Editor’s Note: The following is the writer’s opinion and was first published in Black Agenda Report. Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously connected Lausan Collective to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). A member of Lausan Collective had served as a fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, an organization that has collaborated with the NED. In the last few months, the left media outlets from various camps, in their sincere attempts to demonstrate solidarity and spotlight conflict in the Horn of Africa and internal developments in Ethiopia, got it wrong. They have been uncritically centering active ideological players on two . . .
Black people give great attention to certain court cases in hopes of receiving justice when the system is designed to be unjust. That recognition and the commitment to fighting back will be of greater use than divining conclusions about a racist nation when juries reach verdicts. . . .
Abolition is a verb, a practice. The act of abolition generates an abundance of new opportunities. It is alive with possibility! Abolition is presence. It requires our attention and care. It forces us to think wide and imagine. What does a just world look like? What does mass peace feel like? . . .
Of course there is deeply felt happiness that Shoatz will be freed for whatever time remains in his life, but no one should forget the tortures he suffered, including 22 years in solitary confinement. No one should forget the other prisoners such as Mumia Abu Jamal, Ruchell Magee, Sundiata Acoli, and Dr. Mutulu Shakur. They are the best known, but there are hundreds of people imprisoned since the days of the liberation movement. That movement was crushed in part because its most committed fighters were locked away. . . .
During a year where so many of our people have been abandoned and are looking for direction, we must ask ourselves how might the Black Panther Party grappled with the coronavirus pandemic? How would an organization that looked at the pandemics of their time— dope, illiteracy, police terror, etc., approach supporting communities who desperately need health care that is being withheld from them. . . .
Get in the practice of periodically asking yourself the same question. If you were to drop dead right now, what would people say about you? The answer to that question will never be provided by how many internet arguments you believe you won. It won’t materialize based upon how many people you overtalked or abusively dominated. And, it won’t be influenced by whatever image of yourself you spent so much time constructing that has absolutely nothing to do with who you really are as a person. . . .
African Americans won’t turn the tide by going on a shopping spree, or leaving it to whites to decide what we can and cannot teach our children, where we work, and for how much, whether we are free or imprisoned, or whether we live or die. We need power over our own communities just as the white working class needs it over theirs. . . .