capitalist media

Memo to the Movement: Keep it up; we are winning.

Last night, there was a radio show on KPFK with three members of the group “Black Lives Matter.” Two main themes emerged from what they had to say:
  1. “This is not a moment; this is a movement.” In other words, this is going to build and built.
  2. “Revolution.”

It’s almost as if Corporate America was listening. Well, actually, they were listening, just as they’ve been watching this movement building for weeks, now. And they are getting worried. A front page article in today’s Wall St. Journal – Corporate America’s foremost newspaper – shows this.

The article is headlined “Hundreds of Police Killings uncounted in Federal Stats,” and the information it carries is significant enough in and of itself: Last year, according to the FBI (the only ones who keep such statistics nationally), there were slightly over 400 “officer involved killings”, meaning the cops killed somebody. But the Wall St. Journal also found:

  • “A Wall Street Journal analysis of the latest data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies found more than 550 police killings during those years (2007 – 2012)were missing from the national tally or, in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved. “
  • “Those internal figures (of 105 of the nation’s 110 largest police departments – the other five didn’t respond to the WSJ query) show 1,825 police killings in those 105 departments between 2007 and 2012, 47% more than the FBI’s tally for justifiable homicides in those departments’ jurisdictions, which was 1,242, according to the Journal’s analysis. Nearly all police killings are deemed by the departments or other authorities to be justifiable.”
  • “Police in Washington, D.C., didn’t report to the FBI details about any homicides for an entire decade beginning with 1998—the year the Washington Post found the city had one of the highest rates of officer-involved killings in the country. In 2011, the agency reported five killings by police. In 2012… there are again no records on homicides from the agency.”
  • “The FBI has almost no records of police shootings from departments in three of the most populous states in the country—Florida, New York and Illinois.”

Overall, the WSJ estimates that police homicides are undercounted by about 45%. This means that there were nearly 600 police killings in 2014 – getting close to 2 per day.


Then there is this report from an article in USA Today: ” Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012, according to the most recent accounts of justifiable homicide reported to the FBI…. The reports show that 18% of the blacks killed during those seven years were under age 21, compared to 8.7% of whites.”
Lesson from the South African Revolutionary Movement
Back in the 1980s, a revolutionary movement raged in South Africa against the apartheid system there. Millions of black workers and youth there understood the direct link between apartheid and capitalism itself. Corporate World – the world capitalist class – were worried about capitalism being overthrown. They put pressure on the capitalist class of South Africa to reform itself. One of the means they used was to publicize the brutalities of apartheid in their kept press. This helped stir up a movement against apartheid in countries like the US.
Now, Corporate America is feeling the heat. They are feeling that the police are out of control. We have to keep the pressure up. It’s not that we can ever rely on any wing of Corporate America’s government – not the courts, not the US Department of (in)Justice – none of them. This doesn’t mean we don’t make demands on the corporate-controlled state (the government), but reform is a byproduct of revolution. The more we organize independently of the corporate state, the more we assert our own power in the streets and work places and communities, the more reforms we will see.

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