HandsUp

“This is not about one man. This is about structural racism in a country built on Black slavery.”

“You don’t stick a knife 9 inches deep, pull it out 6 inches and call that progress. Progress is healing that wound. America has not even acknowledged the knife is there.” – Malcolm X

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Hands Up
Vince Staples
Hands Up

“Hands Up” - Vince Staples

“North Division tryin’ to stop my blackness. Deangelo Lopez and Tyler Woods, just a couple they gunned down around the hood. I guess the pigs split wigs for the greater good ‘cause I ain’t seen them lock a swine up yet. At the most they reassign 'em to prevent protests. Just your color is enough to get you under arrest. Strong hand of the law got me feeling oppressed. If you flippin’, kill a fifty, then get in the chair. Paying taxes for some fucking clowns to ride around whoopin’ niggas’ asses.”

Dear America, Your roots are showing.

Blacks do not have equal protection under the law nor are we acknowledged as fully human nor do we have equal opportunity.

That is the law of the land enforced in the streets by brutal police forces that originated in America as slave patrols. Their original function was to serve white men by protecting white-owned property and beating blacks down into a permanent underclass of servile people who only counted as 3/5 human.

That is still their function today. Policing, harassing, beating black people down beginning in grade school where they patrol the hallways and arrest black youth for simply behaving like teenagers, funneling them from the open-air prisons of the ghettos to the closed door prisons of a mass incarceration system where they serve as cheap labor for the corporations that run the United States of America.

And just like indentured servants of long ago, working class, blue-collar whites cling to white supremacy and white privilege as the one thing providing separation between themselves and the lowest rung of the US caste system. They work low paying jobs with no benefits barely escaping poverty, blaming other low-income people of color for their economic predicament.

Meanwhile, the wealthiest white men– the same 1% of the last 3 centuries– continue their daily meeting on Wall Street, New York City’s first official slave market.