No Justice, No Peace

Tyler Samuels (Toronto, Canada)

No Justice, No Peace

I can honestly say I am now completely broken, the system that attacks black people has finally crushed the last bone of resistance in me after four years of non-compliance to a regime that seems almost blind to the ongoing crisis when it comes to policing in both Canada and the United States. I am tired of waking up every morning to see that another black man, woman or individual has been murdered by police for the slightest infractions. I am tired of my various white friends telling me, “I don’t understand the case” or “The system isn’t racist against blacks.” I am tired of hearing that young African-Americans can hardly walk down the street without being interrogated by police while white Americans within the similar age can go free without prohibition to their person. I am tired of people saying not all police officers are bad and I am exhausted on the excuses upon excuses that are given each day to Black people to explain away racism within the police force.

The fact of matter is this is state sanctioned murder, the examples of Alton Sterling who was simply selling CDs before he was murdered to when Philando Castile who was a gun owner and told police before reaching for his wallet and also gunned down. Show there is something amiss, something is wrong that we are now seeing over 115 black people that have been gunned down by police and others for doing the simplest of things. Are we no longer safe? I live in Canada but we are mistaken if the police force is not as bad as it is in the states. I have decided months ago that if I come within police attention that I will always have my phone camera on to protect myself. Is this a normal sign for a Black-Canadian who’s proud of his country? Is it normal for those in the United States to tell their black children that they must obey everything the police officer says, even if wrong? Just to make sure that in the end they are safe from harm’s way?

A year ago when I wrote Why White American Jews Should Rethink Race, I stressed that being black in America was a death sentence. The anger from that statement still shocks me. If we can learn anything from the moment it was published until now, we see this statement is 100% accurate. When I was younger, I detested Malcolm X. He was the black supremacist, part of an anti-Semitic organization that disparaged Dr. King and advocated loudly for segregation to remain. My heroes when it came to the racial struggle where total opposites, Dr. King, Mandela, Sojourner Truth or Samuel Sharpe.

Malcolm`s message of no passive resistance needs to be embraced. What Malcolm wanted was for Black people to remove themselves from the “yes masa, no masa” attitude when it came to challenging state authority abusing them. Michael Eric Dyson in his book, The Myth & Meaning of Malcolm X argues that Malcolm had five different stages of learning throughout his life, however it did not change his resolve to see Blacks empowered.

As Jews we have learned that passive reluctance has led to the greatest tragedies that no other people except Blacks have faced. So I question why is there such opposition for Blacks to embrace the right for self-defence by not only the white community but elements of the Jewish community? If we look at the Philando Castile or Alton Sterling   case, they followed the law and when they saw that they were unjustly being blighted by the same law that is supposed to protect all Americans, they resisted within their constitutional rights. Resistance to a wrongful authority should never led to a person`s death. If it does it shows that the authority is no longer just but unjust and should be removed by any means necessary, the consequences of social contract theory.   However as usual the Jewish response is quiet, except for the few liberal & orthodox Jewish rabbis, we need to be united instead of divided. In Why White American Jews Should Rethink Race, I used a quote from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel,

“We forfeit the right to worship God as long as we continue to humiliate negroes… The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.”

We have forfeited that right.

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