In writing my Yolqui book on law enforcement violence, a couple of things happened along the way. I have met and been in contact with more and more families who have had family members killed or brutalized extrajudicially by law enforcement – that is, without indictments or trials, etc. The trauma is immeasurable, especially sans justice. What I have further learned through my life-long monitoring of such abuse is that violence by law enforcement against Red-Black-Brown peoples is not random, but targeted, especially when considering the complicit role of the judicial system in failing to hold officers and departments accountable. No advanced country in the world has a similar track record. Some 1100-1200 people are killed yearly, absent trials.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Most cases remain virtually invisibilized, especially the cases West of the Mississippii. Unknown to most people, California and Texas lead the nation, year after year in such killings. Also unknown to most people is that the highest rates of killings happen to Indigenous peoples in this country. We know the killing of Black youths and young Black men are through the roof, and so too is the killing of Raza, with major undercounts by both the government, the media and those that count these deaths (look for a Raza database shortly on these deaths and the significant undercounts). Also, this violence is out of control generally, but the violence against these three peoples/communities can literally be traced on this continent to 1492, when Europeans viewed everyone they encountered as less than human. This is still true to this day and the evidence is that impunity. Despite the advent of videotaped evidence and social media (Youtube), prosecutions and convictions are still less than extremely rare. And thus, the unjustified killings continue unabated.
Lastly, at the end of the process of writing the book, I made a connection I had not previously made; women from these same communities are being subjected to extrajudicial violence, not by law enforcement per se, though they are guilty too, but primarily by non-state actors. The connection with that violence, and the violence by law enforcement, is that it is also being carried out with impunity. The connection is the nation’s judicial system. No investigations, thus no prosecutions, no trials, no convictions and of course, no prison time. The exceptions are extremely rare. And this applies to both of these violences. And of course, government and politicians are complicit in their failure to step forward on this issue.
Thus, on this day, Oct 22, when people and organizations bring to light law enforcement violence throughout this country, we need to also bring to light the Murdered and Missing Indigenous, African American and migrant women, who are also being hit hard by this violence. And this also includes trans women who are also being killed at extraordinary rates. The levels of violence against all these communities are literally at pandemic levels.
Solutions? Since Rodney King. Since Michael Brown. Since George Floyd. Whenever there is a high-profile killing, there is always talk of reform, but have we seen any substantial reforms? Every human rights organization, including the UN, has denounced this violence, though the killings continue. The violence continues. The impunity continues. The promises continue. The invisibilzation and the silencings continue. The lack of justice also continues. Without any other seeming recourse, it is high time to bring a legal case not simply to the UN’s International Criminal Court at the Hague. It should also be brought to the OAS. The time of impunity has to come to an end.
By ROBERTO Dr. CINTLI Cintli Rodriguez
PROGRESSIVE POPULIST NOV. 1 ISSUE
If the current White House occupant were to lose the presidential election and refuses to step down, would his cult followers respond with a violent uprising? At minimum, we know they are on “standby.”
Akin to the breakup of the Soviet Union, could this also spell the “end of America?”
Some observers have speculated that his white supremacist followers have, in effect, already seceded from the nation (What could upset this political apple cart even further is if he were to succumb to COVID 19).
What of the opposite? What if he is thrashed at the polls, but again “wins” via the Electoral College, but this time, his opposition refuses to accept such a verdict? Also, what if Indigenous-Black-Brown peoples decide to secede from the nation, peoples that have historically been treated as “enemy others?” One only need to examine all of the nation’s critical indices – especially during the pandemic and the continued state violence and hate crimes with impunity against them, plus the reprehensible school to prison pipeline – to understand this rationale. Also, the denial of the UN-guaranteed right to teach their own histories, languages and cultures, accentuates this sub-human status.
Certainly, the rise of the Orange Madman and his white supremacist misogynist cult have caused people to question why peoples pledge loyalty to a nation that is not loyal to, and often wars against, them.
And yet, this secession talk is actually coming from his own base. Providence, Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism guides them, and it is they who fear displacement from their “God-ordained” lands. Apparently God is not Red, Black or Brown.
In regards to Chicanos specifically, the right-wing has had them seceding for decades now via Aztlan, “the original Homeland of the Aztecs,” and the “Reconquista.” In terms of Chicanos themselves, the dream of Aztlan was very much a 1960s-1970s thing, though it amounted more to a poetic/cultural/spiritual expression than to a widespread political movement.
However, as a result of the way this country has treated peoples of Mexican/Central American origin recently, such talk is on the rise again. What propels it is their continued silencing and invisibilization in virtually all matters in this country. Add to that children in cages and ICE’s hunter battalions, that continually wreak havoc in these communities, and this adds fuel to this fire. Due to such abuses, the social contract between Peoples of Color and government arguably has been null and void for decades now. The MAGA slogan is that reminder. When “America was great” was during the worst of times for POCs.