Another victim of the white supremacist state has not seen justice and her name is Sandra Bland. A grand jury decided on December 21 that no one in the State Department of Public Safety will be charged, five months after her death drew national uproar.
Sandra Annette Bland was a 28-year-old Black Lives Matter activist who was stopped by police on July 10, 2015, (three days before her birthday) for a minor traffic violation on University Drive in Prairie View, Texas. In a series of events recorded by police officer Brian Encinia, she was brutally arrested, slammed to the ground on her head and was heard repeating, “I can’t hear” all while the state trooper shoved a knee into her back after he asked her to remove a cigarette. Several witnesses have confirmed this, including an associate of Bland. She was taken to Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety claims that she was arrested because she kicked Encinia. She was falsely charged with assaulting a public servant and put in the separate cell where she was found dead.
Corporate media distorts reality by using information provided by the state to demonize people that get killed by police. False accounts are repeated constantly as facts until they become ingrained in public opinion. This is how when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, channels showed a picture of a Black young man with a gun that was not Martin. Corporate media runs false allegations and then drops the issue all together so that it is forgotten by public. This is a form of counter insurgency used by the state to quell the anger of the people in light of injustice.
On the other hand, the Left has largely stayed silent about the ruling of the grand jury. Not only are Black women are not worthy of justice in this country, but when injustice is committed against them, very few people feel indignation and anger in same way we do when men die. In a rally in Waller County, where she died, only 12 people showed up. Why is that when a man dies people promptly take over bridges and spark rebellions? This points at the brutality of patriarchy exacerbated within the context of white supremacist violence. Time and time again, these system show us how Black lives don’t really matter, and if you are a woman or a member of other oppressed gender, your life matters even less.
With the death of Sandra Bland, we see yet again that the state does not punish white supremacist and patriarchal violence. As in the cases of Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Jessica Hernandez, Aiyana Jones, and Trayvon Martin, we see that the US “justice system” does not see the murder of working-class oppressed nationalities, women, and other oppressed genders as criminal act. Time and time again, this type of genocidal behavior is approved by the state. This continuous pattern of violence should alarm the consciousness of the masses and show them that white-supremacist criminals are protected by the US government, especially if they are police officers. We understand that in these cases, we can’t just talk about gun violence and police brutality without talking about them as part of the systemic oppression our people face at the hands of the white supremacist state.
Police terror has plagued working-class communities historically. Whether it is Rodney King or Eric Garner, cops use repressive force against people from oppressed communities. We see that the police has taken up the signature phrase “Protect and Serve.” However, they don’t protect and serve Brown and Black people; they do not serve the interests of the working class. Facilitating mass incarceration, killing people in working class communities, and increasing patrols in these communities in support of gentrification is behavior that serves the ruling class.
How is it that we stop this police terror? What is the solution to this problem? We have to organize. We must organize the communities that are most affected by police brutality. We should have marches and rallies but we also need to start understanding revolutionary theory and engage with the masses in practice to make a change in society. As revolutionaries, we must build a movement that is strong and that will put forth the politics that will liberate all exploited people.
Justice for Sandra Bland and all Black women victims of police terror!
Down with the police state in our communities!
Fist up! Fight back!