After an emotional exchange with my comrade the other day, I was reminded of Dr. King’s wisdom: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” I was reminded that despair and frustration are instruments of our enemies. That to lose touch with the humanity for which we fight would be just as counterrevolutionary as begging for more gun control. And that in light of the most recently publicized police terrorism; people have many more questions than answers. One question in particular seems to ring relatively loudly.
James Baldwin said that, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” When the slaughter of Black people goes viral and that fury reaches fever pitch, while nonviolence proves its failure time and time again, as the lumpen resorts to suicidal acts of resistance against the State, my beloved brethren are asking, “So what’s the solution?!?”
I think it wise to not put the cart before the horse, so I flip it and ask, “What’s the problem?” Medical professionals don’t simply offer a blanket prescription of medicine to their patients. Specific diagnoses have specific remedies. If the problem is an economic one, then so is the solution. If the problem involves military matters, then so does the solution. Let us glance and history for a moment, keeping in mind that effectiveness is paramount.
The year 1967, a wonderful time of revolutionary momentum, and the exploitation of Filipino grape farmers in California can no longer be allowed. To that end, a mass strike and a mass boycott led by Cesar Chavez and the National Farmworkers, has resulted in over 14 million people standing in solidarity, refusing to buy grapes until historic labor contracts are ultimately signed. In this same year, the State attempts to assassinate Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton at a traffic stop in Oakland. And just like the hyper exploitation of farm workers, this of course cannot be allowed. Accordingly, Brother Huey employs some effective defensive violence, forcibly resisting his attackers, killing one pig and wounding another; spawns the Free Huey campaign that attracts widespread awareness and recruitment to The Black Panther Party, and inspires countless, timeless others to follow suit when dealing with State terrorism. In those few seconds of chaos, with respect to his humanity, his right to live freely and happily, the brother minister proved that Black lives matter only to the extent that we’re willing to defend them. In other words, he answered the original question: so what’s the solution?
The solution is to shoot back; to engage in defensive, retaliatory and revolutionary violence. The solution is overcoming the fear of one’s enemies, one’s obstacles, one’s own personal demons. The solution is being physically fit, mental tough and becoming proficient in weapons and tactics. The solution is decolonizing one’s mind; destroying mental shackles and developing a class consciousness. The solution is withdrawing consent, internalizing self-ownership and understanding that no human being has authority over you; not even those who wear badges. The solution is taking necessary precaution to evade the imperialists shackles, their labor camps and their torture chambers. The solution is the exercise of situational awareness and the willingness to defend oneself against deadly threats, including those posed by class traitors. The solution is understanding the historical link between effectiveness and combativeness, that gains made toward liberation have been overwhelming facilitated by a diversity of tactics, to include violent resistance; and that armed struggle is at the very heart of revolution. The solution is practicing revolutionary theory found in the pages of George Jackson’s Blood In My Eye and Chairman Mao’s On Guerilla Warfare. The solution is remembering to laugh, to smile, remembering to grieve and to rejoice, remembering to die and to live and to otherwise maintain one’s humanity. And as far as the problem of State mercenaries egregiously violating Black people’s right to life, the solution is simple. Follow the following question to its logical conclusion. “When should you shoot a cop?"