A Pan-Africanist Perspective of White/Right Terrorism in D.C.

White/right terrorists decided to disrupt the bourgeoisie proceedings to validate the electoral college election of Joe Biden as the next empire president of the U.S. by storming and taking over the Capitol building, disrupting the congressional proceedings.  The irony is everywhere and overwhelming.  As I watched a European fascist sitting at and pillaging through the desk of one of the bourgeoisie lawmakers while resting their feet on that desk in the U.S. Capitol, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the irony.  What those fascists are doing in D.C. is reminiscent of a scene from the 1915 movie “Birth of a Nation.”  That movie, the calling card that served to popularize and normalize the Ku Klux Klan, had a scene where African legislators, elected as a result of the reconstruction period after the civil war, were sitting in the Capitol building, eating fried chicken, with their feet up on the desks.  Its interesting that these pro-Trump fascists, many of them who ally with the ideas and actions of the Ku Klux Klan, are actually personifying in real life the white supremacy displayed in that racist movie 106 years ago.

Another irony is the fact that the takeover could happen as easily as it apparently did.  News commentators on all the bourgeoisie stations, are repeating over and over how shocked they are at the reality of this takeover.  Anyone who has paid even the slightest attention to the last several years in this country has been predicting events like this for some time now.  Activists like myself ,who are greatly concerned about fascist violence being carried out against marginalized people in this society have been training and doing our best to prepare people for this terrorism.  I am not at all surprised by what has happened at the Capitol.  In fact, the only question I had was why it took the fascists as long as it did to give action to their grievances about the November election. 

A third irony is how unprepared the bourgeoisie police forces throughout the Capitol were for this takeover.  We know from history that these same police apparatuses know exactly how to secure those institutions.  We can provide the example of the original Million Man March in 1995 and the follow up march in 2015.  Organized by Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, both marches attracted millions of participants.  Both actions were widely viewed (especially the 1995 march) as subversive activities despite the themes being peaceful pronouncements like “Atonement and Reconciliation.”  In comparison, these fascists announced their intention of taking over the Capitol and Trump himself called for people to march on the Capitol building while he spoke to his followers moments before the siege took place.  For those who still don’t get it, the irony there is that during the Million Man March events, the entire city of Washington D.C. was shut down before the march events even began.  As a participant in those marches, I can tell you that there was no public transportation, it was completely shut down.  Streets were reorganized by police to facilitate their ability to control the movements of people.  And, the police presence during those march events was overwhelming, even when entering the Capitol Mall early in the morning this was true.  Even congressional business during the day of the original Million Man March, which took place on a Monday, was suspended so that the buildings would be empty.  This was also true for downtown businesses.  The city actually encouraged businesses to close in the days leading up to the march event.

The reality of how peaceful African participants in those Million Man Marches were perceived and treated compared to the cuddling, patience, and respect for these terrorist white/right people descending upon the Capitol now says all that needs to be said about the mechanisms of white supremacy.  Still, despite the clear truth in that reality, people, please refrain from the tired analysis of “if it was Black people…”  When we stand up for justice, we challenge the entire U.S. capitalist power structure.  We do that because whether you know it or not, this power structure was built and is maintained on the oppression and exploitation of Africa and African people.  By comparison, these white/right terrorists pose no threat to the capitalist status quo despite the claims by bourgeoisie news pundits.  These people have been entitled and placated for the last several years.  That’s the reason they are so bold as to carry out the actions they are carrying out in D.C.  These entitled fascists don’t even have the political sophistication to hide their faces while they break federal laws.   These news stations are looping footage of several ignorant fascists.  It may take weeks, or months, but fascist police will definitely utilize their technologies to identify these fascist operatives so that they can respond to the sure to come political pressure from the liberal capitalist elements in this society to hold those people accountable.  The boldness is symbolic of their arrogance due to police previously showing absolutely no desire to stop their terrorist activities.  Police haven’t had that incentive because these non police fascists truly do not act against the interests of the international capitalist bourgeoisie.  Their actions like the D.C. takeover may cause some inconvenience for the power structure, but those people are not working for systemic change.  Consequently, they are never going to be the target of the fascist forces that pose as police, national guard, etc., in this country.  If you still don’t see this clear distinction and naively expect respect and justice from the organized forces of fascism (police) that the amateur Trump fascists emulate and imitate, we don’t have anything left to say to you.  And, further, there is very little that Rev. Al Sharpton says that I would agree with, but he was correct to raise the question of some police cooperation at best, or sympathy at worse, for these fascist terrorists as the only logical explanation to clear up how it was so incredibly easy for these people to gain such quick and complete access to the bourgeoisie Capitol building.

Finally, the references by the capitalist media to brand the Capitol takeover as “similar to banana republics” is yet another strong irony.  By banana republics, these people are referring to unstable government transfer practices throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.  The same throughout Africa and Asia.  What’s ironic about this is that these pundits will never say, and most of you will never take time to study, is the efforts by U.S. imperialism to work overtime to undermine the governments and democratic processes in those countries labeled as “banana republics.”  The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA – criminals in action) played major roles in undermining democracy in the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and other places in Africa.  They have done the same in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and other places.  Indonesia, China, Laos, Vietnam, and North and South Korea have also been victimized by U.S. intelligence sabotage.  Anyone who has a sense of this history of repression knows that nothing happening at the U.S. Capitol now serves to justify some racist analysis of colonized countries.  Instead, what’s happening at the Capitol is exactly what Malcolm X spoke off after the assassination of John F. Kennedy when he said it was a case of the chickens coming home to roost.  If you initiate, facilitate, and carry out violence and destabilization against everyone around the world then eventually, that will come back to bite you as well. 

Just to be clear, we have absolutely no dog in this fight.  We don’t claim the U.S. Capitol.  The entire U.S. government and all of its institutions are enemies of the African masses.  The majority of these non police fascists carrying out this takeover are racist and against the interests of African people and the bulk of humanity.  What we are shocked about is why it has taken the white/right so long to recognize the reality that this government does not represent their interests.  We are not in favor of fascists taking over fascist institutions.  Nor do we support police moving against them for doing so.  Nor do we see this incident as significant beyond the news cycle for the next several days.  What we suggest people take from this situation is that the naïve perspective of Trump as some sort of independent fascist entity that somehow has power over the capitalist power structure, is a fantasy.  And, the full forces of U.S. capitalist/imperialism will demonstrate that with their response to this takeover.  What people who are dedicated to justice should take from all of this is that although the white/right is erratic, racist, and in now way indicative and representative of any of the work we are engaging in for forward human progress, the fact the white/right has advanced to open attack and hostility against the U.S. capitalist system is noteworthy.  White revolutionaries, wherever they are, if they are serious, they will take this as a clear invitation to initiate and intensify work to organize the white masses with correct political education messages that crush the reactionary white/right, racist foundation of their current actions.  For the rest of us, instead of wasting energy lamenting why the police institutions don’t engage in the type of violent terrorism against white people as they use against the African masses, we need to wake up, get serious, and accept that this country is never going to treat us the same way they treat the masses of white people, no matter what they or us do.  In fact, we can organize a 100% peaceful action and it will always be met with state terrorism while violent white fascists will be politely escorted away as they are being escorted from the Capitol now.  Make no mistake about it, the capitalist system will regain this day, but the fascist white masses are not going to go away.  Your lives as colonized Africans, Indigenous people, LGBTQ (especially colonized people), women, etc.  You are in extreme danger.  We can expect these people to target us because they do not have the organization, courage, or commitment to wage any real and sustained attack against the U.S. government.  You should look at 2021 as a calling card to get prepared.  Join an organization and get ready.  Do work and continue to build capacity so that we can move to the point of being able to invoke the best interests of our people and communities despite whatever these fascist people and the certainly fascist government they are engaging with are doing.

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Ahjamu Umi is revolutionary organizer with the All African People's Revolutionary Party, adviser, and liberation literature author.