"Black Iden­tity Ex­trem­ist" la­bel just an­other ex­cuse to si­lence ac­tivists

South Florida Times - - NATION - As­so­ci­ated Press

First there was en­slave­ment of the whole race.

Then came seg­re­ga­tion, de­signed to keep the races sep­a­rate -- and un­equal.

Then came the U.S. Supreme Court’s rul­ing that gives the po­lice al­most free rein to shoot and kill.

And then came “stand your ground,” which ex­tended that li­cense to kill to the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion.

Now comes a new way to legally cur­tail the free­dom of African Amer­i­cans.

It is called “Black Iden­tity Ex­trem­ists,” sprung on the na­tion in Novem­ber and only now seep­ing into the con­scious­ness of the com­mu­nity as yet an­other effort at race con­trol.

The re­ported that the FBI cre­ated this la­bel in a 12-page re­port.The FBI did is­sue a sim­i­lar find­ing for “white ex­trem­ists” but it does not take a ge­nius to fig­ure out who the tar­gets re­ally are. Whites not only chal­lenge the au­thor­i­ties but some of the “ex­trem­ists” flatly refuse to even rec­og­nize the United States of Amer­ica, as seen in re­cent armed con­fronta­tions in Ne­vada and Ore­gon and else­where.

Fed­eral in­tel­li­gence an­a­lyst Daryl John­son warned in a 2009 re­port about th­ese white “rightwing ex­trem­ists” but then Home­land Sec­re­tary Janet Napoli­tano bowed to pres­sure from Re­pub­li­cans, dis­avow­ing the re­port and dis­solv­ing John­son’s team.

But, as the AP re­ported, John­son’s warn­ing about“rightwing ex­trem­ists”has proven to be true with at­tacks that in­cluded the 2015 mas­sacre of nine wor­shipers at the Mother Emanuel church in Charleston,S.C.,while they were in a Bible study class.

The au­thor­i­ties have not cracked down on th­ese groups, whether “Pa­tri­ots” or other forms of“mili­tia men”or those em­brac­ing the Posse Comi­ta­tus ide­ol­ogy that au­thor­ity comes from elected county sher­iffs and no one else.

The ad­vent of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and its em­brace of white “na­tion­al­ism” has meant even less fo­cus on whites who hold such rad­i­cal views. In fact, the Guardian re­ported that the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity’s fo­cus on coun­ter­ing vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism has now shifted to “rad­i­cal Is­lam” – even though a 2014 sur­vey of 175 law en­force­ment agen­cies ranked“sov­er­eign cit­i­zens”as the most press­ing do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist threat.

Ac­cord­ing to the AP, For­eign Pol­icy mag­a­zine first dis­closed the ex­is­tence of the “black iden­tity ex­trem­ists” term and it has sparked deep con­cern among black lead­ers fear­ful that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, with its shoddy record to­wards blacks and tinged by racism, is go­ing af­ter black ac­tivists much more dis­pro­por­tion­ately than it is do­ing for white ex­trem­ists.

They have good rea­son to be ap­pre­hen­sive. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, no friend to blacks, was asked at a con­gres­sional hear­ing in Novem­ber to ex­plain how fed­eral law en­force­ment came up with the la­bel. AP re­ported him as say­ing it ap­plied to“groups that do have an ex­tra­or­di­nary com­mit­ment to their racial iden­tity and some have trans­formed them­selves even into vi­o­lent ac­tivists.”The AP added that Ses­sions “strug­gled to an­swer the same ques­tion about white ex­trem­ists.”

The Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus com­plained in a let­ter to FBI Di­rec­tor Christo­pher Wray that the “black iden­tity ex­trem­ists” re­port “con­flates black po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists with dan­ger­ous do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions.”

Some an­a­lysts are draw­ing a par­al­lel with the COINTELPRO op­er­a­tions un­der J. Edgar Hoover in the 1950s and 1960s when FBI agents were or­dered to“ex­pose,dis­rupt,mis­di­rect or oth­er­wise neu­tral­ize the ac­tiv­i­ties of black na­tion­al­ists.”

Al Jazeera re­ported in mid-March that today’s FBI is us­ing the BEI des­ig­na­tion to re­fer to armed blacks who ex­press anti-gov­ern­ment views.Th­ese peo­ple, the FBI said,“his­tor­i­cally jus­ti­fied and per­pe­trated vi­o­lence against law en­force­ment, which they per­ceived as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized op­pres­sion of African Amer­i­cans.”

But as U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, a Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat,pointed out,the BEI des­ig­na­tion could be ap­plied “to all pro­test­ers demon­strat­ing for an end to po­lice vi­o­lence.”

Ac­cord­ing to David Cor­reia, a Univer­sity of New Mex­ico pro­fes­sor,“It is part of their play­book.They try to char­ac­ter­ize le­git­i­mate con­cerns about some­thing like po­lice vi­o­lence as some­how a dan­ger so they can dis­rupt protests.”

So, rather than fo­cus­ing on the on­go­ing po­lice shoot­ings of young black men, the tar­gets are, in­stead, the vic­tims.

The more things change, the more they re­main the same and the les­son for African Amer­i­cans con­tin­ues to be the need for eter­nal vig­i­lance.

For ev­ery one hun­dred black women be­tween the ages of 25 to 54 “liv­ing out­side of jail, there are only 83 black men,” ac­cord­ing to an April 20, 2015 “New York Times Up­shot anal­y­sis.” Black men are scarce pri­mar­ily be­cause they are in jail or prison or be­cause they died early. “The gen­der gap is it­self a fur­ther cause of so­cial ills, leav­ing many com­mu­ni­ties with­out enough men to be fa­thers and hus­bands,” the study states.

Would you have guessed that Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, has just 60 black men for ev­ery 100 black women in the above cited age group? You re­mem­ber Fer­gu­son, where dead Michael Brown was kept on a hot street for sev­eral hours af­ter be­ing shot by a white po­lice­man. Brown was un­armed. Mis­souri gov­ern­ment brought in ar­mored ve­hi­cles and na­tional guards to show black res­i­dents an over­whelm­ing mil­i­tary force ar­rayed against their right­eous anger.

Sacramento, Cal­i­for­nia po­lice have re­cently added young and black Stephon Clark to a litany of “jus­ti­fied” shoot­ings by white law en­forcers. Clark was gunned down by 20 bul­lets, at night, in his back­yard. He was un­armed. No stop­page of le­gal mur­der of black men and boys by white na­tion­al­ist cops is in the off­ing. Cur­rent black lead­er­ship has no an­ti­dote for this na­tional con­tain­ment pogrom.

Fur­ther key in­for­ma­tion from the Up­shot anal­y­sis tells us that “The gen­der gap does not ex­ist in child­hood: There are roughly as many African Amer­i­can boys as girls. But an im­bal­ance be­gins to ap­pear among teenagers, con­tin­ues to widen through the 20s and peaks in the 30s. It per­sists through adult­hood.” Can you see what I’m talk­ing about when I cite the pol­i­tics of con­tain­ment is be­ing played on black Amer­i­cans by the “white supremacy sys­tem/cul­ture?”

When an ar­ray of pos­i­tive male role-mod­els within a neigh­bor­hood is non-ex­is­tent, our boys be­gin to go astray as they

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