A New Constitution or the Bullet
I never thought I would be in the place I am in right now. About two months ago, I was in Oakland at a “Say Her Name” protest and was being detained by about 25 cops in riot gear. I had a text message ready to send to my lawyer that I was about to be arrested. Luckily, myself and other protesters were let go. The next day as I was in my kitchen doing dishes and I began singing the freedom song passed down to our generation by elder community activists, “Which side are you on?”. After organizing and participating in numerous protests, cries for freedom rang through my mind. However, I began to feel hopeless.
After what has felt like endless hours of Black protest and uprising throughout the United States, I felt like our progress was moving in circles. Instead of police killings decreasing in the Bay Area, I witnessed an increase in killings of Black men in Oakland. Five Black men have been executed by in OPD this summer alone. I am tired of waking up and checking twitter to see another Black body as a hashtag. Our Black Lives Matter protests have stormed the country, yet cops continue to kill us daily, and the and the judicial system continues to justify our deaths with acquittals, non-indictments and light sentences-all in the name of upholding the Constitution.
I have come to realize that the Constitution is the root of virtually all our problems in America. In order to understand the injustices against Black folks in United States, we must look back to its foundation. The U.S. is a country that was founded on slavery, genocide, rape, and white male patriarchy. The colonizers that we condemn for enslaving Afrikans and murdering indigenous peoples are the same people that produced and upheld the document we use to govern our nation to this day. Our bloodshed is rooted in this nation’s founding document, The Constitution. A body cannot be separated from its head and remain living. The Constitution and all the evil that it allows to be perpetuated are the head of White America, or more so corrupt America. Racist America. If you separate the head the racism will die.
This constitution was written for “all men to be equal”, yet these same white men who cried out for equality and freedom from persecution owned Black people as slaves and participated in calculated genocidal tactics against the Black race. In addition, only white men wrote the Constitution. A Constitution written by only white men will never serve the interests Black people. The Constitution was written for the ruling class of white men which constructed whiteness to be more valuable than any other race. When we discuss institutional racism, it is essential that we realize the Constitution created it.
The Constitution has created a system of governance that has been executing Black people everyday. From slavery, to sharecropping, to debt peonage, to chain gangs, to gentrification, to the for-profit prison industry that is upheld through the 13th amendment which allows for slavery if one has committed a crime. From Emmett Till, to the four little girls, to Mike Brown, to Rekia Boyd, to Maya Hall, to the Charleston nine, and to Sandra Bland. America has not protected us. On the contrary, it seeks to destory our very own humanity. We live in a society that is not safe for us. And as the Declaration of Independence says:
whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness
Do we not have the right to abolish the laws that oppress us? It is time to claim the Declaration of Independence and apply it to our struggle as colonized Black people in America. The United States has declared war against us; it is time we demand a new constitution or tell America that she will get the bullet. I say this not as an act of aggression, but as an act of self-defense. I do not want violence, however, white supremacy’s bullets are killing Black people every day. If America does not protect us, then it is our human right to defend ourselves by any means necessary. It is our human right to overthrow a government that has been destructive to our people. This is why we must rise up and let all people come together and write new constitution to serve ALL people.
The idea for a new constitution is not a new idea, rather an old one that was developed by the Black Panther Party. In 1970, the Black Panther Party organized a Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention, however, after infiltration by the illegal COINTELPRO the idea never came into fruition. We must pick up where the Black Panthers left off and declare a new constitution or it will be the bullet.
If America truly wants to be a nation that values the lives of all people, it has one option, and the option is a National Constitution Convention. This is the last hope America has to become whole. If America fails to allow all people of this nation to write a new constitution, then it will be the bullet. Revolution is inevitable in a society that does not value the lives of all people.
Let the bells of freedom ring…