I just read Bob Avakian’s recent article: “1-2-3-4: We Have Seen This Shit Before!” This is such a brilliant and concise exposure of what BA refers to as “the well-worn ‘four-step method’” of the defenders of the system “to ‘pacify,’ ‘domesticate’—and misdirect into meaningless channels—the mass outpourings of outrage that erupt when crimes of this system, such as police terror and murder, become sharply exposed.”
Every single person in the struggle for justice should study this, and then compare it to what they have heard and are hearing from Obama and Pelosi, from “progressive mayors” and other “believers” in the “great promise” of America, because what they say is an exact match to what BA is calling out.
And as BA says, this is “well-worn”!! Check out this quote from the testimony of a Black intellectual, Dr. Kenneth Clark, before the Kerner Commission, which was set up to investigate the causes of the wave of Black rebellions against racism and police brutality that swept the U.S. in 1967 and to recommend reforms.
Clark told the commission:
I read that report … of the 1919 riot in Chicago, and it is as if I were reading the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of ’35, the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of ’43, the report of the McCone Commission on the Watts riot.
I must again in candor say to you members of this Commission: It is a kind of Alice in Wonderland—with the same moving picture re-shown over and over again, the same analysis, the same recommendations and the same inaction.
And note that this quote is taken from an article in the Baltimore Sun published on May 1, 1992 (“The same moving picture over and over 24-year-old advice from the Kerner Commission”), in the wake of the uprising that had just taken place in Los Angeles after the acquittal of four pigs caught on videotape savagely beating Rodney King, and amidst familiar expressions from the powers that be of “shock” over what was going on, and new cries for “investigations,” “commissions,” and “reforms.”
And note, Clark was a believer in American democracy and made his remarks in the hope that they would contribute to genuine change. And the Baltimore Sun reprinted his words 24 years later in the apparent hope of promoting some “effective reform.” And since then, we had the outrageous murders of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in 2014, kicking off yet another national protest movement and more investigations, “consent decrees,” “reforms.”
And yet here we are… not “again,” but STILL!
Why? Because this country was not only founded on slavery and genocide, but ever since, white supremacy has been deeply woven into every aspect of American capitalism-imperialism, every fiber of its economic, social, and political structures and its culture. And thus this system CANNOT end the oppression of Black and Brown people without unraveling the entire system, no matter how badly it is exposed or how often people protest or rebel against it.
One hundred years of bullshit investigations, commissions and reforms are powerful evidence of what BA says in this recent piece:
This leads to the conclusion that what is required is REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!—and the struggle against all the ways in which this system oppresses, degrades, exploits and plunders people, and the environment, must be waged with a determination to build toward the revolution that will sweep away this system, and bring a much better system into being, laying the foundation and providing the means for moving beyond all the unnecessary suffering, and the madness and destruction, that this system of capitalism-imperialism imposes on the masses of humanity, and ultimately on humanity as a whole.