Philando Castile: America’s War on Black Bodies

PhilandoLynching is America’s ‘exciting form of sport’”- W.E.B Dubois

Racial terrorism, including the extrajudicial killing of black people, is not aberration in America. As a matter of fact, it is quintessential American and the entire world knows this to be true as the unimaginable sufferings inflicted upon people of African descent has blown the covers off of America’s rhetoric of commitment to freedom, liberty, equality and human rights. A quote from the late Eleanor Roosevelt says it well, “Anyone who has worked in the international field know well that our failure in race relations and our open discrimination against various groups, injures our leadership in the world.”

Adding insult to an already festering wound, justice in America for black people as well as other communities of color, including American Indians, is nonexistent. The recent acquittal of Officer Yanez who murdered Philando Castile is the epitome of America’s RUSE OF LAW!

Although, to be clear, I wasn’t surprised. To be convinced that justice would actually be served speaks volumes about one’s ignorance about the system. America was stolen through the genocide of the American Indians, and whenever you acquire anything through evil, you need a higher level of evil to keep it.  “Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy” is clear evidence that America intends to keep and preserve what it started.

What we have in the United States is a criminal justice system that is in and of itself criminal, shameless, founded in wholesale criminality and beyond redemption. The shooting death of Philando Castile was captured in a Facebook Live video for the world to see America’s inhumanity to black people. And the dash cam, recently released today, also confirms that Yanez’ actions were unjustified. Yet the killer walked away scot-free with the full support of our criminalized criminal justice.

I guess it doesn’t matter to a shameless system whether the killings of black men are captured on cameras or not. In 2016, Jason Harrison, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Kajieme Powell, Tamir Rice, Jerame Reid, Charly Keunang, Phillip White, Walter Scott and many more were all black men killed by police caught on videos. The filming of their executions did not make a difference to our system.

During the ninety years of Jim Crow, the verdict was death at the hands of persons unknown and now that we know those who are killing us, the outcomes remain the same – they are still getting away with murder. Why? Because the system is ever faithful to itself by ensuring that those hired to keep us in a perpetual state of powerlessness, social misery and economic neglect enjoy unflinching loyalty of the system.

When will the assault on black bodies end?

While the pain inflicted on us has endured for centuries, I know that one day the terror will end. For starters, there’s no beginning without ending. America has a very clear beginning date and as every empire that has existed under the sun, it will have an expiration date as well. For every evil perpetrated, comeuppance will surely come and even Thomas Jefferson, a world class hypocrite acknowledged this truth “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

Secondly, I am hopeful because I know that the fight for liberation of black people is from a place of VICTORY; we are not fighting for victory and this is what separates us from the system of oppression that we are up against. These are the differences between the two:

The victory of the system is gotten by inflicting unimaginable violence on Black, Brown and Native bodies, and it is temporary. As Gandhi stated, “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to defeat, for it is momentary.”

On the other hand, fighting from VICTORY is totally divorced from Machiavellian ethics of the empire but rooted in the way of Jesus Christ that guarantees eternal victory – “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”

Although, it might look like the system is winning in that they are killing us and getting away with it, I guarantee you that this is for a season! The same way Satan thought he had prevailed when Jesus Christ was crucified, this system too thinks it has won when one of their own walked away scot free. But like Christ, those who have been oppressed and killed in this system, will rise again to a new life of peace, joy, and justice.


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