A Short Reader on Police, Protests, Racism, and Riots

To our students, the young, and the enraged:

As protests verge on rebellion, we are all called on to reckon with the crisis and crossroads at which we find ourselves, a process that requires placing today’s events within a long and uneven historical frame of struggle against white supremacy in America. However, from Fox News to the New York Times, the corporate media insist on the same fundamental message: lawful protests are the only acceptable form of resistance to incessant police violence. Their “both sides”-liberalism gives equal space to white supremacists and Democratic Party elites and equates the rebellious destruction by protestors with the violence of police brutality under capitalism. So we turn instead to the rich canon of radical Black activists and writers, whose work we have excerpted in the hope that it will be helpful and illuminating to you—our fellow protester, activist, organizer, and comrade.

June 2020