BIE, Felicia: Fighting for Justice and Our Basic Human Rights Isn’t Extremism

Over a hundred people gathered in front of the home of Dwayne Jeune, who was killed by New York City police, in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Aug. 19, 2017, to protest the killing of the mentally ill by the New York City Police Department. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Over a hundred people gathered in front of the home of Dwayne Jeune, who was killed by New York City police, in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Aug. 19, 2017, to protest the killing of the mentally ill by the New York City Police Department. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

They are trying to turn black people into the bogeyman. They want everyone else in America to see us as a threat so that when we are killed with impunity, no one bats an eyelash. This is already happening anyway.

In a country that was founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it appears that you can fully reap those benefits only if you are not black, and if you are black and want those benefits, then you need to keep your mouth closed so that you can have the illusion of getting them.

The new buzz phrase is “black identity extremists,” and since it has been coined by the FBI, we can accurately assume that this is COINTELPRO 2.0. It will not stop here. They are painting us with a wide brush and making us the enemy because we dare demand equal treatment and justice. They are already finding multiple ways to create punitive damages for black people who speak out against injustice.


They want to silence black resistance, so they label it something big and scary that serves as a dog whistle to a certain base. They do this while simultaneously normalizing white supremacist and white nationalist ideology.

Black people wanting justice and equality is considered “extreme,” while a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., complete with torches, Nazi insignia and an innocent woman being killed, is normal.

As someone said on Twitter, all we have asked is for the repeated killing of unarmed black men and women by police to stop and for justice in those cases where it does happen. This, it seems, has caused white America to lose its collective mind.


Being unapologetically black, asserting that black lives matter (the “too” is silent) and fighting for our basic human rights isn’t extremism; it is the foundation this country was founded on, and these are the principles that the flag they claim is under attack represents.


But apparently that is only OK when it’s white people exercising those rights.

The new plantation system is fully engaged. Instead of a whip, they attack our character and our livelihoods. Consider the case of Jemele Hill.


ESPN suspended her earlier this week because she said in a tweet that the best way to respond to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ demand that all of the team’s players stand during the national anthem was to go after his advertisers. Nothing gets white people—especially white people in positions of extreme power—angrier than going after their bag, so they went after hers.


The president of the United States found time in his busy schedule to directly attack her—a black woman and a journalist who operates under the presumption of freedom of speech—on Twitter.

She is not the first, and she won’t be the last.

They already iced Colin Kaepernick out and took his bag, making it impossible for him to play in a league he worked so hard to get into, and he didn’t even say a gotdamn thing. He simply knelt during the national anthem and explained to those who asked why he was kneeling. He wanted justice. He wanted black lives to matter.


Apparently that is too much to ask.

They want your Colins and your Jemeles to stop talking so loud with all their uppity learning, getting all the other darkies riled up. There’s no place for that here. Just be glad you are being allowed to earn a living and stay in your place. There’s no need for you to be going around causing all this trouble.


Except we aren’t the ones causing the trouble; we are simply seeking an end to it.

The shaky premise of the entire “black identity extremists” narrative is that in response to the unending cycle of black lives being cut down by police who are never punished, black people will react with violence against police. This is a false-flag attack. There is data that directly contradicts this narrative. The fact is, the number of police officers killed on the job (pdf) is far lower than the number of civilians killed by police, and when police are killed by citizens, statistics suggest that it is more often by white perpetrators than black.


Black Lives Matter demonstrations are not violent. There are no torches. No one is being attacked except, usually, the demonstrators themselves.

We can’t talk about justice. We can’t march for justice. We can’t kneel for justice and we can’t tweet for justice.


All of these things are being treated as extreme, when, in fact, they are not.

What is extreme is the narrative being crafted to make black people appear as though they are somehow in the wrong for wanting the same rights and treatment as everyone else: freedom of speech, freedom of the press and equal protection under the law.


And because the internet exists, those presenting this narrative are able to get this propaganda out faster and spread it far and wide in a way they weren’t able to do in the days of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and the original Black Panther Party.

The base they are appealing to and using this dog whistle for exists in a media vacuum. As this message gets repeated over and over again by the FBI, the alt-Reich “alt-right” media and the president himself, it becomes a call to action for them.


And because their ideology is being normalized, no one will be shocked or surprised when they act out in racially motivated attacks against us. Hell, no one is surprised when it happens now.

They want us to appear to be the enemy on our own soil because doing so allows their white supremacist system to continue to exist. All of these acts against black people and the Movement for Black Lives are the real extremism.


But because the voices speaking out against it are largely black, no one is listening.

(Shoutout to Feminista Jones by way of @N7IRL for inspiring this headline with her Twitter display name.)

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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I don’t even know what to say. I’m just angry and disappointed and frustrated and hopeless. This country is so fucked up and I have no idea what to do about it.