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West’s Support for Extremism “Blows Back” in New York Shooting

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Brian Berletic
THE NEW ATLAS

West's Support for Extremism "Blows Back" in New York Shooting



The tragic mass shooting in Buffalo, New York was carried out by an extremist with an ideology stemming from modern-day |\|AZlSM practices most openly in Ukraine. Just as Western support for extremists in Syria blew back in the form of global terrorism, its support for |\|AZlS in Ukraine is emboldening and encouraging their toxic ideology worldwide.


Visit The New Atlas Website: https://newatlas.report/ (backup site): https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/ Odysee (YouTube alternative): https://odysee.com/@LandDestroyer:8 Rumble (YouTube alternative): https://rumble.com/c/c-1459863


[su_panel background="#d5e3f7" color="#101215" border="1px solid #4c3a3a" shadow="3px 1px 2px #eeeeee" radius="10"]Brian Berletic is an ex- US Marine Corps independent geopolitical researcher and writer based in Bangkok, formerly writing under the pen name “ Tony Cartalucci ” along with several others. His new online venue is The New Atlas, found on most leading video platforms.[/su_panel]

 


Addendum
By TGP editors
(Below material from a local news source in the Buffalo area)

The young shooter (Gendron) making the "V" sign. V for what?

One of the victims in the attack was identified as Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo Police officer who was working as a security guard at Tops. Officials said Salter attempted to stop the attack and shot Gendron in the chest, but he was unharmed because he was wearing tactical body armor.

The alleged manifesto carries on for numerous pages about the type of gear that was chosen specifically for the attack, from his helmet and weapon all the way down to his underwear. It plots his breakfast, arrival time, live stream and getaway.

Gendron apprehended.

The writer says he will plead guilty in trial if he survives the rampage.

Gendron said only four words in court Saturday before being taken away: “I understand my charges.”

Payton Gendron in custody, during arraignment.


The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post. However, we do think they are important enough to be transmitted to a wider audience.


 


Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


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Black Agenda Report: Community Control of Police is the Best Remedy

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30 Jun 2021
 
 

Community Control of Police is the Best Remedy Chicago leads the nation in moving towards community control of the police, with a majority of the city’s board of aldermen in favor. Jasman Salas, co-chair of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression, which is spearheading the measure, said, “We cannot beg officers to change…or for more training…or for body cameras…or for window dressing and superficial changes. We must demand community control of the police.”


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“BLACK LIVES MATTER? SAYS WHO?”

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Tactics & Strategies

John Rachel

Look upward, angel, says the author. That's where the real enemy is.

I’ve been asking myself a question. I’ve been asking it very quietly, because if I ask it out loud, I’ll be mobbed for being a racist pig. Here’s the question: Why is it racist to state this straightforward moral proposition?

All lives matter.

I get the obvious argument. Allegedly up until now, it’s only been us privileged white folks whose lives have mattered. Black lives didn’t matter before. Only white lives. So now black lives matter.

It’s symmetry. Get it?

The problem with this is obvious. Do the lives of 68,000 mine workers in West Virginia who have died from black lung disease since 1968 matter? Their lungs end up black but the victims are white. Did the lives of the 58,220 soldiers who died in the Vietnam War matter? 52,980 of them were white. That pile of white corpses resulting from a senseless, illegal war didn’t seem to matter. Did the lives of millions suffering through the Great Depression, some starving to death, matter? Granted, African-Americans got hit harder. But the white folks didn’t seem to matter enough to keep the predators from crashing the economy again in 2008, then putting everyone in debt up to their eyebrows.

You get the picture. Everyday Americans are endlessly subjected to indignities which degrade the quality of their lives, sometimes consigning them to death. There has been nothing race-specific about such abuse, and white folks have not been exempt.

It's a class question


Class warfare is color blind. To the ruling class — the 0.001% who have the wealth and power — race, ethnicity, religious beliefs pretty much don’t matter. As long as you have a body and a brain they can put to use in maximizing profit, you matter. When they’re done with you, well, now you don’t matter. Your problems are your problems. We might be deluded into believing that as a nation we’re all in this together. We’re not. You and I are in it together. The rich and powerful are in it for themselves.

Same with the imperial project, the ambitious design to rule the world. As long as you can hold a rifle and shoot straight, color of skin, gender, sexual preferences, etc are not an issue. Yes, gender and sexuality have mattered as a disciplinary and effectiveness concern within the ranks of the military. But the people who decide on the wars couldn’t care less about the details, as long as our military does the job, and makes the world safe for plunder and profit-seeking subjugation. [That's why the US armed forces have led the country in desegregation, and now even the Pentagon chief is Black.)

The point is, no lives matter to the ruling class, except their own.

So back to the question: Why can’t we say ‘all lives matter’?

You’re not going to like the answer.

It’s because ‘All lives matter’ is unifying … and ‘Black lives matter’ is divisive.

Can’t have everyone on the same team. A populous united under a single banner would be an unstoppable force for change, justice, fairness, equality. Slice and dice. BLM vs Proud Boys vs Antifa vs Boogaloo Bois vs NFAC vs Karens … keep everybody in a huge brawl!

Now let’s see where this strategy takes us. If we say ‘Palestinian lives matter’, we’re Jew haters. If we say ‘Russian lives matter’, we’re commie-loving Putin-apologists. If we say, ‘Asian lives matter’, we’re cheerleaders for the Wuhan Flu super-spreaders. If we say ‘All lives matter’, we’re nigger-hating white supremacists.

Divide and conquer. Divide and oppress. Works every time.

We can look to a couple telling examples of prominent spokespersons who powerfully advocated for ‘all lives’ not that long ago.


Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton was a much-admired, highly successful organizer for the Black Panther Party in Chicago. The corrupt white municipal leaders there tolerated him until the very end. But Fred got out of control. He started organizing white and Latino youth groups, normally considered black-hating racists, to fight a common enemy, the political and economic elite of the city. “Through a long and arduous process, he had succeeded in building a ‘Rainbow Coalition’ of working class blacks, latinos, and whites.”

That would get him killed. He was brutally assassinated by a hit squad from the Chicago Police Department in the middle of the night as he slept.

Another example is more familiar. He’s the author of this quote.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King, Jr. called for unity, a struggle against “cruel manipulation of the poor.” The ruling elite knew a bad thing when they saw it. We all sorrowfully know what happened.

How convenient it is that now ONLY black lives matter, when it is only by standing shoulder to shoulder, black folks with their white, brown, yellow, and red brothers and sisters, emboldened and unified, working together to defeat our common enemy, that anything will matter at all. Separated from one another into isolated pockets, protecting our own territory and exclusive interests, only the lives and fortunes of the rich and powerful, the tiny elite aristocratic minority, who purposely and systematically work to keep us disunited and at one another’s throats, will matter.

Which is exactly how “they” want it.


[su_panel background="#f4f9fd" border="1px solid #d1cece" shadow="3px 1px 2px #eeeeee" radius="15"]John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, is a novelist and established political blogger. He has written eight novels, three political non-fiction books, and a fantasy/travel/cookbook about the dietary preferences of mermaids. His political articles have appeared at OpEdNews, Russia Insider, Greanville Post, Dissident Voice, Nation of Change, and other alternative media outlets.[/su_panel]


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A Historical Reminder of What Defines the United States, As Told by A Former Slave (Frederick Douglass)

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Cynthia Chung




We live in tumultuous days… one could say “the end of an era”.

It is clear that there is a storm coming, however, the question is will it be the sort of storm that provides sustenance and relief to drought-stricken and barren lands, or will it be the sort of storm that destroys indiscriminately and leaves nothing recognizable in its wake?

There is such a heavy tension in the air, the buildup we are told of centuries of injustice, oppression and murder. It feels like the entire world’s burden has laid itself upon one culprit and that it is high time that that villain pay for past blood spilled.

That villain is the United States.

It is common to hear that this nation was created under the hubristic banner of “Freedom from Empire”, while it brutally owned slaves and committed genocide on the indigenous people. That the “Declaration of Independence” and the “U.S. Constitution” are despicable displays of the highest degree of grotesque hypocrisy, and that in reality the U.S. was to replace one system of empire with another and far worse.

These are weighty charges indeed, and nobody can deny that great crimes against humanity have been committed. However, it is important that we review this history in full, for if we lose sight of the forest, we will be losing sight of an ongoing battle that is still waging.

We will have abandoned the work of past heroes that has been left unfinished and will have replaced it with the false idol of anarchy, mistaking its ‘empty-promises of liberty’ as a mark of what constitutes a ‘true freedom’.

How can we avoid such ‘empty-promises’ and strive for ‘true freedom’?

There is no better account in addressing such a question as that of Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), a former slave who would become an advisor to Abraham Lincoln during the dark days of the Civil War and the Consul General to Haiti in his elder years.

A TRUE American hero.

From Slavery to Freedom


Frederick Douglass was born in Talbot County, in the State of Maryland. Though it was impossible to know his exact date of birth, he gathers that the month of February 1817 is as accurate as possible. The name given to him by his dear mother was, in the words of Douglass “no less pretentious and long” than Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (Frederick’s mother was believed to be the only slave in the region who knew how to read).

Frederick recalls that in his youth “I was just as well aware of the unjust, unnatural, and murderous character of slavery, when nine years old, as I am now. Without any appeals to books, to laws, or to authorities of any kind, to regard God as ‘Our Father’ condemned slavery as a crime.

Already, by the age of nine, Frederick had set himself upon not only the idea of escape from this destitution, but was always mindful to an education wherever he could find it.

Luckily, in this unhappy state his only adult friend Miss Lucretia, (daughter of Captain Anthony the slaveholder of Frederick), arranged for Frederick, at the age of ten, to be sent away from the plantations to live in Baltimore with her husband’s brother Hugh Auld.

It was in Baltimore that Frederick would learn how to read.

Years go by and at around the age of fifteen or sixteen, Frederick is sent back to the plantations (over a family squabble), and not surprisingly is found to be wholly unfit for a life of hard-labour as an obedient slave. He is thus promptly sent to “Covey, The Negro Breaker” to lodge with for a period of one year.

For six months, Frederick was whipped and beaten on a regular basis. From the dawn of day till the complete darkness in the evening, he was kept hard at work in the fields, and was worked up to the point of his powers of endurance.

Until one day he decides finally that it is better to resist and risk the consequences than continue to live such a contemptible life as a mere brute. He decides one day to simply refuse to be treated as an animal, not to strike back but to oppose the striking.

As Frederick states:

A man without force is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, though it can pity him, and even this it cannot do long if signs of power do not arise. He only can understand the effect of this combat on my spirit, who has himself incurred something, or hazarded something, in repelling the unjust and cruel aggressions of a tyrant. Covey was a tyrant and a cowardly one withal. After resisting him, I felt as I had never felt before. It was a resurrection from the dark and pestiferous tomb of slavery, to the heaven of comparative freedom. I was no longer a servile coward, trembling under the frown of a brother worm of the dust, but my long-cowed spirit was roused to an attitude of independence. I had reached the point at which I was not afraid to die. This spirit made me a freeman in fact, though I still remained a slave in form. When a slave cannot be flogged, he is more than half free. He has a domain as broad as his own manly heart to defend, and he is really ‘a power on earth’. From this time until my escape from slavery, I was never fairly whipped. Several attempts were made, but they were always unsuccessful. Bruised I did get, but the instance I have described was the end of the brutification to which slavery had subjected me.”

The Abolitionist Cause in Light of the Preservation of the Union

“…that the fathers of the Republic neither intended the extension nor the perpetuity of slavery and that liberty is national and slavery is sectional.”
– Frederick Douglass

To make a long story short, Frederick would successfully escape the South and on September 3rd 1838, arriving in New York at the age of 21, he would finally embark on a life as a free man.

It would be only four or five months living in New Bedford before Douglass would meet William Lloyd Garrison, one of the most prominent leaders of the Abolitionist movement. It did not take long for Douglass to be invited along their speaking tours to recount his story as a runaway slave from the South.

Though Douglass would owe much of his future as a great orator and writer in thanks to his Abolitionist friends who gave him a strong start in this direction and introduced him to many important figures, Douglass would eventually distance himself from the Abolitionist “scripture”.

This distancing was caused by Douglass’ later recognition that there was in fact, no “pro-slavery” character in the U.S. Constitution as Garrison had been stating.

Douglass states:

After a time, a careful reconsideration of the subject convinced me that there was no necessity for dissolving the union between the northern and southern states, that to seek this dissolution was not part of my duty as an abolitionist, that to abstain from voting was to refuse to exercise a legitimate and powerful means for abolishing slavery, and that the Constitution of the United States not only contained no guarantees in favor of slavery, but, on the contrary, was in its letter and spirit an antislavery instrument, demanding the abolition of slavery as a condition of its own existence as the supreme law of the land.”

During this time, Douglass would start his own anti-slavery newspaper called “The North Star”. Along with this new editorial responsibility, Douglass would no longer leave it to the “good advice” of his “more learned” Abolitionist friends, but would take the responsibility upon himself to seek out and come to know whether such assertions by the Abolitionists on the nature of the Republic were true.

 “My new circumstances compelled me to re-think the whole subject, and to study with some care not only the just and proper rules of legal interpretation, but the origin, design, nature, rights, powers, and duties of civil governments, and also the relations which human beings sustain to it. By such a course of thought and reading I was conducted to the conclusion that the Constitution of the United States – inaugurated to ‘form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty’ – could not well have been designed at the same time to maintain and perpetuate a system of rapine and murder like slavery, especially as not one word can be found in the Constitution to authorize such a belief…the Constitution of our country is our warrant for the abolition of slavery in every state of the Union…being convinced of the fact, my duty upon this point in the further conduct of my paper [The North Star] was plain.”

Abraham Lincoln would be elected as the President of the United States on March 4th, 1861. To which Douglass stated of the occasion:

It was Mr. Lincoln who told the American people at this crisis that the ‘Union could not long endure half slave and half free; that they must be all one or the other, and that the public mind could find no resting place but in the belief in the ultimate extinction of slavery.’ These were not the words of an abolitionist – branded a fanatic, and carried away by an enthusiastic devotion to the Negro – but the calm cool, deliberate utterance of a statesman, comprehensive enough to take in the welfare of the whole country…In a few simple words he had embodied the thought of the loyal nation, and indicated the character fit to lead and guide the country amid perils present and to come.

On Meeting Lincoln

“I still believed, and spoke as I believed, all over the North, that the mission of the war was the liberation of the slave, as well as the salvation of the Union…”
– Frederick Douglass

With this newly discovered orientation, Douglass not only put the preservation of the Union as something necessary and expedient but, most importantly, something that could not be sacrificed in striving for the Abolitionist cause.

Douglass would be one of the first to encourage the recruitment, through his paper “The North Star”, of black soldiers to join the Union’s war against the Confederate South. The thought was that by these men joining the war, they would prove their mettle in the cause for emancipation.

These were hard days, since black soldiers were not given equal treatment nor protection in the Union army. They also risked, if captured by the South, being enslaved, a sentence in Douglass’ words “worse than death”. Douglass had been assured that equal treatment would eventually occur, but it was too slow moving in his eyes and he refused to continue recruiting black soldiers into the Union army.

It was at this point that Douglass was invited to meet with President Lincoln to discuss his concerns over the matter.

Douglass describes his first meeting with Lincoln: “I was never more quickly or more completely put at ease in the presence of a great man than in that of Abraham Lincoln…Long lines of care were already deeply written on Mr. Lincoln’s brow, and his strong face, full of earnestness, lighted up as soon as my name was mentioned…I at once felt myself in the presence of an honest man – one whom I could love, honor, and trust without reserve or doubt.

One of the points of concern Douglass discussed with the President, was on the unfair treatment of black soldiers as POWs and suggested that the North should retaliate and commit the same treatment on their Southern POWs to dissuade this unequal treatment, to which Lincoln responded, “Retaliation was a terrible remedy, and one which it was very difficult to apply – that, if once begun, there was no telling where it would end – that if he could get hold of the Confederate soldiers who had been guilty of treating colored soldiers as felons he could easily retaliate, but the thought of hanging men for a crime perpetrated by others was revolting to his feelings…Though I was not entirely satisfied with his views, I was so well satisfied with the man and with the educating tendency of the conflict I determined to go on with the recruiting.

Douglass reflects on his decision:

“It was a great thing to achieve American independence when we numbered three millions, but it was a greater thing to save this country from dismemberment and ruin when it numbered thirty millions. He alone of all our presidents was to have the opportunity to destroy slavery, and to lift into manhood millions of his countrymen hitherto held as chattels and numbered with the beasts of the field.”

The Emancipation Proclamation

“Since William the Silent, who was the soul of the mighty war for religious liberty against Spain and the Spanish Inquisition, no leader of men has been loved and trusted in such generous measures as was Abraham Lincoln.”
– Frederick Douglass

Heading into the third year of the sanguinary Civil War, January 1st 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Douglass states of the occasion: “the formal and solemn announcement was made that thereafter the government would be found on the side of emancipation…It must be the end of all compromises with slavery – a declaration that thereafter the war was to be conducted on a new principle, with a new aim.

It was at this point that Lincoln received criticism for extending the war unnecessarily. The South was ready to make certain concessions and the North was eager to end the war. By Lincoln announcing the Emancipation Proclamation, it was thought by many to be a reckless provocation making any possibility of peace fruitless.

On this subject, Douglass would meet with Lincoln for the last time, before he would be assassinated.

The main subject on which he wished to confer with me was as to the means most desirable to be employed outside the army to induce the slaves in the rebel states to come within the deferral lines. The increasing opposition to the war, in the North, and the mad cry against it, because it was being made an abolition war, alarmed Mr. Lincoln, and made him apprehensive that a peace might be forced upon him which would leave still in slavery all who had not come within our lines. What he wanted was to make his proclamation as effective as possible in the event of such a peace…He said he was being accused of protracting the war beyond its legitimate object and failing to make peace when he might have done so to advantage. He was afraid of what might come of all these complaints, but was persuaded that no solid and lasting peace could come short of absolute submission on the part of the rebels [the South]…He saw the danger of premature peace…I was the more impressed by this benevolent consideration because he before said, in answer to the peace clamor, that his object was to save the Union, and to do so with or without slavery. What he said on this day showed a deeper moral conviction against slavery than I had ever seen before in anything spoken or written by him. I listened with the deepest interest and profoundest satisfaction, and, at his suggestion, agreed to undertake the organizing of a band of scouts, composed of colored men, whose business should be somewhat after the original plan of John Brown, to go into the rebel states, beyond the lines of our armies, and to carry the news of emancipation, and urge the slaves to come within our boundaries.

…I refer to this conversation because I think that, on Mr. Lincoln’s part, it is evidence conclusive that the proclamation, so far at least as he was concerned, was not effected merely as a [political] ‘necessity’.

President Lincoln would be selected to continue a second term and was inaugurated on March 4th, 1865. About one month after the official end of the Civil War. Lincoln would be assassinated just a mere 41 days after his second inauguration.

Douglass writes, “His first inauguration arrested the fall of the Republic, and the second was to restore it to enduring foundations.” The fact that Lincoln’s leadership was savagely cut short was a tragedy for all who understood that the true foundation of the Republic was built upon the principle “liberty for all”.

In that sad moment, when the country heard of the death of their leader who was to bring them closer to this goal, Douglass states,

We shared in common a terrible calamity, and this ‘touch of nature made us’ more than countrymen, it made us ‘kin’.

Reflections on the Past

It is an utmost testament to the grace and nobility of Frederick Douglass’ character that as soon as the law and spirit of slavery had been broken, he made a point to no longer harbour hate and resentment for the past wrongs committed upon himself. He recognised that humanity was indeed inherently good and would ultimately strive towards goodness if left to its natural tendency… that to punish the children of those who committed crimes before them would destroy any good that ever existed in the world.

Douglass recounts:

If any reader of this part of my life shall see in it the evidence of a want of manly resentment for wrongs inflicted by slavery upon myself and race, and by the ancestors of…[those who once owned slaves], so it must be. No man can be stronger than nature, one touch of which, we are told, makes all the world akin. I esteem myself a good, persistent hater of injustice and oppression, but my resentment ceases when they cease, and I have no heart to visit upon children the sins of their father.

I will end here with an account of Douglass when he revisits the place where he was born a “slave” and sees his former “master” Captain Auld upon his request on his deathbed, over 25 years after Douglass had escaped to the North:

But now that slavery was destroyed, and the slave and the master stood upon equal ground, I was not only willing to meet him, but was very glad to do so…He was to me no longer a slaveholder either in fact or in spirit, and I regarded him as I did myself, a victim of the circumstances of birth, education, law, and custom.

Our courses had been determined for us, not by us. We had both been flung, by powers that did not ask our consent, upon a mighty current of life, which we could neither resist, nor control. By this current he was a master, and I a slave, but now our lives were verging towards a point where differences disappear, where even the constancy of hate breaks down and where the clouds of pride, passion, and selfishness vanish before the brightness of infinite light.

Note: This paper has used Douglass’ account of American history from his writings in his autobiography “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”, for which the full pdf version can be found here.

This article was originally published on Strategic Culture Foundation.

[su_panel background="#f4f9fd" border="1px solid #d1cece" shadow="3px 1px 2px #eeeeee" radius="15"] Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page for free. [/su_panel]

 



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Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


 Don't forget to sign up for our FREE bulletin. Get The Greanville Post in your mailbox every few days. 




From Black Wall Street to Black Capitalism

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.




Too Black
BLACK AGENDA REPORT



Contrary to the Black capitalist myth, most Greenwood residents were low wage working people employed by whites and living in substandard housing. It was the super-exploitation of poor Black labor that facilitated both the function of Tulsa as a whole and the Black Wall Street District.

“As word of what some would later call the “Negro uprising” began to spread across the white community, groups of armed whites began to gather at hastily-arranged meeting  places, to discuss what to do next.” -- Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921

“For far too long, Black liberal, you have been allowed to domesticate Black radicalism. Because our oppressors prefer you to us and at any sign of trouble, rush out to find you to speak on behalf of all Black people, you have eagerly taken the chance to hog all of the mics and silence us. You weaken our revolt with your narration.” --Yannick Giovanni Marshall, Black liberal, your time is up Black capitalism  is still capitalism.” – Terrell

Intro

The Tulsa Massacre began 100 years ago on May 31st, 1921 when an angry white mob accused a 19-year-old Black man, Dick Rowland, of raping a 17-year-old white girl, Sarah Page. Flustered by the perceived “Negro Uprising ” of Black men armed to defend and protect Dick Rowland outside the Tulsa courthouse, the inflamed white mob, sanctioned by the state, responded with brute terror, burning down the Black segregated neighborhood of Greenwood destroying 1,256 homes, nearly 191 Black businesses and the killing roughly 300 (likely more ) people by the morning of June 1st, 1921.

One hundred years since these 16 hours of white barbarism occurred, suppressive forces  have steadily worked to delete this tragedy from scribing its crimson pages into the books of American history. But, as history shows, bloodstains prove difficult to remove. Recently, decorating over these stains as “blemishes” of an otherwise promising American Dream towards Black capitalism has proven to be a more sufficient means to quell dissent. What has materialized is an emphasis on what was destroyed over who was destroyed. Effectively, redeeming the state — the combined authority of government (elected), the bureaucracies (positions), corporate control, and private interests — in the process.

Decorating a Utopia that never was

As the summer of 2020 was steaming from protests against continued racialized state violence, the attention economy suddenly rediscovered the blood of 1921 by pivoting to what Booker T. Washington reportedly called “Negro Wall Street” or what is now known as Black Wall Street — the historic Black business district of the segregated Greenwood neighborhood destroyed in the massacre. According to Google Trends , the term “Black Wall Street” was googled more in June of 2020 than within the last 5 years.

Posited within 3-4 Blocks of the Greenwood neighborhood, this business district, disparagingly referred to by Tulsa whites as “Little Africa ,” was the home to a number of Black-owned enterprises including a fifty-four room hotel, a public library, two newspapers, a seven-hundred, and fifty seat theater, multiple cleaners, and two dozen grocery stores among more. Through these efforts, Black Wall Street produced a prosperous Black business class fancying “some of the city’s more elegant homes”  and successful Black businesses in the state.

Faced with only these facts, it’s understandable why one would view Black Wall Street as a wealthy “self-sustaining” utopia violently interrupted by a white vigilante mob as it’s widely reported to have been. However, a much more complicated narrative scrubbed from decorated legend lies underneath the folklore of a Black American Wakanda.

Although Black Wall Street certainly brought pride to the Black residents of Greenwood, that pride failed to translate to a prosperous economic status for most. A report by the American Association of Social Workers on the living conditions of Black folks in Tulsa at the time stated, “95 percent of the Negro residents in the Black belt lived in poorly constructed frame houses, without conveniences, and on streets which were unpaved and on which the drainage was all surface.” Furthermore, most Greenwood residents were not only living in substandard housing but were employed outside of Black Wall Street according to the Oklahoma Commission study  on the Tulsa Race Riot:

“Despite the growing fame of its commercial district, the vast majority of Greenwood’s adults were neither businessmen nor businesswomen but worked long hours, under trying conditions, for white employers [emphasis added]. Largely barred from employment in both the oil industry and from most of Tulsa’s manufacturing facilities, these men and women toiled at difficult, often dirty, and generally menial jobs — the kinds that most whites consider beneath them—as janitors and ditch-diggers, dishwashers, and maids, porters and day laborers, domestics and service workers.  Unsung and largely forgotten, it was, nevertheless, their paychecks that built Greenwood, and their hard work that helped to build Tulsa.” [Emphasis added].

“The vast majority of Greenwood’s adults were neither businessmen nor businesswomen.”

Truthfully, as the report makes clear, Tulsa and Black Wall Street were both consequences of de jure segregation. Segregation operated as a public policy purposely made to suppress Black wages for the benefit of white capital while simultaneously limiting where those suppressed wages could be spent — inadvertently creating a monopoly for a petite Black professional class. Put differently, it was the super-exploitation of poor Black labor that facilitated both the function of Tulsa as a whole and the Black Wall Street District. Neither could have existed without the presence of poor Black people. Yet, their presence is rarely acknowledged in the revisionist plot. The suffering of the Black poor typically only matters when it can be used to bolster the class position of the Black Elite — the appointed political, cultural, and social representative and a moneyed class of Black people — and reinforce the state.

Decorating Blackness

As previously indicated, last summer, while police precincts became bonfires illustriously lighting up the night sky, the terms “Black Wall Street ” and “Black business ” were receiving more Google searches than ever before. The presuppositions of the searches call for questioning: Will a world on fire be resolved by the memory of a business district burnt down by a white mob? What is the correlation between a cop kneecapping a poor Black man’s neck and buying Black? How can I buy my way out of a chokehold? Do corporate pledges to “support Black business” deflect the oncoming bullets of State violence?

All Black people are subject to a degree of state violence but in today’s post-civil rights era, those flung to the bottom of the capitalist ladder (George Floyd) experience the worst fate — police murders, stop and frisk, incarceration, poverty, homelessness, and worse. In essence, LeBron James’ sons could not be Kalief Browder because not only can LeBron afford to bail his sons out of jail but Brentwood, California is far from the overpoliced neighborhood Browder was originally profiled in. Despite her same race and gender, Oprah  is not Breonna Taylor. No knock warrants are unheard of in Montecito, CA, and gentrification  does not work in reverse.

The point here is not to diminish the racism experienced by the Black Elite but to challenge the universalizing of Blackness. Universalizing Blackness as a flat experience allows Amazon to proclaim #BlackLivesMatter , create a Black-owned business page  but crush the unions  organized by its Black workers. It allows the NBA to paint BLM on its hardwoods, highlight  Black business during the NBA finals but pay its predominantly Black and temp workers  dirt wages. Universalizing Blackness distorts Blackness itself. It is decorating at its worst.]” 

“How can I buy my way out of a chokehold?”

A repercussion of universalizing Blackness is elite capture  — what philosopher Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò defines as “how political projects can be hijacked—in principle or effect—by the well-positioned and resourced.” This begins to explain how a radical demand such as abolishing the police either becomes dismissed or co-opted while the state offers its full cosmetic support behind Black business and representation. The class of Black people most well-positioned to make demands upon the state is better situated to benefit from Black business creation and corporate diversity hires than police abolition or the unionization of Amazon. They are considerably less afflicted by the problems of the people they claim to represent.

Universalizing Blackness collapses the interests of Black people as if we’re all equally invested in the same solutions. It’s precisely how the knees of killer cops on Black necks correlate with buying Black because as Táíwò notes, “When elites run the show, the ‘group’s’ interests get whittled down to what they have in common with those at the top.” It’s how the poverty of Greenwood ceases to appear in documentaries  or presidential speeches when the Black wealth of a few needs attention. Commenting on sociologist E. Franklin Frazier’s groundbreaking 1954 text The Black Bourgeoisie Táíwò observes how two seemingly opposing ideas continue to find continuity, “Why did the myth of a Black economy as a comprehensive response to anti-Black racism survive when it was never a serious possibility? In Frazier’s telling, it did because it furthered the class interests of the Black bourgeoisie.” The class interests remain.

Black Capitalism, the Ultimate Decoration

The elite capture of a movement requires a series of decorative myths — ideas that obscure the nature of the problem for the maintenance of the status quo. Last summer Black capitalism emerged once again  as the most decorated myth. The revisionism of Black Wall Street, as an extension of Black capitalism, neatly fits the narrative of universal Blackness. It utilizes the universality of a tragedy suffered by an entire Black population to advocate for a solution (Black capitalism) that has shown to primarily benefit a particular class of Black people.

Black capitalism is a concatenation of propaganda. It relies on complementary myths such as Black buying power and Black dollar circulation  that are premised upon shaming Black people, particularly the poor ones, for their alleged frivolous spending. Besides the fact that Black people spend  their money no more recklessly than anyone else, Black capitalism feeds on stereotypes of broke Black people foolishly buying Jordans and weaves they cannot afford to justify its existence. The saying typically goes “if we spend with our own then we can have our own” as if Black people’s spending habits are moral barometers.

This decorative myth is exemplified in the creation of the Greenwood banking app. Popularized by rapper Killer Mike and actor Jesse Williams this app is “inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District, where recirculation of Black wealth occurred all day, every day, and where Black businesses thrived.” The website , littered with unsubstantiated claims of Black dollar circulation, conveniently fails to discuss the rampant Black poverty in the “1900’s Greenwood District” they claim to want to recreate. To highlight such a contradiction would ruin their business model.

Businesses such as “Greenwood” use the history of how collective Black wealth has been systematically destroyed by capitalism to leverage (guilt) white investors for funding. In the case of Greenwood, receiving 40 million  dollars from banking institutions including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Trust among others. The billions of corporate dollars injected into “racial equity ” campaigns this last year were all sparked by the militant response to the blatant murder of a poor Black man who was allegedly arrested for purchasing items with a counterfeit bill. Disturbingly, the death of poor Black people is a lucrative fundraising drive for everybody but the ones experiencing death.

Decorating an Empire

What rests at the heart of these issues is the Black Elite’s general unwillingness to confront the state and all the violence it subsumes. As a class, they are much more invested in collaborating — either for perceived survival and/or personal gain. What tends to go unsaid is that when they collaborate with the state they often lose even on their terms. The police still confuse them for poor “thugs .” They remain underrepresented  and underpaid in their respective fields. Laws that sustain their lifestyle are constantly eroded . Yet, historically, they have made the most “progress” in periods where the masses of Black people dissented. Due to their economic instability, they are unable to exist as a class by themselves — hence the need for the symbolic support of the masses analogous to how Black Wall Street needed the paychecks of the Black poor to thrive as a business district.

The state uses these decorators of empire, knowingly or not, to maintain its legitimacy. White supremacy may have obliterated Black Wall Street — 1st through violence, 2nd through policy  — nevertheless “if that massacre never happened who knows how that shapes America today .” The bloodshed of the past is decorated by the false promise of “a more perfect union.” Organizing for a world beyond American hegemony is scolded as unrealistic and sophomoric. The most moderate of Black radical demands such as “defund the police” are derided and blamed unfairly for costing congressional seats as if Democratic party success is synonymous with Black liberation.

“Black Wall Street needed the paychecks of the Black poor to thrive as a business district.”

Decorators of empire must corral dissent. This type of agency reduction  has a footprint leaping back to the Cold War and much further. Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly, assistant professor of Africana Studies and Political Science at Carleton College, thoroughly documents how the Black Elite of the time — Black Cold War liberals — “reduced the collective agency of other African Americans by marginalizing or maligning the panoply of liberation strategies emanating from the Black left.” This was a necessary strategy because the Black Cold War Liberals “formed important relationships with powerful Whites to procure goods and services for the Black community while offering no challenge to exploitative economic and social relations.” Modes of thinking outside of these brokered relationships threatened to bring backlash from the state. Faced with the mounting repression of the anti-communist McCarthy era, “…Black Cold War liberals began to distinguish themselves from the left by rejecting militant agendas that might align them with those deemed ‘communist fronts,’ including the Council on African Affairs (CAA), the Peace Information Center (PIC), and the National Negro Labor Council. Black Cold War liberals signaled such rejection by casting their platform in anti-communist terms and by constructing Black people as loyal, trustworthy Americans who deserved to be recognized as full citizens.”

Consistent with elite capture, Black Cold War liberals corralled the ideologies of the Black masses. “Seditious” communist ideas and “backward” social behavior would not earn the acceptance of the state. Irrespective of the oppression they faced, Black people of the time were corralled to focus their aspirations on proving to the state they were just as American as everyone else.

Today, building on a similar logic, Black American suffering is promoted as a badge of honor — a “justice claim” made because “we built this country.” Black people are “the Soul of the Nation ” who “saved American democracy.” Again, the bloodshed of the past is used to redeem the present. President Biden, in his speech  for the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, leveraged this Black American exceptionalism to bolster the empire: “We should know the good, the bad, everything. That is what great nations do. They come to terms. With their dark side. We are a great nation.” Only in America can a nation be “great” for acknowledging a single massacre 100 years later with no reparations to show — decorating at its finest.

Conclusion

Remembering the Tulsa Massacre not as a violent white response to Black self-defense  and determination but instead as the destruction of property and mythical Black wealth favorably leaves space for American redemption. It reduces the violence to a tragic interruption of the American dream and Black capitalism while minimizing other race massacres  that did not include a well of black business class.

Wall Street is a parasitic model we should not emulate — still, I empathize with Black people’s desire for Black ownership and self-determination. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this desire. However, positioning slogans like #BuyBlack and #SupportBlackBusinness as the respectable alternative to radical transformative demands is decorating for the state — particularly when these slogans are attached to faulty concepts like trickle-down economics and universal Blackness. Black ownership is elite capture without the correct redistribution and collective ownership of the wealth we create.

Lastly, it need not be stated that the victims of the Tulsa Massacre — as well as their descendants and all African people — deserve their reparations. That is not in question. We should question the state’s legitimacy to define our collective goals. We must be vigilant towards the state’s attempts to use the atrocities committed against us as a means to redeem itself by decorating its crimes. The world we deserve is irreducible to a Black Wall Street and abundantly superior to anything America currently has to offer. It’s on us and those in solidarity to fight for it.

[su_panel background="#f4f9fd" border="7px solid #d1cece" shadow="3px 1px 2px #eeeeee" radius="15"] Too Black is a poet, writer, and host of The Black Myths Podcast based in Indianapolis, Indiana. [/su_panel]

This article previously appeared in Hood Communist.


Addendum
The Tulsa massacre as commemorated by liberals

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