Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2015

An Open Letter to Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana

It was shocking and disappointing that at a time when tens of thousands of people from all walks of life have stood up and taken a very clear stand that murder of Black and Latino youth by the police must stop, you put yourself in the national and international spotlight at the NBA Finals Game 2, performing the Star Spangled Banner with an honor guard from the Oakland Police Dept. This is the same OPD that murdered a Black man who was passed out in a car near Lake Merritt in Oakland just this past weekend—and the only version you’re allowed to hear of what happened is from the very police who brutally killed the man. The murder of Black and Latino youth by police in this country has reached epidemic proportions, and people are not having this anymore. Something very precious happened recently in this country. For a few short weeks Black lives actually did matter in this country—because tens of thousands of people were no longer accepting the status quo where a Black person can be shot down in cold blood by police and it’s routinely ruled “justifiable homicide” (take a good look at the poster accompanying this letter), and where a million+ Black and Latinos are cruelly incarcerated in brutal prisons—the numbers are unprecedented in the world. And people used to know what the national anthem and the American flag meant to hundreds of millions of people around the world. From the millions killed in Vietnam fighting for national liberation to the mass slaughter, dislocation and misery the people of the Middle East are subjected to by the bombs, troops and drones of USA, the country where we live. To the frightening way women are treated, denied the ability to choose when or if to have children, degraded and harmed by pornography—this too is as American as apple pie, as we used to say. And we could go on and on: the frightening emergency of climate change and its effect on the environment and the whole planet, fueled by the drive to amass capital and political power over the world—this is mainly emanating from here, as well. And dare we forget that this country was founded on the basis of hundreds of years of genocide and slavery? The thing is: you have sway, people look to you, good people respect you. As far as murder by police, the system and the police right now are on a counter-offensive, a campaign to demonize and reverse the whole movement to stop police murder. The six cops that were indicted in Baltimore for murdering Freddie Gray were charged with crimes because of what those thousands of people did and demanded all around the county, not because the system wants justice. It’s very dangerous for this system when people demand an end to police murder, which is so ingrained and woven into the whole existence and fabric of this society. And they are doing all they can to throw people off track by confusing and deluding people. That’s why it is so important for people of conscience to not give an inch in their desire that this must stop, and for a better and just world. We need values and standards—values and standards to be struggled for with people we know and throughout society. Values and standards that correspond to a radically different way the world could be. Values which reflect a new morality, one in which people care for and cherish each other, a humanity that is filled with compassion, like your music. Within all this there is plenty of room for differences and diversity. But it is not correct to bolster and promote the police, the very same police who are murdering our youth, killing as many as two a day in this country. And it is not good and not correct to try to pretend, and make people think, that there is anything positive about the national anthem and what this system does to the agony it inflicts upon, literally billions of people around the globe. A very important example of a morality and a conscience that is so much needed today is the film “REVOLUTION AND RELIGION : The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN,” which was held at the Riverside Church in NYC last fall before 1,900+ people. You can see this Dialogue in its entirety at A fan.

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