Don’t Fall For Performative Politics [The Dispatch]

Real Life Monopoly Man, Jeff Bezos has come out in support of Black Lives Matter y’all! Bezos recently shared an email from an irate customer that was incredibly upset about Amazon.com’s decision to support Black Lives Matter and even said All Lives Matter in the email! He explained to this customer that he believes in the movement and understands the struggles of the black community. And he went on to donate $10 million to social justice causes. And in other news, Jeff Bezos has won the Oscar for the greatest actor of all time. 

Now I’m sure there’s a few of you that are shocked by my statement. “Krish come on, the guy’s out there doin his best and said he supports the movement! How can you be so cynical!” Let explore this situation for a minute. Jeff Bezos, the man that is on his way to be the FIRST TRILLIONAIRE, got an email personally from a customer! If it was this easy to contact billionaire CEOs of massive corporations, I’d be having conversations with Tim Cook of Apple on the daily about planned obsolescence. I’m supposed to believe that Macy from Idaho just had Jeffy B’s email ready to go? There’s no way this wasn’t staged. 

Secondly if he was supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, why did he fire a Black Man in March for saying Amazon didn’t care about his life or any of their employees’s lives! Chris Smalls was fired for revealing that Amazon knew of employees testing positive, but told their managers to keep people working and FIRED him for organizing a strike. That’s not supporting Black Lives! The reason he staged this statement is to make sure that when the revolution comes for what’s ours, we leave him alone. 

Lastly, he is donating $10 million to social justice causes as he’s about to become a TRILLIONAIRE! He’s made over $25 BILLION in personal profits during the pandemic. $10 million is nothing to him. It’s like a suburbanite giving a homeless person a quarter and feeling good about themselves for “helping”. If Bezos wanted to help, he’d give his weigh in donations to every single social justice movement in America. 

This is part of a long string of performative politics employed by corporations and politicians alike to get us back on complacency teets. My friend Eleanor Goldfield calls it the “Struggle Theater” in her most recent Mint Press News article. We have been seeing these performances given by the uber rich, out of touch politicians, while the real performers are out of work and are given nothing from a government that claims to give a shit about them. It’s a distraction to stroke their own egos and we the people need to stop falling for it. 

Nancy Pelosi has been putting on a show for the past minimum 2 years. Everyone screamed ‘YAS QUEEN’ when she tore up Trump’s speech at the State of the Union address while ignoring how quickly she gave a standing ovation to Juan Guido, the fake imperialist coup President of Venezuela. If she’d gotten up any faster, she would’ve flown off into the stands and automatically felated Guido in support of his false Presidency. And that is now an image that none of us can get out of our heads. 

Pelosi also pretended to read out of the Bible to mock Trump. For someone that hates socialism so much she will use the book of a Socialist in high praise for a photo op. America screamed ‘Double YAS QUEEN’ as she shoved Medicare for All in prison and declined a Universal Basic Income for struggling Americans. Then the Democrats famous wore Kente cloths and kneeled for 8 minutes to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement only to turn around and pass a ‘no shit’ legislation like banning chokeholds and saying “murder is bad”. No shit Democrats. How about you change the structure of policing and fund things that actually need funding, like social programs, community development, education, mental health programs instead of your vapid displays of performative politics!

In Washington D.C. you had Mayor Muriel Bowser paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the street leading up to the White House. In her article Eleanor Goldfield points out that “activist and journalist Jacquie Luqman wrote recently: ‘Muriel Bowser doesn’t even like the Black people in her own city. This means nothing. It does nothing for us. It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t improve schools. Doesn’t get rid of the spouse abusing fascist top cop she loves so much, in reference to Metro Police Chief Newsham. Doesn’t stop gentrification of poor Black neighborhoods. Doesn’t improve affordable housing. Doesn’t change any of the lack of progress she has made on any of those things.’”

All of these performative politics is art-jacking. These elites are stealing art from the artists and the communities they serve! Look artists are of the people. Real transformative art doesn’t come from the economic elites, it comes from those on the ground. It comes from the people grew up  in the underserved neighborhoods that communicate their struggles through beauty and creativity to empower the neighborhoods they come from. Artists have always been on the pulse of what’s really going on and push back against those at the top. Artists are a vital part of any movement and revolution. These theatrics are robbing the people of real art and making a mockery of it! 

These performances also use other social issues as scapegoats to distract us away from the courts upholding the status quo. Recently the Supreme Courts ruled that people in the LGBTQ community can’t be fired for their identities. And they recently also over turned a Trump ruling against DACA ensuring the immigration provision stays in place. Now these are common sense things that should’ve already been in place anyway. A society that legalized gay marriage should’ve ensured the rights of the working class in the LGBTQ community. And there has been a call to reform the Immigration system for over a decade! So why are we applauding the courts for doing something they should’ve done decades ago.

But these rulings were passed simultaneously as the courts declined to overturn any Qualified Immunity cases for cops that murder people. Qualified Immunity basically says ‘cops gonna cop’! It’s an excuse for the courts to allow cops to commit their acts of brutality, murder civilians, break into people’s homes, take their money and have zero accountability for any of it. Lawyers have fought for Qualified Immunity because they say people in these sort of positions of shouldn’t have to go through “frivolous lawsuits”. Yeah, its so frivolous to want justice and cops to be held at the same standard as everyone else. This is proof that Cops are not part of the working class in America because the Supreme Court is keeping Qualified Immunity to uphold the frivolity of innocent lives lost at the hand of the thin blue line. 

During the Harlow vs. Fitzgerald case in 1982, the Supreme Court said that monetary compensation is the only “realistic avenue”. Well then I guess this Supreme Court ruling justifies reparations for all levels. Black, Brown and any member of the working class that has been oppressed by a Capitalist system is owed a large check made out to cash, because fuck your banks!The courts didn’t rule to hold violent & murderous cops accountable for their crimes, but rather gave them a green light to do it with their robed blessing.

Let’s look at all the other cases that the precious Supreme Court used this vaccinated ruling to protect the police from the big bad unarmed civilians they brutalized. The Hunter vs. Bryant case used Qualified Immunity to excuse warrantless searches. The Saucier vs. Katz case used Qualified Immunity to protect cops and lets them use excessive force. The Brosseau vs. Haugen case used Qualified Immunity protected a cop after he shot someone in back for fleeing. The San Francisco vs. Sheehan case used Qualified Immunity to protect a cop for repeated shooting a mentally ill person. The Plumhoff vs. Rickard case used Qualified immunity to allow cops to use excessive force to stop a vehicle. The Utah vs. Streiff case justified searching citizens without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Police are justified to carry out no-knock warrants which got Breonna Taylor killed.

Qualified Immunity also allows cops to force you use a breathalyzer, take your DNA, draw your blood, and use the “fear for my life” rationale as an excuse. And people buy the fear of life argument, because there are cops breaking down over Egg McMuffins so clearly if someone says “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” that’s a trigger warning, LITERALLY! Odd they cry over an Egg McMuffin but not over robbing someone of their life! At this point the courts are basically letting mentally unstable sociopaths to protect us by waging a war on our streets! And guess what, war is scary! It’s not Medal of Honor, you don’t get points for killing civilians! But remember we have all have to vote Democrat to have control over these courts. These same courts that for over 40 years have given the police the permission to kill us on our streets!

Look I’m thrilled that my Alphabet brothers and sisters don’t have to worry about being fired for who they are. I’m also thrilled for my fellow immigrant brothers and sisters to have less fear about deportation. But this victory is being used by the oligarchy as a bread crumb to ensure they can take rights away from us as we celebrate. We can celebrate these victories while keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground. This is the time for all of us stand up and push back on their struggle theater. 

To say “at least we don’t have slavery so that’s cool” is giving them permission to give us bread crumbs when we need a meal! Complacency is the greatest of American traditions and that’s what these performative politics do, keep us complacent. Apathy is the greatest feat of American culture. And retweeting this struggle theater only shows your support for it. But complacency and apathy are no longer luxuries that the faux resistance can afford. The real resistance at your door and its not going away just because you bought a Black Lives Matter T-shirt from Amazon. We are here because you bought a BLM shirt from a corporate war monger and you that’s fine and enough.

If I may take a moment to generalize, the people I see falling for these theatrics from the elites are good natured, white liberals that covet their NPR and channel their wokeness by watching the TV show ‘Blackish’. These folks are also the ones that fear ideas like ‘Defund the Police’ and equate it to riots and criminality. They like to quote Martin Luther King Jr., but miss the point. 

So let’s look at what MLK actually said “A riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt…And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” We are calling for justice while the struggle theater and it’s complacent compatriots want their tranquility back, turning a blind eye to a bigger problem.

They look at these performances to be as good as, if not better, than legislation. They haven’t taken time to learn their own history and understand the point why minority communities can’t call the cops for protection. That’s a privilege and luxury for a lot folks, but it isn’t for us. We in the minority community have had to fear financial imprisonment, regular imprisonment and even death. None of us wants to be a hashtag, but it seems that’s the only these rich white liberals hear what we’ve been saying for generations. 

Look these are concessions because the oligarchy and their hired thugs in the police departments are scared. This is not the time to stop or accept weak compromises. This is the to tell these so called leaders to leave the performances to us and start doing their job, which is govern with the people’s best interest in mind. The compromise isn’t painting the streets. It’s defunding the police and reinvesting into community initiatives that mean less of us dead in the streets. It’s giving us our chance to live our lives in the best conditions possible. We are here to say that we’re going to compromise on our equality.