On March 3, 2011, in St. Louis County, MO, Todd Shepard, 43, an African man, admitted to a jury that he deliberately killed a white policeman in 2008 after his girlfriend was murdered by a white cop in a crime that was ruled “justified.”
According to an article from ksdk.com, “Prosecutor Bob McCulloch asked Shepard, ‘It was your intent to kill him, right?
“Shepard said, ‘Yes.”
“’You were cool?’ McCulloch asked.
“’I was cool,” Shepard said…
“’You were deliberate?’ McCulloch asked.
“’Absolutely,’ Shepard said.
“He said he was looking for a white officer either on foot or in a car…
“Shepard said, ‘Among other things, the bullet not the ballot is the best way for the black man in America to gain power.’”
On January 24, 2011, MSNBC ran a story stating that “Police fear ‘war on cops,’” after a 24-hour period in which 11 police officers were shot in cities around the US, including in the states of Washington, Oregon and Indiana, as well in Detroit, MI, and Miami and St Petersburg, FL.
A month later in St Petersburg, a 16-year-old African high school student, Nick Lindsey, allegedly shot another police officer to death on Feb. 21, the anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X by the US government.
Following the killing of the cop in February, the African community of St Petersburg was put under a military occupation. This collective punishment involved armored vehicles, tanks, helicopters and federal police forces wielding assault weapons while carrying out car-to-car and house-to-house searches over a 33-block stretch of south St. Petersburg.
It was the kind of operation reserved for the black community. We would not have seen this mass lockdown on the white north side of the city.
Yes, there is a war going on inside this country and it’s been going on for many years. It is a war waged by the US government against the African community, with the police on the front lines imposing a level of violence and brutality comparable to anything the US marines are carrying out in Afghanistan or Pakistan. This kind of war and brutality is unimaginable in the white community.
The war against the African community, fought under the "war on drugs," is a counterinsurgency, no different than the "war on terror" fought against the people of the Middle East.
In Afghanistan over the course of the US war, between 5,000 and 9,000 civilians have been killed by US forces, according to Press TV.
In the US about 9500 civilians—mostly African—have been murdered by police between the years of 1980 and 2005, according the article, “Killed by the cops,” on the web journal colorlines.com. That’s about one person a day.
“The number of black people killed by the police [in each city studied] was at least double that of their share of the city’s total population,” the article stated.
This is a war that has put more young black men in prison than in college, that has long been exposed as having imposed crack, heroin and other deadly drugs in the African community, that has created a multi-billion dollar prison industry that feeds the white community’s economy growth.
There are now more prisoners in the US than farmers and in rural America prisons are the third largest employer.
The US has five percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Seventy percent of those prisoners are African, Mexican other “non-white” people. (New York Times, April 3, 2008)
According to www.drugpolicy.org, “the rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men is thirteen times greater than the rate for white men... Blacks constitute 13 percent of all drug users, but 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession, 55 percent of persons convicted, and 74 percent of people sent to prison. (Race and the criminal justice system).
This is a US war waged for the purposes of suppressing a profoundly impoverished and historically oppressed African community, a community under the gun, without power over its destiny.
This war is waged against a community in which 38 percent of young people grow up without a future under the yoke of deadening poverty. Young African people live under the ever-present menace of police occupation with the ongoing threat of discriminatory sentencing, gratuitous violence, oppressive schools, false charges, joblessness and the likelihood of many years in prison. They see their friends murdered by police who walk away with no consequences.
Police killings of the nearly 10,000 unarmed African civilians in this country include a long list of young black men from Oscar Grant, executed by BART police in San Francisco while he was in a subdued position, to Sean Bell, gunned down by police on his wedding day in New York.
Seventeen-year-old Javon Dawson, shot in the back by police at a high school graduation party in St Petersburg in 2008, was the fourth black teen murdered by police in this city in the past several years.
Police murders also include representatives of the entire African population, including 7-year-old Aiyana Jones in Detroit and 92-year-old Katherine Johnston in Atlanta among thousands of others
African people are angry and fighting back.
A St Petersburg Times article from March 3, titled ”Officer’s slaying becomes a teaching moment,” states that high school students were wearing “Free Nick” t-shirts in support of 16-year-old Nick Lindsey who will be tried as an adult for allegedly killing the St Petersburg cop on Feb. 21.
According to the article, “a few students…seemed to want to dismiss Lindsey's actions because the teen is black and the officer white…
"’The mind-set of some of our kids, but not all, is that this is payback for all the times they've shot a black youth and gotten away with it,’ [Gibbs High School principle] Gordon said.
“The issue won't go away, school leaders said.”
Like any armed conflict the US wages against oppressed peoples anywhere in the world, this counterinsurgency is war without terms or rules of engagement.
And like counterinsurgency in Afghanistan or Iraq, it is a war to make money at the expense of the lives and futures of millions of African people.
It is a war to make sure that the community never attempts to rise up again to fight for justice, liberation and reparations again, in the way that the Black Revolution of the 1960s shook this government to its very foundations.
It was the government’s counterinsurgent COINTELPRO program that assassinated Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton and countless others African leaders fighting for power and justice for African people.
Such a war anywhere in the world elicits a just resistance. People under siege will fight back, and would rather “die on our feet than live on our knees for fear of colonial rule,” in the words of Dedan Kimathi, the leader of the anti-colonial liberation movement in Kenya in the 1950s.
For us white people, it is not enough to just call for peace.
We have to stand for the right of oppressed people everywhere to resist and win their national liberation from US domination—whether they are in Egypt, Palestine, Afghanistan or the streets of Brooklyn or St Petersburg.
We have to stand against Obama’s other war’s right here before our eyes—the violence and terror of the imperialist state carried out in our name against the African and other oppressed colonized communities inside these stolen borders.
We have to stand for the right of African people to resist imperialism and to struggle for Africa and all its resources, to overturn 400 years of enslavement, genocide and imperialist theft of African and Indigenous resources, land and labor that created the wealth and power of America, Europe and the white world.
As we can see all around us the entire world is rising up against US imperialism—including African and oppressed peoples inside this country.
We demand, US hands off the African community! Support African resistance! Reparations to African people now!
It’s time to jump off our crumbling imperialist pedestal built on the backs of Africans and other colonized peoples. Wake up and join humanity in bringing down imperialist white power. Be part of building a just world in which oppressed peoples gain self-determination and control over their resources and destinies.