Today I began reading “By Any Means Necessary”, a collection of interviews and speeches from the last year of the life of Malcolm X. Each page reaffirms his position at the top of my “Men I Wish to Emulate” list.
Democratic and Republican politicians and pundits alike have advocated and pursued imperialist wars overseas for at least the past century. What is war if not the ultimate assertion that violence is the answer to political differences? Can a nation which has conducted over 50 foreign military interventions in the past half-century, including multiple overthrows of democratic governments and countless political assassinations, possibly claim to renounce political violence? Can a country currently engaged in two imperialist wars truly claim to abhor political violence? Can a society which accepts the regular killing of unnamed enemies and their families, with utter impunity, by aerial drone, truly claim to oppose political violence? Can a government which has two million of its citizens locked up at gunpoint truly claim to embrace civil discourse over rule of force?
None of this is to downplay the horrific shootings in Tucson. Certainly, it’s been a while since a national US politician was assassinated (I always had my suspicions about what happened to Paul Wellstone, but I’ll leave that alone). But it also seems to me that many US citizens might do well to emerge from a state of denial about the fundamentally violent nature of their society, government, and political system. People are playing for keeps, it’s not an online game. Even when it’s not as shocking as a mass shooting or a bullet to the head; even when it’s just the slow crushing grind of systemic oppression and exploitation; political violence is not an abberation, it’s the norm.” —Zuky - http://zuky.tumblr.com/post/2685772373