I received a text:
“The police killed another Black man.”
“Damn, forreal…where at?”
“Ard. About to go look."
I was detached from emotion when I went and checked the news. There is something about hearing, seeing, and being exposed to something repeatedly that can numb you, desensitize you. And unfortunately, Black bodies being chopped down by police bullets in board daylight in America air across television screens like a popularized commercial. And not only that, but once we are assassinated by the police, we are promptly assassinated by the media; ridiculed for our very existence, then blamed for our resistance.
Walter Wallace Jr., a 26-year-old Black man from Philly, is the latest victim of the state that follows this pattern. The police were aware of the mental condition of Mr. Wallace, for they were called over a period of several months, including twice that day. Once the police arrived, Mr. Wallace had a knife. However, the family of Mr. Wallace and other community members informed the police once they arrived that he was manic bipolar. They asked the police not to utilize force.
All of this was ignored. The two pigs opened fire and sent 14 shots into Mr. Wallace's direction. “You don’t need that many shots!” screamed a bystander. And of course, he’s right, you don’t, but the police do not see any redeeming qualities or value in Black bodies; rather, they slaughter them with impunity. And those who are not liquidated in the streets by pig violence are effectively liquidated by the state through its courts, jails, and prisons.
The masses, however, are becoming more acutely aware of these facts even if they are unable to properly articulate them. They can feel it. As a result, they are becoming increasingly fed up with it. The spontaneous nature and eventual development to resist their social, cultural, and political repression is something inherent in the colonized masses. This is proven throughout history. So once hearing the news regarding another summary execution of a member of their own community by the pigs, the Black masses went directly to the streets and started tearing shit up. Uprisings of all kinds are beautiful. This was no different. The people confronted and challenged the so-called legitimacy and authority of U.S bourgeois law and democracy. They made the connection, by breaking and taking shit, between their own social and political misery, bourgeois property, and the exploitation of their labor and resources by capitalistic businesses.
You cannot loot what has already been stolen from you. We call that liberation. The capitalist press, however, spoke of the murder of Walter Wallace as some mere side note and chose instead to focus primarily on the “looting” by the masses. Elected officials, religious leaders, radio and television personalities, etc. all condemned the activities of the masses while saying little about the unjustified murder of Walter Wallace in front of his family by the pigs. This is a tactic used by the bourgeois press because it is effective in shifting the narrative away from where it needs to be, and redirecting it to somewhere it does not need to be. Most media sources operating in America are tools of bourgeois propaganda and of social and political repression. These sources of “information” are not for us, but against us. They want us aware of the small-scale, local “looting” of an oppressed community struggling against neocolonial and genocidal conditions while saying nothing about the large-scale, genocidal looting of the Congo.
The United States, in the interest of imperialism, along with their puppet governments Rwanda and Uganda, is violently and savagely looting the Congo of its raw and precious natural resources. This large-scale looting includes coltan – a mineral used to make our precious little cell phones, iphones and ipads, computers, electronics, and modern military weapons. The Congo has 64% of the world’s coltan. And not only that, but the Congo is exceedingly rich in gold, diamonds, copper, tin, cobalt, uranium, and the list continues. The Congo is a true periodic table for the world’s most valuable minerals. It is for these exact reasons the Congo is being targeted, invaded, dominated, and looted. As a result, since 1996, six million Congolese people have died. This is genocide, yet we hear nothing, nothing but silence. Because those who are suffering and dying are African people. And the world does not see or feel or value the humanity of African people.
In 1885, European imperialist powers decided to carve up Africa like a birthday cake at the Berlin Conference, each country wanting a magnificent slice. King Leopold of Belgium seized the Congo. He owned and controlled the Congo for 23 years. During this period, it is estimated that he made over 1 billion in profit while also systematically butchering and murdering an estimated 10 to 15 million Congolese men, women, and children. Leopold and his goons routinely chopped off the hands, fingers, and limbs of African people who failed to meet certain rubber and ivory quotas for capitalist production. It was this exceedingly violent form of exploited African labor-production that fueled the growth and expansion of modern capitalistic industries such as the automobile and electronic industries on a global scale.
After 1908, the Congo, though no longer ruled directly by Leopold, was still under Belgian colonial rule. Mines were found all over the Congo. The Congolese people who happened to live by these mines were simply massacred or displaced. Foreign troops backed with the arms and funds of imperialist powers were emboldened to loot these valuable resources straight out of the Congo. Who or what forces were stopping them?
These invasions were always brutally violent. When foreign troops invade the Congo, they systematically rape and sexually assault Congolese women with impunity. Consequently, 48 women are raped every hour in the Congo. These are deliberate war tactics. It is how you politically dominate a people and how to ensure their eventual collective submission as a people. Take everything from them materially, then strip them of their entire sense of humanity. And a few ways in which imperialists governments like to accomplish this is through organized mass rape, mass murder, mass poverty, or in other words, massive genocide.
In 1960, The Congo elected their first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. By 1961, he was assassinated by capitalist imperialist forces, principally the United States government. From 1961 to the present, America, with its western allies, have handpicked a slew of dictators to rule over the Congolese people and do the bidding of U.S. and western imperialism. As a result, the local elite or indigenous bourgeoisie, about 10,000 in total who today hold positions in government and business, live extremely well, while the masses continue to live in bestial poverty. Neighboring colonial puppets, multinational corporations, the indigenous bourgeoisie, the World Bank, the IMF, and even the U.N. are all effectively destabilizing the Congo.
We must know that the Congo is bleeding! Kwame Nkrumah referred to the Congo as the heart of Africa. Mao Tse-Tung is quoted as saying that "whoever controls the Congo, controls the world." Thus, when the Congo becomes free, the world becomes free. Africa becomes free. The resources of the planet become free. Humanity becomes free!
Therefore, I do not give a damn about some minor property damage or a few businesses being “looted”. There is absolutely no comparison between that and what is occurring in the Congo. What defines looting? When the U.S. government loots entire regions, continents, and nations. America must loot, it is in fact how it economically sustains itself. And when America loots, many people die, cultures are destroyed, and the climate severely compromised. We may not be privy to this because the media we watch is not going to tell us this. The politicians we vote for will not tell us this. And the many bourgeois sectors within our own communities who possess some sort of platform will not tell us this. It is not in their best political or social interest to do so. Instead, they will tell us to focus on, be outraged at, the insignificant and small-scale looting of a people and community whose very existence is being looted. A people who must become aware that it is their right and it is their duty to rebel. So whenever you see or hear or think of the word "looting", do not imagine urban rebellion, rather remember the capitalist imperialist domination and devastation of the Congo.