After 8 days of demonstrations the demands of the protests have resulted in the Minnesota Attorney General in combination with the Hennepin County Attorney charging all 4 former officers for their involvement in the death of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin, charged initially with third-degree murder and manslaughter, now faces an additional elevated charge of second-degree murder. The other three officers involved as of June 3rd have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Both the family of Floyd and the protesters share the sentiment that these charges are bittersweet. In the words of Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Floyd family ,” We cannot celebrate because an arrest is not a conviction and we want justice,”
A conviction is not justice either, In 2009 Oscar Grant was wrongfully killed by former BART policeman Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California. Protests and riots, similar to the ones we are seeing now, erupted across the country to demand justice in the form of criminal prosecution as well. As a result of the protests the on-duty officer was charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. Mehserle was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, a lesser charge, in which he served 11 months out of the 2 years he was originally sentenced to.
George Floyd is not the first black man to die in police custody, nor will he be the last. We as a people are demanding justice from the very same institutions that criminalize our existence. Breonna Taylor is a prime example of how lives in this system are held to low esteem, not only in terms of capital value but including phenology. The color of our skin is paired with a veil of prejudice from all who gaze upon it, even the wearer. Systemic racism is not the root of our problems, rather a product of a system far too sophisticated to quantify: capitalism.
Another unorganized reactionary protest addressing the symptoms rather than the cause of our oppression is nothing more than a lost opportunity.THE BLACK ORCHID PARTY
Capitalism has roots deeper than the economy; features of our culture are directly rooted from this exchange. Capitalism is our modern day class antagonism, separating the owners of means of production and the employees. From birth we are trained to participate in this system believing success is becoming the employer rather than the employed. Our entire existence, black or white, is reduced to accomplishing financial stability, as a society we don’t question why this is and in moments we do examine the landscape our understanding is limited to racialized anecdotes. In our attempt to fix the inequality within the system, we utilize bureaucratic processes, upheld by a disingenuous Constitution, and settle with the hope of change via codified articles.
Further examination of government shows they do not truly operate in the interest of its citizens. The government is nothing more than an appendage of the capitalist state maintaining conditions to serve the interest of the few. Historically these institutions are white,the result of colonization and imperialism, and ultimately reveal the origins of racism.
Systemic racism enables the government to terrorize communities of color with state machinery, whilst aiding and abetting the actions of white people.THE BLACK ORCHID PARTY
In addition to the sophisticated killing weaponry, an immediate difference between the conquered and conqueror was skin tone. The Europeans, visibly fairer in complexion than the peoples of Africa and the Americas, denoted themselves as white and the ‘others’ as black. Historical beginnings of racial prejudice are rooted in the perception that the conquerors are superior and the conquered are uncivilized savages.
Class played a role in the antagonisms that existed between whites. An examination of the hierarchies present in historically white societies reveal privilege exclusively reserved to those who had wealth. Governments were erected to protect the wealthy class from the working and peasantry classes. The purpose of standing armies and police is to protect the private property and status of the ruling class. Colonization created a new hierarchy that gave privilege to all whites, regardless of status, subsequently giving white people across the world an advantage. Everyone living under a capitalist state is oppressed but to omit the benefits colonization gave to white people is morally unacceptable.
Historically these institutions are white,the result of colonization and imperialism, and ultimately reveal the origins of racism.THE BLACK ORCHID PARTY
The appendages of the capitalist state are used to defend and uphold wealth inequality and the racist ideas that halt unified class consciousness. Systemic racism enables the government to terrorize communities of color with state machinery, whilst aiding and abetting the actions of white people. Racism empowers whites to serve as an extension to the police state, blinding racists from recognizing their own oppression under capitalism.
Justice will not be served as long as the state and the resulting culture is upheld. There will be another LaTanya Haggerty, Oscar Grant, Shantel Davis, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Korryn Gaines, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Aiyana Jones, Freddie Gray, Sharonda Singleton, Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Another unorganized reactionary protest addressing the symptoms rather than the cause of our oppression is nothing more than a lost opportunity. Justice is only attainable through unified class consciousness calling for the destruction of the capitalist state.