The Black Working Class of Ferguson Opened Up Human Rights For All of Us
By Chris Crass (August 10, 2017)
Three years ago the Black working class communities of Ferguson, St, Louis, and the surrounding area, moved the political landscape of the country towards Black liberation, racial justice and collective liberation. Black working class communities, with young people, women, and parents in the lead, refused submission in the face of yet another racist police murder, in the face of a Ferguson city government and police force that made racist punishment and extortion through ticketing, bail, warrarents and imprisonment of Black people their business model.
The Black working class communities of Ferguson and St. Louis opened up the political space for the movement of Black Lives Matter to challenge white supremacy culturally, politically and institutionally, and their courage, tenacity, and resistance – against machine gun wielding police, tanks, snipers, mass media calling them thugs, criminals, and animals – their affirmation in words and action of Black humanity in defiance of the nightmare of white supremacy, awakened, radicalized, and energized people hungry for justice and liberation, all over the world.
Black working class people, who took enormous risks, who brought leadership in hundreds of different ways, who asserted the values and visions of Black liberation for a whole new generation, made history and we have been living in the times of a renaissance of leadership, organization, and vision for Black liberation every since.
Yes, we are also living in the times of white racist reaction, but we must never forget that Trump and the GOP are in fact in reaction to the life affirming, dignity for all of humanity asserting, movement for multiracial democracy, for Black liberation, for racial, economic and gender justice, for Black Lives Matter.
The people of Ferguson and St. Louis who took to the streets day after day, night after night, facing the violence and vitriol of this white supremacist society, fundamentally expanded human rights, democracy, economic, racial and gender justice, for all of us.
For Michael Brown and his family and community, for the people of Ferguson and St. Louis, for the Black leaders in cities, towns, suburbs and rural areas all over the country who created and continue to build the Black Lives Matter movement, let us all continue to build.
For those of us racialized, raised to be white in a white supremacist society, let us remember that this day three years ago was a moment in which we all had to ask “what side of history am I on” and how will I bring as many other white people onto the side of justice, multiracial democracy, and Black Lives Matter, as possible. Let us fight to free as many white people as possible from being soldiers of white supremacy, from having their/our humanity devoured in the service of a ruling class agenda to divide and rule us. Let us fight to unite as many white people as we can to the multiracial movements for collective liberation all around us, end white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, and all get free.