In this talk prepared for the Albuquerque Anti-War Coalition’s Anti-Communism & Imperialism panel discussion, Dr. Charisse Burden Stelley discusses how anti-communism and anti-Blackness are intrinsically intertwined structures of white supremacist and capitalist control. . . .
Racist narratives under capitalism considers African people as commodities for profit, whilst creating conditions that assimilate them to their white or Non-Black People of Color (NBPOC) counterparts. Whiteness is treated as the standard, with employers who hold similar views policing Black bodies into what they deem acceptable. Under the guise of professionalism, features associated with Blackness—attire, mannerisms, vernacular, and general appearance—are viewed as unfit for an occupational setting and are deeply rooted in anti-Black sentiments. The process of upholding such standards requires focus on features that are prevalent in the African diaspora. Employers and recruitment personnel look at hair, dress . . .
You are here to translate an uprising. You are here to show your black skin so that you can claim the mantle of authority on anti-Blackness that white liberals have bestowed upon you. You are here to sit at their pundit tables, before their cameras. Your face beaming across the world as it provides the safest possible interpretation of a revolution in order to police its possibilities and pave over the threat of abolition with as mild and ineffective a reform as possible. . . .
What, then, are we fighting for? I want to open the door to this critical, but absent, conversation around anti-racist organising – the space for such conversations is desperately needed. Indeed, many of the claims about race that I have challenged created a suffocating climate in the last decade in which dissent from shared assumptions and attempts to develop theoretical grounds for solidarity are routinely characterised as ‘anti-black’. . . .
Throughout African (Black) activist and social media circles today the concept of “anti-Blackness” is constantly presented as an explanation behind the suffering African people experience within this backward society. The logic of this thinking is summarized within the belief that our 529 years of suffering results from European-dominated culture disliking and disrespecting us due primarily to the fact we are different from them. Inherent in this thinking, whether expressed overtly or not, is the belief that Europeans possess some innate gene that pushes them to have this hatred of us. Also within this thought process (equally as overt and/or covert) is the belief among African people that there is really no escape from this sorry reality. . . .
Imma keep this short. Americans are some sick fucking people. As a guilty verdict came down on Derek Chauvin on Tuesday, the European settlers that call themselves “Americans”, not only revealed once again that they believe in this settler colony they call home, but they continue to lack the ability to build and maintain it without the economic, psychological, physical and spiritual theft of other people. This has never been communicated by anyone more effectively than Nancy Pelosi in her comments following the announcement of the verdict: “Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice.” At her core, . . .
For the past week, Nigerian youth have been hitting the street to demand #EndSARS. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad Policing Unit (SARS) was created in 1992 to “stop crime”, specifically armed robbery and kidnapping which was a growing concern in the 1990s and 2000s. Armed robbery and kidnapping mainly targeted rich and middle-class Nigerians who have seen massive increases in wealth in the last few decades. However, like many policing squads, SARS is a largely unchecked unit that has been targeted young people based on their appearance of tattoos, earrings, iPhones, and cars utilizing that as evidence of fraud, scamming and . . .
The liberal anti-racist economy is fundamentally unwilling and ill-equipped to grapple with this and racial[ized] contradictions of capital(ism)—the likes of which Black radicals of the Black radical tradition have theorized and highlighted on for decades now. . . .