So, you think your police department can shoot a Black man in the back seven times in front of his kids, and take your time firing the killer cop? Think again. You’re going to be confronted immediately by angry Black people in the streets, and a bunch of white folks too.
You think you can sit in the Mayor’s office and pacify Black people by saying you’re reviewing the evidence when the video tape and witnesses scream “Public Execution?” No. You’re going to be on the phone all night with the Fire Chief, the Police Chief, and the Governor begging for the National Guard to be deployed ASAP.
You’re hoping that if Blacks get uppity, they’ll just burn down a couple of stores in their own neighborhoods? “Don’t shoot um, just let them blow off some steam,” you say. Not any more. We’re heading downtown, then to the police station and the courthouse. Defend them at your own peril.
You thought being a public official in a 78% white ex-burb on Lake Michigan’s picturesque shores in the dairy-lands of Wisconsin, inoculates you from Black people burning down the house. Pick up the newspaper tomorrow.
That kind of thinking might have had some currency a few months ago, but it’s got little purchase now. In the post-George Floyd assassination moment, Black people are breaching the boundaries of the original Black Lives Matter period. We have entered the era of BLM 2.0.
To be sure, peaceful protests will continue. Legislators will be lobbied. Reforms to defund the police, ban chokeholds and other measures will be enacted. Politicians will be elected on promises to support a counter-carceral agenda. But know this: in Kenosha, like Minneapolis and Portland, the Black community is rendering its verdict in the streets.
That’s why Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers suddenly called a for special legislative session on January 31, to consider nine police reform bills proposed two months ago following George Floyd’s assassination by Minneapolis police. That’s why the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court to play the NBA playoff game, which led to the NBA cancelling its games, which led to the WNBA cancelling its games, which led to Major League Baseball cancelling its games, and Naomi Osaka-the Black Japanese/Haitian national cancelling her tennis match. Still, Black people are going right back to the streets.
BLM 2.0 is now a movement infused with attitude and high intensity. It vibrates with a new sense of urgency. 2.0 is not waiting for things to happen; they are pushing buttons and making things happen. So too, the Black street is emboldened with a new sense of power.
And why not? Visionary Black youth lead over 15 million multi-racial, multi-ethnic protesters in the largest demonstrations in American history. As Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha validates again, the people’s indictment that law enforcement and the criminal justice system is driven by white supremacy and institutionalized racism is the consensus viewpoint of the majority of people in America's settler state.
BLM’s expanding influence has gathered a more diverse racial coalition under its tent. That coalition includes radical white anarchists like the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front, who have a more confrontational posture towards the repressive forces of the state. They went toe-to-toe with Trump's federal fascist forces in Portland, and gave them a taste of peoples justice.
Increasingly, BLM 2.0, has become rallying point for a proliferating Black militia movement advocating armed self-defense and creating a Black republic. The “Not Fucking Around Coalition” march on Stone Mountain, Georgia, and its threat to demonstrate on September 5, in Louisville has forced the Kentucky Derby to cancel all spectator attendance.
The influence of more militant forces circulating in BLM’s orbit, is radicalizing its emerging young BLM leaders. Last week one of Portland’s young feminist leaders told the crowd, “We’re about to get armored up in here.”
New Black Nationalists continue to emphasize the point that the original Black Lives Matter formation now led by co-founder Patrisse Cullors is a highly de-centralized organization 13 “official” chapters. The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) is a network of 50 organizations, not chapters. But Black Lives Matter chapters exist all over the country. Many of these chapters have been created or re-grouped in the last few months in the wake of George Floyd's execution. Each chapter is an independent agent. With each passing day BLM 2.0 is trending more militant, more radical, and more revolutionary.
One needs to look no further than what's happening in Kenosha to understand why the BLM 2.0 is emerging. Jacob Blake is shot in the back, but the 17-year old white Trump loving Blue Lives Matter vigilante who shoots and kills two BLM protesters, walks down the street with his rifle past several police cars, speaks to them and is not arrested. No charges have been brought against the officer who shot Blake seven times, but we are now receiving reports that Blake has been handcuffed to his hospital bed. No charges have filed against him. Need we say more?
Black Lives Matter 2.0 is a movement in transition. It is important to understand that BLM is a phenomenon that we haven't witnessed before: it has multiple identities and serves multiples functions. Around its name there are the BLM organizations. But BLM is also one of the world's most powerful hashtags. It is a tool for anyone to organize and share ideas. BLM symbolizes resistance in word and deed. It brings bodies into the streets and in opposition to the old order's carceral state.
Increasingly, BLM is developing into an amorphous new form of Black consciousness. BLM 1.0 was strongly rooted in radical Black Feminist currents and theory that departed from Pan-Africanist and Black Nationalist ideologies that were dominant in the 1960s. Whether BLM 2.0 ideological and political moorings evolve in another direction is up for grabs.
Without question, the turbulence roiling within the Black Lives Matter movement has been heightened by Trump and his White Nationalists offensive. With the presidential elections looming in the background, the debate over the role of direct confrontation with the forces of the imperial state versus reform and not doing anything to jeopardize voting Trump out of office is finding expression in the middle of the protests. This debate cannot be avoided, so let it come. Young people should be debating, and doing so passionately. It's their future that's on the line.
This turmoil attendant to the rise of BLM 2.0 is a good thing. It reflects the fact that the crisis in America’s settler state is deepening. In New Black Nationalists view, we are entering a pre-revolutionary period in which active preparations for the emergence of an existential crisis has been set into motion. We are headed toward a struggle for political power between the old order and the new in the 2020's.
This month NewBlackNationalism.com launched a new project called The George Floyd Memorial Project. Our website will map, analyze, and support the emerging BLM 2.0 movement in America’s settler state. We have also posted a new page to analyze the unprecedented surge of a new Black diaspora consciousness that has blossomed since the George Floyd protests erupted in June.
From the national liberation movement of indigenous Black First Nation Aboriginals in Australia to the West Papua independence movement from Indonesia, New Black Nationalists are committed to expanding the Black diaspora to supporting our sisters and brothers in the "Black Pacific." We urge you to join us in these initiatives
To the family of Jacob Blake and the Black Lives Matter 2.0 movement in Kenosha, the stateless maroons of the New Black Nationalist Movement convey our best wishes. It’s right to rebel!