“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” (Frederick Douglass, 1857)
On the occasion of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the struggle which is being broadcast before the world today is against police brutality . This brutality, which is looped within 24/7 ratings-driven news cycles, is presented to us as the killing of unarmed people of African descent by police officers. This is not a struggle that we shy away from because not only do we believe that black lives matter, but we understand that the lives of Afrodescendant people have been disregarded for centuries, and that there must be revolutionary changes in American society to rectify this. Piecemeal reforms are insufficient; body cameras have not ended the trend of police killing unarmed civilians. Training certificates are insufficient; the officers who commit these offences routinely pass their peace officer standards and training (POST) and cultural awareness classes. Racism is an American problem that extends beyond any particular police department, and police brutality is broader in scope than the killing of unarmed civilians by police officers.
Police brutality is a microcosm of the history of brutal policies imposed on black lives globally. The United States exports this brutality by way of a military industrial complex that has facilitated coups and coup attempts across the African continent (i.e. Libya 2011, Ghana 1966, Congo 1961, et al.), and throughout the Americas (i.e. Venezuela 2019, Honduras 2009, Haiti 1991, Panama 1989, Grenada 1983, Brazil 1964, Cuba 1961, et al.) where black lives are most adversely affected by political and economic instability. The policy of exporting the brutality of war is represented by the hundreds of billions in annual international weapons revenue brought in through the US State Department Foreign Military Sales process, and the rapid expansion of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) by establishing dozens of US military bases, conducting routine pre-emptive military operations, and stationing thousands of US soldiers across the continent of Africa since 2007. All of this is done at the expense of American tax-payers, whose interests are not represented by these policies of brutality that enrich an ofttimes unelected oligarchy.
Since the arrival of European invaders and the launch of the transatlantic slave trade, Afrodescendant people have not made progress in this land without the shedding of our blood – that fact is enmeshed within the foundation of the United States of America. This was the case in the 16th century, during the San Miguel de Gualdape Rebellion of 1526. This was the case in the 17th century, during the Gloucester County Conspiracy of 1663. This was the case in the 18th century, during the Stono Rebellion of 1739. This was the case in the 19th century, during the American Civil War. This was the case in the 20th century, during the Civil Rights Movement. And, in addition to many more cases over the past half a millennium, this continues to be the case in the 21st century, during our struggle against the police killings of thousands and the prison enslavement of millions.
This is why the Green Party platform is imperative for Afrodescendant people in the 21st century, as a means of radically transforming the foundation of this country from one that feasts upon our blood into a foundation that will sustain us. We invite all people of African descent, and all people, to join us in this struggle.