Jan 12

Athens to Oakland: Revolts Against the Normal

Maybe it was all lost in the upcoming inauguration of change and hope.  Maybe it was just the same old violence in the mid-east, the same old cunts winning the same old golden globes or my same old ignorance fueled by the lack of a television.  I don’t know.  But I’ve found it difficult to locate information on the Oakland Bart shooting or the ensuing riots.

The murder happened early on New Year’s Day.  It was quickly followed by riots.

It’s now January 12.  I only heard about the shooting and riots yesterday.  Today, I spoke to four different people and they hadn’t heard about it at all.  Like I said, I don’t know why.  But have a weird feeling –guilt, I think it’s called– about not knowing and posting about this earlier.  It seems like the sort of thing I should have known.  The revolution might not be televised but it should be blogged.

I actually feel like I’ve let you people down.  Not because you care — I do know that many of you come to look at cuff-links, robots and that sort of thing; I love those things too– but because I do.  If the blogosphere is good for anything, it should be good for this sort of thing.

So, now that I’ve pretty much apologized while vanishing up my own ass, let’s make the jump and get down to business.

When you look at above footage one thing jumps to mind:  WHITE cops shooting BLACK man. That’s the obvious conclusion and it’s also the correct one.  As much as I wish they would, cops just don’t execute white folks on the subway.  They do it in the airport. So yes, this is a racist attack.  Obviously.

But it’s also something else.

It is the state murdering its people.

That is, I think, the critical element.  And it’s one that the state will attempt to cloud.  As much as Obama might talk about unity, the power business always remains the same:  Divide and conquer, conquer and rape.

As long as this is a racist incident and just a racist incident, the state has nothing to fear. White people will sooner admit to being retards than racists.  Even racists now introduce their bigotry by saying: “I’m not a racist but . . .”

The term “racist” is just a trick white people play to distance themselves from the condition, to make something that lurks in every human into the other person’s problem, to avoid dealing with their own shit.  They never use it to talk about white privilege, have an intelligent conversation or to take responsibility.  At this point, it’s like saying:  “The devil did it.”

The state and their willing whores, the media, will talk about an individual cop –a bad apple– but the riots will be black riots.   In the case of black people, we’re meant to believe the whole bushel is bad.  If you’re white, the cops aren’t the enemy, the racists and the black rioters are.  Pretty soon, if you’re black, the cops aren’t the enemy, the white people are.

Divided.  Conquered.  Raped by a bunch of Washington Redcoats.


The state is the enemy of us all.  It is monstrous to kill unarmed and handcuffed people in the subway.  And it’s not just “an incident.”  It’s part of a worldwide pattern of authoritarian violence against the citizenry.    This is not the exception.  This is the rule.  It’s part of a sickening and ever-increasing burden that we’ve all been carrying for too long.  It feels normal.

White or black, can you honestly tell me you’d be comfortable with the police in your house? That you wouldn’t wilt beneath their glare?  These people are supposed to be our servants and they have us all at gunpoint.


Just as bad as what the cops did to Oscar Grant is what the state did to the cops.  Just as bad as what it’s done to black people, it what it has done to white.  Our souls are as flayed as any slave’s back. The main difference being that your back is real.

Yet, owning a slave is as morally reprehensible a condition as being one is physically.  And man needs both morals and meat to live properly.  But the state has locked us into a game where we own or are owned.  It’s made us into beasts.

We cannot even calculate the cost of this.  There’s no simple metric.  But, given a long enough time, I think it will cost us the whole species, burned up in a nuclear fire.  It’s the only way this particular game can end.

But the white people remain complacent.  Why not?  They think their scars are medals and they think they’re winning.  So does everyone else.  As fucked up as this game is, they’re holding the chips.  At the very least, they’re given a head start.  They’re invested, connected and privileged in ways they don’t even need to think about.  In ways they refuse to think about.  It’s much more gratifying to think they did it all themselves and that they’re receiving their just reward.

Did Oscar Grant receive his?  How about his kids?

At 6:00 in this video, as the white folks lock themselves in a bar, we hear this whining dialogue:

WOMAN:  But I don’t want my car to get smashed in!

BARKEEP:  Well, you know what, it’s just a car.

WOMAN:  No it’s not!

When  your car is more important than another man’s life, when your car is more important than, perhaps, your safety, then you’ve gone straight out of your mind.  She’s completely insane and she doesn’t even know it.  Most crazy people don’t.

But this is how these issues get turned around, confused and crippled.  All residents of Oakland have a duty to be in the streets.  You can bemoan the damage done to the poor old Mom and Pop stores.  I bemoan the lack of strategy.

But I find it hard to condemn it.

Mom and Pop are part of the normal and, just as in Athens, we are seeing revolts against the normal.  It is the normal that killed Oscar grant, killed Alexandros Grigoropoulos, is blowing up children in Gaza, invaded Iraq, locks people up in Cuba, puts the boot on the throat of the Tibetans, fuels diamond wars in Africa, denies natives clean water but gives them the glue to commit suicide with, built the concentration camp and the Gulag,  runs the sweatshops and starves the poor.  It’s the normal being fired from guns, dropped from planes and exploding on the roadside.  That’s normal.  Business as.


People are revolting against the normal because they are revolted by it.  Others just don’t want their car to get smashed in.

They want things to return to normal.

Well, no one wants their car to get smashed in but no one wants to be shot in the back while handcuffed and unarmed.  And I don’t think anyone is really happy with the normal or want to live in a world where what’s normal is.  Our normal is not worth preserving.  Just how many cars is the next Oscar Grant worth?  How many dead Iraqis to power it?  How many serfs to make it?  And how much debt to have it?  If that’s the normal, it’s time to destroy it.

Whatever it takes.


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