Written by the SPUSA People of Color Commission and passed by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee 12/8/2015
Laquan McDonald, presente.
The 17-year-old child murdered by the Chicago police, represents another in a string of signals sent to the Black community and people of color everywhere. Sixteen bullets, most in his back, most after he was already down. It was a lynching, the video replayed over and over on social media. The cop has been charged, the police chief has been fired. Does this help? Will it bring justice for terrorized communities? By punishing individual actors without changing the entire broken system, the myth of “bad apples” is perpetuated. This is a systemic crisis in which murder is not only accepted, but encouraged. It is encouraged when cops cover for each other, encouraged when one person is indicted in a murder and another fired for covering it up.
The crisis further reveals its face when civilians, fueled by nationalistic rhetoric that ostracizes and dehumanizes people of color, take up arms against the movement. The shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis was another public lynching, this time by radical racists who weren’t wearing a uniform.
The systematic targeting, shooting down of people of color is public lynching. It does not need to happen to everyone, it does not need to happen in every town. Lynching is a warning; stay silent, do not step out of line. If you so much as walk down the middle of the street, if you dare to participate in a social movement, you could be executed in the street. If you are Black or brown in America, you hear the signals loud and clear.
These attacks are not acceptable in any capacity. We cannot sit by and stay quiet. We cannot let these Terrorists win. Together, we must organize and face these and all other forms of oppression and repression.
In Solidarity with all People of Color