolation
inhaling the hot toxic phlegm of a fool
masquerading as commander-in-chief
stockpiling toilet tissue
but can’t wipe away the shit stain of disgrace
from his clown face
whose make-up is an artificial tan
and colored wig is his own hair
or so he’d have us…


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Yet again the country has been witness to the particular spectacle of another Black victim’s family offering forgiveness to their deceased kin’s killer. In this case, the killer is Amber Guyger, a young white woman, who, at the time, was a police officer in Dallas, TX. In a case that the defense would want us to believe was a case of mistaken residence. She claims that she believed she shot and killed the man who had intruded into her domicile. In fact, she was the intruder. Botham Jean, the victim, was home watching TV in his underwear eating ice cream.

For this the jury returned a guilty verdict, and she was sentenced to 10 years. For some, a modicum of justice since it is rare that a police officer is ever convicted, let alone sentenced for killing a Black person in the United States. …

About

Ewuare X. Osayande

Poet. Essayist. Political Activist. Author of Black Phoenix Uprising. Learn more about his work at Osayande.org.

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