Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Attica Means Fight Back! Remembering the Legacy of the Attica Rebellion on the 40th Anniversary.

"We are men. We are not beasts, and we do not intend to be beaten and driven as such.” With this declaration, men in the Attica State prison rose in the most powerful prison rebellion in US history. The Attica Brothers took guards as hostages and controlled the prison for 4 days, issuing demands that included an end to brutality, better conditions in the prison and no reprisals against them for rising up.

Their example of defiance electrified the country and the world. And the way in which the prisoners conducted themselves while they controlled the prison showed a glimpse of how the world could be different. They overcame differences between Blacks and whites, they refused to back down in the face of threatened attacks by the state police, they shared what food and water they had amongst themselves and with their hostages, and no one took vengeance against the guards for the brutality they had inflicted.


Black comic Katt Williams recently unleashed an ugly, reactionary rant during a stand up routine in Phoenix. Addressing a heckler who took exception to his “humor,” Williams told him, “Remember when white people used to tell us to go back to Africa? … If you love Mexico so much, get the fuck back there.  America is the greatest country in the world.”  When the heckler declared, “This is Mexico,” Williams replied, “This used to be Mexico – Now it’s Phoenix.”  Then he capped all this off with, “We were slaves –Y’all just work like that at the landscaper.”

Williams explained his rant by saying, “I wasn’t being anti Mexican.  I was just defending my country.”  This so called greatest country in the world was forged thru stealing the land from the native inhabitants and committing genocide against them, and thru dragging African people to these shores in slave chains.

Williams was defending not only these original sins of the US, but all the foul shit America has done since then as it spread its tentacles around the world, and the shit it continues to enforce on humanity today.  “This used to be Mexico – Now it’s Phoenix.”  That comes down to defending the theft of half of Mexico by the US in the 1800’s.  And his “joke” about Latinos being worked like slaves is nothing but upholding the way so many immigrants have been forced into the bottom tier of the US workforce, slaving for starvation wages.

Williams talks about being descended from slaves.  Let me tell you, he still has the mentality of a slave.  Contrast his slavish upholding of the crimes of America to this statement by Bob Avakian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Three Strikes...
“The book by Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, has shined a bright and much needed light on the reality of profound injustice at the very core of this country. 
   And this brings me back to a very basic point:
   This system, in this country, in the whole history of its treatment of Black people, what has it been?
   First, Slavery... Then, Jim Crow—segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror... And now, The New Jim Crow—police brutality and murder, wholesale criminalization and mass incarceration, and legalized discrimination yet again.
   That's it for this system: Three strikes and you're out!”

Which view gets at the history and current day reality of this country?  And which points in the direction of getting out from under this rotten set up.