A brief comment on the question of so-called trauma porn….another consideration: A country like this, it may give people ideas!…It may tend to normalize first-class savagery against black people in particular, which once again, were not accidental or coincidental but oozing from the muck of the origins of capitalism itself, in which we were the major victims, in which we were basically the kindling that helped to start the fire in the furnace that led to the spectacular growth of capitalism. And so this is something we need to confront… just as we need to confront the rather sickening and widening growth of white nationalisms, not only in the ranks of the US military, but also in the ranks of the police…. – Professor Gerald Horne
It is the day preceding the horrific “anniversary” of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of yet another police officer, and Sean Blackmon is widening the lens from out the numbing “damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t” replay of murder “tapes,” asking Gerald Horne for some of the historical framing for which Horne is so well known.
But instead of diving right into the origins of the unrelenting crisis we’re in, Horne starts in the present. In discussing the demonstrations following Floyd’s murder, and their calls to “Defund the Police and to “Demilitarize the Police,” Horne starts by mentioning their global impact, including, among other things, the launch of an investigation into the reign of terror inflicted on black and brown people, by the Addis-Adaba-headquartered African Union, and a reckoning within Caribbean communities in Georgetown, Guyana that led to the picketing the Organization of American States in D.C.
Jacqueline Luqman continues to widen the lens while focusing in on the Democratic Party establishment response, taking a moment to highlight such as examples as Jim Clyburn selling folks down the river on the question of qualified immunity, etc. Horne adds, “with regard to the George Floyd Policing Act, which would seek to circumscribe chokeholds, and no-knock raids that killed the likes of Breonna Taylor in Louisville Kentucky… you have congressmen like Corey Booker of New Jersey, and Congresswoman Karen Bass, from California, negotiating with ‘Uncle Tim,” Tim Scott, the Black Republican Senator from South Carolina” to stall the process as countries like France move ahead with a chokehold ban. At the same time, France’s Emmanuel Macron’s Presidency is under threat as he comes under charges for not coming down hard enough on North African-influenced BLM protests in France and being associated with a left that is supposedly “soft on Islam.”
To the question of why this watering-down process from within the liberal establishment is occurring, Horne says: “Too many of my friends on the left have basically, not only drank, but guzzled the kool-aid and propaganda of so-called liberal democracy and have overestimated the sinking of democratic roots in these advanced capitalist countries and don’t seem to have realized that countries that birthed slavery, enslavement, genocide etc., continue to bear the seeds of fascism.” When we take these things into account, they reveal the necessity of “internationalizing the struggle” and of calling “for more stringent measures.” Furthermore:
When we take these things into account, it underscores the necessity, the obligation, of…not seeing 74-75 million people voting for Trump in November 2020 as some sort of aberration, but as an abomination.
You can listen to the interview on “By Any Means Necessary” with Sean Blackmon and Jacqueline Luqman
Gerald Horne is author of The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in Seventeenth-Century North America and the Caribbean, Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, and Confronting Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic, all published by Monthly Review Press.
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