The Charleston killings are the natural outcome of US antiblackness

I’ve been desensitized to the frequency and magnitude of antiblack violence for a long time now–and this country has too. One thing we can always take for granted is that death and gratuitous violence can visit Black people at any moment. Wealth and class mean some are more/less vulnerable than others, but no Black person has ever been immune.

Antiblackness has been constant throughout this country’s history because the US was settled and founded upon the notion that Black beings are “socially dead” (something other than people, something less than human). The economic and social relations of the modern world would not be possible without the systems and profits created from the dehumanization and enslavement of Black people.

It is through contrasting itself to the Black non/subhuman that the rest of the modern world gets to define and become “human.” Non-Black ethnic groups in the US can say “well at least we’re not Black” while the Black folks that are still among the living can only say “well at least we’re not dead.”

It’s much easier to kill someone who is already dead in the eyes of society, but a society that treats Black bodies this way is dead itself. It is only through the liberation of Black people–the creation of a material world where Blackness is safe–that anyone will be safe. Every community and every group working for “justice” in the US must center and confront antiblackness if any of us are to get free. Until then, Black people can only rely–and must rely–on ourselves for our survival.

These thoughts come from too many sources to name: Frank Wilderson, Jared Sexton, Alondra Nelson, Jakeya Caruthers’s courses Queering Afrofuturism and Black Feminist Theory, and many many more.

EBONY: Black Lives Matter Goes Abroad

The US movement to fight anti-Black racism continues to grow on a global scale. On Tuesday night, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement Patrisse Cullors returned from a 10-day speaking tour across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Ferguson Action Tour aimed to amplify solidarity for families and protesters in Ferguson and across the US, in addition to renewing visibility for victims of state violence in the UK.

During the trip, Cullors presented to the British Houses of Parliament, alongside 10 families who experienced state violence, met with members of Black and immigrant communities across the UK, and connected with activists who fought in the Irish struggle for self-determination against the British.

The European trip came less than two weeks after Cullors returned from a 10-day delegation to Palestine with the Dream Defenders and representatives from Ferguson and other racial justice groups.

“When I look back in history at some of the great leaders of our movement–the Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King–folks always spoke about the international struggle and also traveled internationally,” Cullors said. “Part of this work is ‘act locally, think globally’ and you can’t think globally without being present with people in their countries and having that conversation and sitting with them.”

For Cullors, the trip demonstrated the global scope of Black Lives Matter, a movement she founded alongside Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing.

“We can often be very narrow in our approach here in the US and I met so many folks in the UK and Ireland who are in such deep solidarity with us,” Cullors said. “I think it’s imperative that we also extend the solidarity. The Black Lives Matter Movement is in fact global. Whether we understand it as a global project or not, people understand it as such.”

Read more at EBONY