Open Threads

Open Threads is an open blogging platform, for debate and exploration of ideas among communists and radicals. Content presented here is contributed by Kasama site users.

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The events in Ferguson make commemorating Nat Turner even more poignant and timely than usual. Long live the spirit of Nat Turner! Let's fight for the final liberation of African-descended people on this continent!

August 13, 1831: The Slave Rebellion of General Nat Turner

by Mike Ely

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It's what a lot of people — righteously angry people — call the police. It's not a word that "polite society" approves of, but sometimes, especially when we're talking about racist killer cops in places like Ferguson, Missouri, it's the only word that fits.

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Kasama received the following from the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee.

Hands up, turn up for Mike Brown: August 20th nation-wide

Another Black man dead. This would be just another day like every other day in America, if it weren’t for one simple fact: Ferguson turned out, stood up, and has refused to get back on its knees.
Stand up around the country on August 20th for a national day of action:

New York City
Wednesday, 9pm, Tompkins Sq Park *Wear black in remembrance of #MikeBrown*

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We all watched last week as Obama gave a press conference shaming both the people of Ferguson and the local cops alike. It is a familiar narrative. Who could forget the days of Hurricane Katrina, where after the National Guard was sent in with shoot to kill orders of so-called looters, we were suddenly told about the evil local Mayor, Ray Nagin. And how supposedly this crisis, managed from the highest levels of power from FEMA to George Bush himself, was all his fault. And they sacrificed Nagin and washed their hands of the whole situation.

But that wasn't just George Bush's rap: Barack Obama himself told us to "respect the verdict" when Trayvon Martin was lynched. There was a thousand ways he could have intervened to bring justice to George Zimmerman. Federal charges could have been filed. But instead Barack Obama called on people to oppose Stand Your Ground laws, the local laws of Florida. Suddenly, his hands were washed of the situation, while the fault was placed on local administrators in the state of Florida.

And what is happening today is no different. So many of us last night watched John Oliver's skit on the lynching of Michael Brown, hoping to watch John Oliver shred them, but instead we got populism of the Elizabeth Warren left-liberal type (watch it here: This skit is sadly more of the same: a local dumbass mayor is roasted for his idiotic comments on race. We're treated to a skit of rednecks driving a swat tank in Georgia to the music "Die, Mother fucker die." We're shown footage of local cops in full military outfits, while the National Guard who are now occupying Ferguson are not even mentioned. We're told over and over by John Oliver about what it means to be Black *in Ferguson*. What about what it means to be Black in America?

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