Another outstanding example of this contradiction is the propagation of the European working class. And by European working class we mean everywhere they exist on the planet, particularly within the settler colonial empires like the U.S., Canada, occupied Palestine (Israel), Azania (South Africa), Zimbabwe, and Australia (although this is also a reality throughout Europe as well). In these countries the European (white) working class has been effectively convinced by the capitalist system that the only valid definition of what’s in the best interest of white people is whatever the capitalist system says those interests are. As a result, most white people in these countries view the interests of the ruling capitalist billionaire classes as the same as their interests, despite the fact they may be working poor, unemployed, have no healthcare, etc. And, this is not a new phenomenon. For centuries, white working class people have been deluded into believing their most important role is to serve as shock troops for international capital and they have served that role in sparkling fashion in Azania, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Canada,the U.S., Europe, and Africa.
One of the clearest ways this manipulation of white working people has been manifested is when it comes to the question of the police. When you look at places like Azania, the U.S., Canada, etc., the white right working class has positioned itself lock step with the police when it comes to police terrorism against the African, and other oppressed masses. In the minds of these people, no matter the evidence, no matter what the videos show, no matter the credibility of the victim, they always i.e. 100% of the time, stand with the police. In the U.S. an entire movement called “Blue Lives Matter” has emerged to demonstrate this unequivocal support for police whenever there is brutality against colonized people, And, this is true consistently even before facts and analysis of these incidents are available.
Of course, those of us who study this capitalist system carefully and consistently have never been swayed by these superficial appearances. As unlikely as it would appear, the coronavirus has helped expose just how false the narrative of universal white support for police is and always has been.
People within these capitalist countries are completely socialized to function through an individualistic perspective where the world is seen as an extension of our noses. Also, truth and justice and material reality are completely divorced within the capitalist system. As a result of these realities, people view and interact with experiences based not on questions of principle, but solely based on self-interest. In other words, although the white working class’s unilateral support for police may be portrayed as unwavering, the truth is these people will only support the police up to the point that it serves whatever objective they are pursuing. Their support of police is tactical, not based on principle as they would have us believe.
A broader analysis of this phenomenon was provided during the 1990s by Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) when he talked about the contradictions of the white working class in the 90s compared to the 60s. He discussed the fact that during his time working in the U.S. south for civil rights with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the white working class played a specific role as the troops for white supremacy and the capitalist system. The Ku Klux Klan and similar racist groups pulled heavily from the white working class and most of the terror carried out against the African masses during that time was carried out and supported by these people. In the 90s, Kwame emphasized that those very same white working class people who served as racial terrorists for the capitalist system, had evolved to engaging in direct conflict with the capitalist system. Or, as Kwame put it; “they began doing things that in the 60s they would have considered communist!” For example, white working class people in the 90s engaged in protest actions against the government. Examples of this are protests that developed around the U.S. government agency attacks against Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidian group in Waco Texas, U.S. Kwame’s conclusion was that this reality served as an assessment of the decline of the capitalist system because instead of oppressed colonized people pushing from the left against capitalism being the only challenge to the system, now you had white working class people pushing from the right also.
Of course, Kwame and none of us were confused into believing the white working class upheavals against the government was a reality that would benefit the African and oppressed masses right now. These protests, from the left and right, are mostly spontaneous and lacking in clear political analysis so at best, these are reactions to the limitations of the capitalist system that we are seeing with the coronavirus in 2020 and beyond.
Still, despite the fact it is true that the white working class is Atlantic Ocean size separated from any type of class solidarity with oppressed colonized people, its important for activists for justice to have a clear vision on these questions. And, a clear perspective is that white working class people would not support police barging into their houses and shooting their family members, regardless of what crimes the police suspected, past criminal records of their families, etc. Examples of this are endless. The Proud Boys, a cowardly white supremacist formation that has roots in the U.S. and Europe, has portrayed itself as a pro “law enforcement” organization, but when police sought to intervene in unprovoked attacks Proud Boys carried out against state properties in protest of covid shutdowns, once the police engaged in skirmishes with them, they fought the police in ways left street activists like Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA could learn lessons from. Also, these international white working class protests against shutdowns in multiple cities are seeing white people engage in fights against police everywhere. And, the spectacle of the white working class family pleading for the U.S. government to intervene in the imprisonment of their daughter who was incarcerated in the Caribbean for violating covid protocols there says a lot about how white working people are pro police until they are impacted by police actions.
Understanding this reality serves multiple important purposes. First, colonized people need to take note of the fact that these white people have absolutely no moral grounding to criticize left activists i.e. BLM, ANTIFA, etc. Presently, they are engaging in the same vandalism against state properties that just a few months ago they castigated left activists for. And, of course, it has to be stated that allegations against left activists are clearly fabricated. So-called “riots” are always started by police and anyone who has attended any left demonstration has seen this with their own eyes. People on the left go to demonstrations to stand against injustices against humanity. No one goes intending to start a rally by breaking windows, burning cars, etc. These things, when they are even carried out by activists and not done by police informants, happen as a result of frustration and anger at being brutalized by police during these demonstrations. This contrasts with white right demonstrations where people are not out for any injustice as much as they are out because they themselves are being prohibited from doing what they believe they should be able to do, regardless of the adverse impacts on others i.e. covid spreading. So, we definitely need to understand that the arguments these people make against our legitimate left protests against police terror, etc., are ill-legitimate so we should stop attempting to defend our work to these people and continue working. Second, its important for us to recognize the ill-legitimacy of the capitalist system. In truth, no one respects and supports the police. The white working class, struggling with its own class confusion, only supports the police when police serve as an instrument to repress the African and other oppressed masses, but when police oppose white working class interests, it becomes clear that policing in capitalist societies really has no true allies.
The European anti-colonials activist community is overwhelmingly small and virtually nonexistent. And, the contradictions within white activism do not indicate that any strong changes to this unfortunate reality will be on the horizon anytime soon, but its still important to provide a more complete analysis so that any sincere activists can know what their work should be. The masses of white working class people everywhere need revolutionary organization. They need white people working to provide them with strong political analysis. The fact that this does not happen, despite those of us in the African liberation movement calling upon white activists who constantly ask us what they can do to engage this work, is the primary reason that these contradictions are so problematic today.
For us, a true and unfiltered understanding that no one really supports the police is necessary to help us avoid the pressure propaganda that is designed to make us feel that the only moral position we have available to us is supporting police on some level. Policing in capitalist societies is terrorism against our people. There never has been and there never will be a legitimate argument for supporting police. Once the propaganda is removed and honest discussions based on grounded history are engaged, there is no question about this no matter where, when, how, and who this is discussed with.