The Black petty-bourgeoisie

The Class Collaboration of “Justice”

The rejection of class analysis has, in short, binded many of our liberation efforts into an identity reductionist analysis of race solely. For this reason, the masses are more susceptible to being swayed against their better interests because the packaged messaging of hope and change is delivered by people, the Black petty-bourgeoisie, who look like us. However, one must begin to question if that were true, then why do the material realities of the Black working class differ so starkly from the popular narrative of progression and justice.

Who controls the narrative?

Dr. Jared Ball’s longtime work on media as a propaganda tool to obstruct liberation efforts (I Mix What I Like: A Mixtape Manifesto, The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power) gives insight to the ways mainstream media has assisted the state in adapting. Not only has mainstream media (in collaboration with the federal government) pushed the fallacy of Black capitalism as a solution to all of our problems, but it did so with the assistance of Black media. Through many decades of representation via mainstream Black media, our inability to comprehend what counterinsurgency is and looks like has been further solidified. This is where we find ourselves today. 

During the post-uprising, pre-election day period, a Black pundit class emerged to deliver a different message than what was being shouted in the streets. The calls for “defunding the police” and “abolishing the police” were swiftly drowned out across media platforms where Black pundits, [questionable] Black activists, Black celebrities, and Black social media personalities were pushing voting for the most carceral warmongering administration AS the solution.

This class of Black people, majority being Black women, who controlled the narrative of these platforms and spaces from positions of ‘power’, aligning with the Black misleadership class, have attacked and silenced all Black people to their political left. Conveniently depicting criticisms as anti-Black, anti-Black women (misogynoir), and from whites only, this class– the Black petty-bourgeoisie— have established enclaves around themselves using one another’s platforms to avoid directly addressing the Black masses they have claimed to represent. 

This misdirection can be observed played out through the recent guilty verdicts of the murderous pig who took the life of George Floyd. A wave of political confusion has ensued that mirrors Election 2020. The same platforms that these same bad actors control are being used to carry out specific messaging that exists to drown out the radicalization of the masses. 

For instance, emotions that encircled the trial notwithstanding, there was a growing clarity among the masses that pigs testifying against pigs was not a symbol of progression but a concession from the state. The masses understood it to be a “sacrifice”. After the guilty verdict for all three charges, the clarity that was collectively growing became squandered in an instant with the words “it’s not justice, it’s accountability”. 

There’s no intent on clarifying that this is a concession won by the mobilizing of millions of working people around the country who marched, fought in the streets and burned down precincts. Instead, the Black petty-bourgeoisie media is attempting to convince the masses of working-class Black people that this is a sign that the system can work for us. 

This particular political confusion coming directly from the Black petty-bourgeoisie is rooted in their alignment with the state apparatus as an avenue for justice (and profit). This particular phrasing didn’t just appear out of thin air. It is a more-than-obvious prepared rejection of left criticism that has long held the notion that this system does not and WILL NOT provide justice. Yet somehow it has provided us accountability? 

The intent in this framing is to validate the state as a means to garner any type of justice (and stay employed). The message of “accountability” is being brought to us by a class of Black people who most benefit from aligning with the state. The misnomer that prisons are places of accountability is an obvious class collaboration of the Black petty-bourgeoisie currently controlling the narrative and the avenues in which they are being circulated uncritically. 

The Black working-class must understand this delusion as nothing more than a validation of a system that depicts Blackness as innately criminal which gives cover for MORE policing. The Black working-class must begin to understand the people bringing this particular messaging as class enemies.  What makes this insidious and counterrevolutionary are the ways abolition has begun to mean nothing more than a title one can take up. “I am an abolitionist” is popular enough to say and easy enough to dismiss when it does not align with self-interests. For these reasons, we are witnessing the continued justification of systems that have been designed to oppress Black people in the US.

The verdict brought a collective sigh of relief throughout Black communities because there are intentional efforts to steer our people away from political education and acute comprehension of their circumstances so they may organize towards the end of all oppressive systems. These efforts to depoliticize the Black working-class are encouraged across Black mainstream media and social media platforms by Black people controlling the narrative who have never stopped benefiting from the State-sanctioned deaths of Black people.

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Erica Caines is a poet, writer and organizer in Baltimore and the DMV. She is an organizing committee member of the anti war coalition, the Black Alliance For Peace as well as an outreach member of the Black centered Ujima People’s Progress Party. Caines founded Liberation Through Reading in 2017 as a way to provide Black children with books that represent them and created the extension, a book club entitled Liberation Through Reading BC, to strengthen political education online and in our communities.

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