The Resurrection of Assata: The Spectre of Justice, Gun control and Domestic Terrorism


Assata Shakur has achieved the dubious honor of being the first woman ever placed on the FBI Most Wanted list. The reasons why this has occurred at this particular juncture of American history can only be determined by an examination of the modern history of Gun Control in this country. As an extension of the centuries-long effort to control Black Power, current initiatives such as this are clearly expressive of this continuing paradigmatic imperative which, although obscured somewhat by illusory, media-based hyper-realities, remain the basis for and causative foundation of the Global White Supremacy System (GWSS).

There remain quite the amorphous emotional outbursts in regards to the gun issue in American culture. The arguments are clear if specious, while the underlying causation remains clouded, oft-times, seemingly purposefully so. Typically, the public discussions and debates center around the fact that the 2nd Amendment of the American Constitutions states as follows:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

While apparently clear and unambiguous in its framing, the above-stated written construct has resulted in a continuing and fractious debate within the American polity in regards to the efficacious proliferation of the Gun Culture throughout the country. Arguments ranging from the right to hunt to the right to protection of Self, family and community abound. Given the martial and revolutionary character of the general population of the United States and their shared history it should come as no surprise that the issue of gun-control gives rise to such strident and emotive debate.

What is less apparently clear, is how this right to bear arms continues to remain relevant in a country that is now united and no longer a conglomerate of separate states each charged with maintaining militias separate from the overriding and unitary state itself. The political and cultural fracture of the population by wealth and ethnicity is clearly expressed in the Democratic/Republican dichotomy and also by the Red State/Blue State, Urban/Exurban geographic gulf that is also implicit in the debate. Even given these factors, it remains clear that the reluctance of those declaiming against the de-arming of America and clamoring for their unadulterated right to remain armed to the teeth has at its a base a very particular form of fear.

This fear is both general and very specific in nature. The general aspect has to do with the Government and the necessity on the part of individuals to remain wary of any form of governance that seeks to control its population, thereby evoking centrist tendencies that focus power in the hands of the few as opposed to the decisions of the many. Right-wing Patriots and others leaning even more central politically consider it their right and duty to maintain a sense of vigilance against the excesses of Government and its potential to become overbearing in its application of the control apparatus in the lives of everyday citizens. The election victory of President Barack Obama was pyrrhic in nature to people of this orientation, as it revealed the clear and ever-present fracturing of the American polity as continuing to be primarily dominated by issues of ethnicity and race.

The association of Government and Race has been clear since the post-WWII era. Driven by events to consider civil rights issues by escalating tension and violence in the South, President John Kennedy was a reluctant enforcer and only his assassination virtually guaranteed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, following the Voting Rights Act of 1957, implemented by President Dwight Eisenhower. The passage of that act by President Lyndon Johnson was far more invasive in the eyes of the majority population and designed to outlaw major forms of institutional discrimination in every sector of public activity. These successive attacks upon one of the cultural and economic foundations of not only the Southern United States but also of the North, resulted in a steadily maintained and continuing retrenching and not-so-subtle dismantling of what is considered to be the unsustainable furtherance of the Welfare State, which hearkens back to President Franklin Roosevelt and the 1930s post-depression era.

The specific nature of the fear is racial in nature. It has to do with the arming of the black population of America. While recent attempts by the gun lobby to include black Americans in their efforts to maintain the hegemonic status of the Gun Lobby, history records the continuous efforts of the majority population to keep arms out of the hands of that part of the population that had been formerly and formally enslaved. This history, in the modern era, has to be connected to the rise of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. In addition to being a member of the Black Liberation Army,  Assata was also a Panther.

The Black Panthers formed in 1966 in what was then and continues to be a cauldron of racial tension, Oakland, California. On May 2nd, 1967, their founder, Huey Newton and a cadre of  29 other young black men and women marched through the doors of the California State House in Sacramento – carrying weapons ranging from .357 Magnums to 12-gauge shotuns – in the direct presence of the state’s new governor, Ronald Reagan. Adam Winkler’s article in The Atlantic, The Secret History of Guns, details what follows succinctly and dispassionately, shedding light on the succedent efforts on the part of state and national legislators to restrict gun possession by dint of geographic limitation (buildings, cities, etc.). The times immediate to this legislation include some of the most violent years of the post-Civil Rights Act, the explosion of Urban Revolutions and assassinations of major political figures associated with the political and cultural movements that sought freedom of the maligned urban underclass.

The shocking violence and enmity encapsulated in the ideologies and pathologies of Lone-gunmen such as Sirhan-Sirhan, James Earl RayJohn Hinkley Jr. – as precursors of the myriad school killings and domestic terror events of the last couple of decades – have resulted in the complete over-saturation of the mainstream media (MSM) during the course of the depredations and have resulted in the fear-based programming of multiple generations of American citizens with a reluctant but definite fixation upon guns and their culture, their perceived glorification, abuse and their control.

Despite the varied inconsistencies, holes and outright contradictory claims and counter-claims that have made Assata Shakur’s case one of the most celebrated in the modern history of American counter-culture, institutional efforts to remand her to custody have continued unabated since her escape from the hands of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Essays and articles surrounding her case and the decision of Fidel Castro to offer her political asylum in the late 1970s abound. Arguments as to the reasoning behind the FBI’s decision to add her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List are indicative of a renewed concentration upon dissident groups in the United States and is reminiscent of the COINTELPRO era of Government crack-down upon citizens of the United States.

This renewed attention may also be a warning. With the winding down of the international War on Terror, and with, domestically, a potentially fatal blow having recently been dealt to the foundering War on Drugs – both of which have implicated at their very core of operations the FBI and the CIA –  the attention of the nation’s multiple alphabet agencies are concentrating once again, openly, upon homeland populations.

Whether the $2 million reward offered will be enough to lure some intrepid bounty hunter to Cuba in the attempt to secure Assata for prosecution on American shores is yet to be seen. What is already clearly apparent though, is that, with recent terror events also focusing attention upon the homeland, the thrust of the MSM has been to encourage its viewers and listeners to stand by silently as they engage America in the silencing of its dissidents, no matter their persuasion. The deployment of American police, security forces and troops – and millions of dollars in resources – in the city of Boston and the suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts, effectively shutting them down for a day, was a raw display of power for America and the world to internalize.

For those Americans who fear terror the sense of security provided by this display was assuring. Public and private mourning for the victims of these attacks and all of the others are appropriate and indicative of the true goodness of heart of the American people and the world in general. For others, the display was disturbing to the extreme. In an era where unemployment is rife, economic stability threatened and the American Dream growing more and more distant by the day, assurances that all is well and that America will live up to its potential for all of its citizens are growing more and more difficult to believe.  Even without consciously making the decision to be so defined, many peruse the internet daily searching for information and gaining access to disturbing information that contradicts the MSM memes. Does this make them terrorists, or just people who are interested in learning the truth? At what point does one segue into the other? And who is ultimately charged with making the determination regarding how a terrorist is defined?

The uncertainties caused by this turn of events are rife. The Resurrection of Assata in the collective consciousness of the American polity has certainly been done by design. The ghost of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense has been raised in preparation for potential further crackdowns among already faltering minority – particularly black – populations, intensely controlled and denied collective entry into the stream of affluence many in America have enjoyed for decades. The Black Nationalist and Afrocentrism-based movements have flourished among those who have been disenfranchised and now generations of black Americans and others have been educated in the recognition of their miseducation by institutions in a society that has been nominally concerned with their upliftment, but which has practically and spectacularly failed in its implementation, for whatever reasons.

Gun control and domestic terrorism are now inextricably linked. Race and the Urban Underclass have now irreducibly been added to the mix of actors within whom’s populations those with aims inimical to those of the United States can apparently be found. It remains a question, whether this volley over the bow of the ships containing the foundering descendants of slaves will bear even stranger fruit in the days and years to come. For the health of this Republic and its future, let us all hope and pray that it does not. For the racial cauldron that is America remains boiling, still and currently just beneath the surface but still about to boil up, roiling furiously and spilling over the institutional containers that have been built around it in the futile hope of staving off the Spectre of Justice, who stands dispassionately observing the passage of time and the follies of humankind.

But make no mistake: whether the intended targets be black, white, yellow, red or brown, whether they be left-wing or right-wing fanatics, economic or cultural protesters, religious or agnostic practitioners, no one is safe in this highly-charged atmosphere that possesses the potential to become a witch hunt given the right trigger at the right time and place. While the case of Assata Shakur remains contested in the court of public opinion, it will be more than interesting to observe how the MSM and the alphabet agencies deal with those who speak out both for and against her in the coming days and months.

With no relief and only further struggle in sight, many are tired and on the edge of desperation. Not only in America, but across the world. As the central focus of world culture and the hegemonic powerhouse of the early 21st Century, the United States is in a unique position in history. Made up of populations from every nation around the world, its ways are observed closely by the people in those nations whose kinfolk have traversed the lands and seas to make a home upon these fabled shores. America is connected by blood and love to the rest of the world. Therefore, what happens here, cannot happen in isolation.

And so, I end with a warning to the Powers That Be (PTB).

Be very careful how you tread now. Be very careful in the decisions that you make in attempting to implement goals inimical to human nature and the survival of the species. There are two outcomes: 1) resolution and reparation, and 2), further division and isolation. The first choice will lead to a flowering of the human family, with you included. The second will still lead to that flowering, as it is inevitable, but without those who embraced hatred and violence included – alongside those who stood by, observing – for they will be accounting for their crimes in the Highest Court of all Creation.

The natural rights of a people indigenous to this planet cannot be infringed upon and denied forever. The wheel of justice must turn, ponderously and inevitably, eventually in their favor. This is the workings of the irreversible and cyclical structures of our shared Reality, beyond the political and economic machinations of a genocidal and anti-Life minority. Believe it, or not.

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