When The Righteous Rage Of The Oppressed Manifests Itself.

Posted: January 8, 2015 in Call to Action, Solidarity

Comrade Cornell Lewis has an excellent piece over at this blog, DCF Plantation, When The Righteous Rage Of The Oppressed Manifests Itself which we publish in full here. For more of Cornell’s writing go to dcfplantation.blogspot.com.

When The Righteous Rage Of The Oppressed Manifests Itself.

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers-sisters, comrades thank you for the opportunity of speaking here today. We are observing conditions all over America of a new assault on people’s egalitarian rights. People of color, especially black men, are gunned down in the streets or choked to death by law enforcement officers. While all of this goes on there are so called leaders making sure community rage is managed in order to placate the powerful and maintain “business as usual” i.e. keeping the people under control. Today I want to talk about what might happen when the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself.

   The current protests can be more intense when the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself. At this juncture there are several forms of nationwide events allowing would be activists chances to feel as if something meaningful has been done by die ins, peaceful marches and scripted made for television arrests of protestors. Songs, chants, placards and freeway stoppages are commendable but don’t advance the cause of social justice. People in power laugh at these current efforts put forth by protestors. When the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself cries of liberation will fill the air while night skies glow with proof positive that things are indeed serious. Ward Churchill wrote in his book Pacifism As Pathology “ there is not a petition campaign that you can construct that is going to cause the power and status quo to dissipate. There is not a legal action that you can take; you cannot go into the court of the conqueror and have the conqueror announce the conquest to be illegitimate and to be repealed; you cannot hold a prayer vigil, you cannot burn the right scented candle at the prayer vigil, you cannot have the right folk song. This monstrosity called the State maintains itself by force and can only be countered in terms that it……understand.” If people listening understand the climate in America towards blacks is getting worse then these current protests can and must be more intense.

  White allies must follow and not lead when the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself. It is apparent that white allies are committed to seeking justice for people deprived of egalitarian rights in America. Let us not discount help in our struggle against legalized forces that are currently killing black men and calling it justified. However as this battles rages in American streets some whites have taken center stage, causing a riff in the struggle of blacks / Hispanics etc. This situation affects people of color and should be led by them, but now certain white groups come into situations with worldviews not helpful to agendas presented by victimized blacks. When the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself black people will tell whites to fall back to the end or middle of the fight, not seek front row status. If whites cannot understand what they are being told by victims of racial animus then perhaps those allies need to be excluded altogether from this movement; who in hell has time for nonsense in the midst of such a grave situation. Lastly let me state one more point which is…

Victory demands sacrifice when the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself. There are people marching in the streets of America thinking and acting as if this is some sort of game. For too many folks there is no sacrifice because they go home to safe neighborhoods and are not targeted for injustice daily. These people will only sacrifice so much because there is no true feelings for the victimized people of color in America; marching, chanting or getting arrested is some badge of honor. But when people of color want to increase the intensity of protests to include maybe violent protests, allies vanish like morning dew on the Moors of Scotland when the sun rises. Historically all conflicts by hoi polloi ( common people ) include sacrifice i.e. loss of jobs, beatings, lynchings, ethnic cleansing and death. What makes activists think power structures will give up any semblance of authority without clear signals of collective determination from atomized people? For far too long Americans have thought about protest in terms of sanitized events with no real sacrifice needed to obtain concrete goals.

In conclusion there can be no victory against injustice until the righteous rage of the oppressed manifests itself. Thank you.


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