Wednesday, September 07, 2016
An American Way of Death: Ferguson Freedom Fighter Darren Seals Assassinated
7, September 2016 -- The tragic death last night of Ferguson, Mo., resident and activist Darren Seals closely mirrors the death of another young black Ferguson resident two years ago: DeAndre Joshua, Like DeAndre, Seals was found with a gunshot wound to the head inside of a burning car. This is the same Darren Seals who was on the frontline of the protests borne after the shooting death of Mike Brown at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson there in 2014. In the years since the Ferguson riots the justice department has made a series of recommendations for police reform in that city. Seals’ activism played no small part in getting that far. He also participated and food and clothing drives around his community, and agitated the democratic party to respect the black vote. At 29 years old he is taken from that community – taken from us; and I realize that the crime of terror this nation projects while fabricating bogeymen around the world, will never stop being inflicted upon we persons of color until we are again legal slaves, property of the one percent. Or we ourselves force a change.
In North Dakota, Native Americans from myriad tribes are protesting and fighting to protect their land, water and sacred ground from the Dakota Access pipeline construction project that will send an oil conduit right through their sovereign nation. Last Saturday during the Labor Day weekend mercenaries armed with attack-dogs and weapons descended upon and attacked the entire peaceful protest. It was Bloody Sunday all over again. Video and photos are already flooding the internet with images from the merciless attack, blacked –out by the corporate news networks in a way the Bundy takeover of the Oregon wildlife sanctuary never was. Only the fastidiousness of the progressive press has assured this story has received any national attention at all.
In these two events – the gangland style murder of Darren Seals and the corporate-sponsored mercenary assault on peaceful Native protesters – we are again witnessing a level of state violence one only inflicts on another when they are at war. And despite having never declared one, persons of color and their real allies are literally under the guns of what is functionally a Nazi coup that has taken over police departments and their fraternal orders. How painful and paradoxical it must be for Seals’ loved ones to have to rely on St. Louis County sheriffs and police to lead this investigation, when they should be number one atop anyone’s list of suspects. How comforting it must be for the St. Louis law enforcement to be able to bury a vocal, black thorn in their side, and to have the final say on his death. Just wait for the obligatory reports of drug history, complete with a mugshot any second now.
People of color live under the hammer of state terror here all the time. We never had a nostalgic age of life’s simpler times. America, by it’s bloodstained and avaricious quest to join Europe in empire, has made reality here for people of color hell, as it has around the world.
It is reality.
It is a condition the mythically ”exceptional” majority would not savor if the roles were reversed. I doubt many whites would stop fighting for their freedom if we abused them and used code words like “commie” and “terrorist” to mis-characterize their struggles. No law or court can ever make the system of white power respect the rights of persons of color.
This is a kind of terrorism that is not easy for blacks and Latinos and Native Americans to prove in US courts, for the courts give the system cover. Our color makes us guilty until proven innocent. I knew this before I watched a policeman perjure himself with the straightest of faces in my own misdemeanor case nearly two years ago because I was biking without a light at night. I have since been unable to get a limited teaching license in a state I had over 10 years of professional experience.
The very fact that we must petition those same police departments’ internal affairs, or other agencies (city, county, and state civil rights commissions for example) connected to police and sheriff’s departments through every state of criminal justice shows an absurd existence for POC. The fact that we even have to petition the same US Justice Department that helped establish COINTELPRO, and was proven complicit in the death of MLK by a Memphis jury in 1999, shows you how absurd existence for people of color is in these times. America is infested with a hate, a terror bug that has festered and grown here since this nations’ inception: Raping this land from Native Americans, enslaving millions of African to build it. The systems of disparity across every social, health and economic indicator broadcasts to the world that this is far from the land of the free.
Thank you Mr. Seals for your strength and leadership in this struggle for peace and equality, may you rest in power.
Rashard Zanders is a pioneer in slash careers, and at any given time could be found teaching, writing, agitating, jamming, learning, busking, creating, caffeinating, de-caffeinating, hiking, biking, loving, and daydreaming. He enjoys studying Pan African Philosophy and its potential to affect positive change, He is the proud parent of Thrilla the Cat and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org