In seeing the pointless brutality of police shooting Black people who have committed petty crimes (which should not be crimes) and those who have committed no crime, we see the reality of a state constructed for a particular elite, that cannot tolerate autonomy or independence that removes individuals and groups from its grasp. With Black Americans (as well as Black British) that role is of a permanent, entrenched underclass that can serve as a pool of cheap labour and as a source of externalisation for the overconsumption present in capitalism. Cheap jobs and cheap junk finds its way into impoverished neighbourhoods. Further, it serves as a racial barrier, or, in a way, a warning for the poor white people who may dare question the stupidities and excesses that define state capitalism. Those who benefit from state capitalism can smirk and point them towards Black neighbourhoods and show them how life would be for them if they don’t except slightly better conditions.
Black neighbourhoods become broken not by any inherent fault of their ethnicity or skin colour, but rather by the entrenchment of economic dogmas and specific policies which enforce poverty and crime. This is not the natural occurrence of “free markets” or some capitalist spook which entwines discourses and ethics, but rather the purposeful creations of policies ranging from systemic entry barriers to economic existence, to the inability to create autonomous political communities for Black people. When the Black Panthers tried to do it, they were crushed under the boot of the American police state. The Nation of Islam has had some successes, but any widespread action would most assuredly be quickly quashed. And when they can’t be crushed, they get mercilessly smeared.
Thus we reach the narrative of black-on-black crime. When groups like Black Lives Matter say they are being murdered, the idiotic statist logicians come in and say “well what about black-on-black crime?”. Obviously a stupid question, but one that continues to crop up not just on message boards and social media, but in the narratives of Blue Lives Matter and Republican politicians. Such narratives have extremely powerful platforms.
In apparent justification of the police murdering innocent Black people, these individuals and groups say that the bigger problem is crime in Black neighbourhoods. The obvious answer however is that how can such crime be dealt with when the state regularly intrudes and intimidates such communities, particularly through the War on Drugs. This narrative of Blue Lives Matter always fails to mention in their crime statistics that one of the major “Black crimes” is drug-related activities, an entire fabrication of law and ethics that is as stupid as banning alcohol or glue. Further, crimes such as drug dealing, or in the case of Eric Garner selling loose cigarettes, are crimes against economic wellbeing and value creation. They are the products of a militarised, regulatory state guided by monopolistic interests.
I should point out that these experiences are not lived by me, but are brought to my attention through news reports and the statements of those affected. I am certainly no exponent of the White privilege theory, but I can safely say I have no understanding of the feelings Black people feel when they encounter police officers in their neighbourhoods or when they’re pulled over. It seems that rather than acting against gangs and real criminals, they help enforce it by being another gang, shooting innocents and extorting money through unpayable fines and long jail sentences for petty crimes. The police are the gang of the state.
Burke describes law as the product of small community institutions and the precedence of jury trials that organically grow from the customs and traditions of said communities. Yet Black people had no say in these traditions, whether as plantation slaves or as economic slaves. They have had no capability to develop autonomous political and legal institutions in a meaningful sense, but have instead experienced some of the worst cancerous growths that have come from the state in its ridiculous interpretations of customary and common law. Such can be witnessed in the War on Drugs and the creation of regulatory apparatuses that discriminate against Black people.
The question may well be, how will Black people deal with criminals and work with more autonomy? The answer is it is not for the state or any other person or group to decide. It is for each community and confederation to decide through decentralised and polycentric means. Crime statistics are a frivolous irrelevance brought up by those who daren’t face the real problem, that of the coercion of the state and its armed gang, the police force. They ignore the blatant realities that are present, choosing instead to be pawns for corrupt institutions.