Long before the lives of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Anthony Hill and countless others were snatched by the police - how many other Africans lost their lives to State terrorism? How many people were kidnapped from humanity's birthplace, forced to toil in service to white supremacy? How much human and material wealth has been stolen from the sons and daughters of Africa? And how long until restitution is made?
I think that last question is the most operative. While the power structure clamors to control the narrative - characterizing revolt from Ferguson to Baltimore as senseless violence - we understand that these events did not happen in a vacuum. We understand that unfolding before our eyes are the effects of 246 years of chattel slavery, 75 years of Jim Crow, decades of chemical warfare and mass incarceration; not to mention the systematic denial of Black educational and employment opportunity. And if the almost daily, public executions were not enough, Black people are being slowly poisoned by high unemployment, inadequate healthcare, sub-standard housing, dilapidated schools and other severe economic inequalities.
Given such a brutal history, it's no wonder that the proponents of white supremacy are afraid. The powers-that-shouldn't-be fear the prospect of Black retribution. They figure that if allowed even an inkling of self-determination, Black people will seek vengeance for the injustices from which we continue to suffer.
However, it is not retribution that we seek; it's restitution. The governments and corporate entities responsible for the African Holocaust owe the descendants of slaves upwards of $50 trillion in compensation. And for the daughter and the son to be paid what is owed to the mother and the father is not merely just; it is a necessary precursor to peace; in Ferguson, in Baltimore and elsewhere.
Understanding that many people - even some Black people - are loathed to even discuss, let along cut the check for, slavery reparations. But also understand that accountability precedes atonement, recompense precedes reconciliation, and justice precedes peace.