The attentive gravity, the venerable appearance of our brothers and sisters in the streets of Ferguson, MO; the sadness which we behold in the circumstances of so many African American young men arrested, shot or killed by white men for absolutely no reason; the solemnity of the occasion upon which we have come together, joined to a consideration of the part we are to play in the history of a racist America, must fill us with an awe hitherto unknown, a hope and a heightened sense of our call to duty – to put a stop to the injustice and the sheer weight of white tribalism visited upon us as African Americans.
Even though our Federal government in principle states a belief in the indispensable duty of every member of the society to promote, as far as himself, the prosperity of every individual, and more specifically the community to which he belongs; we, African Americans and the African American community, have for generations untold, suffered at the hands of institutions and individuals who are otherwise faithful subjects of the state, and use their utmost endeavors to detect, and having detected, strenuously enforce injustices of heinous proportions devised only for our destruction.
The lack of security to our lives as African Americans and our properties, has so obviously remained the design of many Police Departments and white police officers in our country and portray a lack of civil government when it comes to us, so much so that to attempt a logical proof of it would be like burning tapers at noonday, or to assist the Sun in enlightening the world; and it can no longer be either virtuous or honorable, to attempt to support a judicial system and a government, now unceremoniously led by its first African American in Barack Obama, of which the recent killings of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, 18 year old Michael Brown and 22 year old John Crawford at the hands of white men, are not the greatest concern and principal basis for reforming law enforcement; and it is to the last degree vicious and infamous to attempt to support a system which manifestly tends to render African American lives and properties perilously insecure even in our own communities.
Some conservatives and their Republican base have clearly asserted their hate of government; But, not for the injustices against their fellow citizens – African Americans – for they are themselves supremely complicit in its perpetration of injustices against Blacks; rather they despise government for the lack thereof of a concerted effort to encourage local government, or rather look the other way, strengthen or even arm to the teeth law enforcement in their continuous efforts to begrudge and indulge in the destruction of African American lives and property.
Some liberals and their Democratic base boast of being friends to government; we African Americans are friends to righteous government, to government founded upon the principles of reason and justice, which we are yet to behold; and we glory in publicly avowing our eternal enmity to the tyranny that has since our abduction from the coasts of West Africa, through Slavery, through Segregation and Jim Crow and through the War on Drugs/Blacks, become a signifying emblem of American society and government. Is the present system, which the judiciary of the American government and its law enforcement has adopted in its treatment of African American youth, killing them at will, a righteous government – or is it tyranny?
And here suffer us to ask what tenderness, what regard, respect or consideration has the American judicial system and thus the Federal government shown, in their late and more often absent transactions, for the security of Black boys in America? Or rather what have they omitted doing to destroy our security as African Americans and the security of our communities?
They have declared, that they have ever had, and of right ought ever to have, full power to enact racist laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever. They have exercised this pretended right by imposing for example, Rockefellar Laws, upon us without our consent; and lest we should show some reluctance, Federal fleets and Police Department Swat teams beat down on our doors to enforce their mad pretensions. The town of Ferguson, ever faithful to the Federal government and the righteous arm of our law enforcement, has been infested with a fighting armed force disguised as police Swat teams: the troops of the American judicial system and the Federal government, not to engage an enemy but to assist a band of racist police officers in trampling on the right and liberties of some of America’s most loyal subjects – those rights and liberties which, as a government, they ought ever regard, and as a democracy, ought to be bound, in honor, to defend from violation, even at the risk of its own existence and survival.
Let not the history of the illustrious Founding Fathers of American freedom inform posterity that a government, descended from that glorious tradition of Emancipation and Democracy, continues to send its law enforcement officers, backed by an unrelenting judicial system, to arrest, jail, shoot or kill African American citizens without reason. But be perpetual infamy entailed upon the villain who dared to advise his master to such execrable measures; for it was easy to foresee the demonstrations of a peaceable people which so naturally followed the shooting and taking of life of the Black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer, Daren Wilson, and the lack of his indictment and arrest, which neither God nor any sane man could ever be empowered to fathom.
It was also reasonable to expect, that troops/Swat teams sent by the Ferguson Police Department – 56 police officers of which only 3 are African American, in a town that is over 65 percent African American – who knew the errand they were sent upon, would treat the people whom they were to subjugate, with a cruelty and haughtiness, which too often buries the honorable character of a righteous police officer, in the disgraceful name of an unfeeling racist ruffian.
Our streets nightly resounded with the noise of peaceful disobedience to the way and manner we have been treated, but through police riot and debauchery, our peaceful African American citizens were hourly exposed to shameful insults, and often felt the effects of police violence and outrage through teargas and rubber bullets. But this was not all: as though they thought it not enough to violate our civil rights, they endeavored to deprive us of the enjoyment of our constitutional right to protest; to viciate our morals, and thereby render us deserving of destruction. And must we be compelled to acknowledge, that even the noblest, fairest part of all the disenfranchised members of our community did not escape the cursed snare of seldom resorting to destroying some property in retaliation.
But we forbear, and come reluctantly to the transactions of the numerous times, when in quick successions we have felt the extremes of grief, astonishment and rage; when heaven in anger, for a dreadful moment, suffered hell to take the reins; when Satan with his chosen band of white cops opened sluices of African American blood, and sacrilegiously polluted our lands with the dead bodies of many a guiltless Black sons! Let this sad tale of death, ever symptomatic of America’s extra-judicial system since slave times, never be told without a tear: let not the heaving bosom cease to burn with a manly indignation at the barbarous stories, though through the long tracts of future time: let every parent tell the shameful story to his listening children until tears of pity glisten in their eyes and boiling passions shake their tender frames; and whilst the memory of that ill-fated night when white police officer Daren Wilson shot and killed our brother, our son, Michael Brown, for absolutely no reason, be kept a jubilee in the grim court of pandemonium, let all righteous America join in one common prayer to heaven, that the inhumane, unprovoked murders of Black men, planned or unplanned by law enforcement, and executed by the likes of Daren Wilson and a similar band of evil adjutors, may ever stand on history without parallel.
But what, my fellow African Americans, withheld the ready arm of vengeance from executing instant justice on the vile assassin? May that magnificence of spirit which scorns the low pursuit of malice, may that generous compassion which often preserves from ruin, even guilty villain, forever actuate the noble bosoms of African Americans! But let not the miscreant host vainly imagine that we feared their arms. No; them we despised; we dread nothing. We fear not death.
We, African Americans, expect that the hand of Godly and public justice would inflict eternal punishment upon Black teen murderers, which by the laws of God and man, such perpetrators of police brutality against Black men have incurred. But let the unbiased pen of a Benjamin Franklin or even an Abraham Lincoln, or perhaps of an equally famed white American, conduct these trials before the great tribunal of succeeding generations. And though these murderers may escape the just resentment of an enraged people; though drowsy murderers of African American boys may escape, though lackadaisical justice, intoxicated by the poisonous draught prepared for her cup, still nods upon her rotten seat, yet be assured, such broad day light crimes will meet their due reward.
Tell me, you bloody butchers! You villains high and low! You wretched who contrived, as well as you who executed the inhumane deed! Do you not feel the goads and stings of conscious guilt pierce through your savage bones? Though some of you may think yourselves beneath the mask of hypocrisy, and build your hopes of safety on the low arts of cunning, chicanery and falsehood; yet do you not sometimes feel the gnawing of that worm which never dies? Do not the injured shades of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford, attend you in your solitary walks; arrest you even in the midst of your debaucheries, and fill even your dreams with terror? But if the unappeased manes of the dead should not disturb their murderers, yet surely even your obdurate hearts must shrink, and your guilty blood must chill within your rigid veins, when you behold the miserable Black bodies, the wretched victims of your savage cruelty. Observe their tottering knees, which scarce sustain their wasted bodies; look on their haggard eyes; mark well the death-like sadness on their fallen cheeks, and tell me, does not the sight plant daggers in your souls? Unhappy Black bodies! Cut off, in the gay morn of manhood, from all the joys which sweeten life, doomed to drag on a pitiful existence, without even a hope to taste the pleasures of returning health!
Yet Michael Brown and the numerous faces of murdered Black youth, you leave not in vain; you leave a warning to your communities, which sympathize with you in your sufferings; you leave an affecting, an alarming instance of the unbounded violence which lust of power, assisted by our American law enforcement and our nonchalant Federal government, can lead many a white police officer to commit.
For us you bled, and now languishes. The wounds, by which you were tortured to a fingering death, were aimed at our African American communities! Surely the meek-eyed charity can never behold such sufferings with indifference. Nor can her lenient hand forbear to pour oil and wine into these wounds, and to assuage, at least, what it cannot heal.
Patriotism is ever united with humanity and compassion. This noble affection, which impels us to sacrifice every thing dear, even life itself, to our communities, involves in it a common sympathy and tenderness for every citizen, and must ever have a particular feeling for one who suffers in a public cause. Thoroughly persuaded of this, we need not add a word to engage the compassion of the greater American community and bounty towards fellow citizens, who, with long protracted colors of anguish, fall prey to the relentless rage of racist and tribal America.
You pale cold designing knaves, you murderers, parricides! How dare you tread upon the earth, which has drank in the blood of slaughtered innocents, shed by your wicked hands? How dare you breathe that air which wafted to the ear of heaven, the groans of those who fell a sacrifice to your accursed ambition? But if the laboring earth does not expand her jaws; if the air you breathe is not commissioned to be the minister of death; yet hear it and tremble! The eye of heaven penetrates the thickest chambers of the soul, traces the leading due through all the labyrinths which your industrious folly has devised; and you, however, you may have screened yourselves from human eyes, must be arraigned, must lift your hands, red with the blood of those whose death you have procured, at the tremendous bar of God!
But let us gladly quit the gloomy theme of death, and improve the thought of the day, when our naked souls must stand before that Being, from whom nothing can be hid. We African Americans have the most animating confidence, that the present and seemingly everlasting struggle for liberty; will terminate gloriously for all African Americans and our African American communities. And let us play the man for our God, and for the cities of our God; while we are using the means in our power to peacefully protest and stand in continuous defiance of tribal white America and her unjust laws, and the racist American extra-judicial system it continues to impose on us.
Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the universe, who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. And having secured the approbation of our hearts, by a faithful and unwearied discharge of our duty to our communities, let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him who raises up and puts down the empires and kingdoms of the world as He pleases; and with cheerful submission to His sovereign will, devoutly say, “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of our salvation,” because we are descended from the people of God; we were here first, before everyone else, by us, was conceived, and here and beyond we shall forever continue, in the unceasing remembrance of a Being mightier than all.
Inspired by ‘On the Boston Massacre’ – John Hancock, March 5, 1774.