Earlier this week two Black American citizens were murdered by United States armed police forces. Their names are Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It felt like countless other incidents where police killed a Black woman, man, or child with no regard. And yet it felt different. Videos of their murders began to circulate widely. The news looped videos of Black death with sadistic glee. They offered no respect for the dead, like they did when white reporters were shot in Virginia last year.
Unlike with Ferguson two years ago, celebrities were speaking out quickly about how tragic it was that American police were killing Black Americans at alarmingly disproportionate rates. Two Black women in particular took charge this time: Issa Rae and Beyoncé.
— Vulture (@vulture) July 7, 2016
Issa Rae raised close to half a million in a day or two for the family of Alton Sterling while other Black celebrities tweeted useless platitudes and politicians like Hillary Clinton, ostensibly trying to win the highest office in the country, simply sent “prayers”.
Then, things went into overdrive when Beyoncé penned this thoughtful essay and posted it to the front page of her website. (It also linked to Beyonce.com/FREEDOM, which is awesome.)
Given that Beyoncé is one of the biggest superstars of our time, her message had a profound impact. Not just because the words ring true, but because it linked directly to actionable websites such as Contacting Congress and the Louisiana and Minnesota State Legislature, the states where Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were murdered, respectively.
Awareness heightened and protests were organized across the country in their honor – in DC, LA, New York, Oakland, Baton Rouge, Chicago, and Dallas, to name a few.
Protests were peaceful. Friends at the New York protest told me police were getting a little aggressive and arrests were being made, but by and large it remained a calm night. Except for in Dallas.
As the #BlackLivesMatter protest ended, a shooter open fired into the crowd, hitting protesters and police.
Then everything changed. Suddenly “police are under attack” and Black Rambo was to blame. The narrative shifted. The Dallas Police Department circulated an image of a Black man in camouflage with an AR-15 strapped to him and asked for information in finding him. The picture was posted everywhere. As of 2pm Friday, more than 12 hours later, the picture is still up on Dallas PD’s twitter. Why does this matter? Because they were wrong. And they knew they were wrong.
Thanks to twitter, someone noticed in camera footage from the protest, the man they were accusing was clearly seen when shots began, in the crowd, afraid like everyone else.
You might think this is a mistake. Those of us who are familiar with COINTELPRO and the FBI’s counter-activism tactics know better.
This is no longer a conspiracy theory and I feel the extreme need to prove that today. The reason? Because even US citizens who mean well and tune into the news would never know the truth if we do not share it ourselves.
Once the conversation shifted so quickly and perfectly, it really hit me. We were no longer talking about the heinous murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Now we were talking about how wild it is that Dallas might have a sniper shooting cops. How sexy a headline! Everyone started to focus on it. And I realized this has COINTELPRO written all over it. But don’t believe me. Believe the FBI:
It is extremely important that we report what’s happening and we write for posterity. History has never been on our side because we weren’t the ones writing it.
The reason people are surprised is because history does not tell you that oppression is birthed from violence. The white male historians that craft our textbooks and revise US History to suit their narrative would rather you believe Black American’s intrinsic inferiority landed them at the bottom of the oppression pole. No. Violence causes oppression. And in return, the oppressed are justified in their violence.
The following images (receipts) are screenshots directly from the FBI.gov archives. Before I get into it, you should know what COINTELPRO is.
Wikipedia offers a simple description: COINTELPRO is a portmanteau of COunter INTELligence PROgram. It was (is) a series of covert, and at times (often) illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of investigation aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organizations.
Previously, anyone even mentioning COINTELPRO was called a conspiracy theorist of some sort. Let’s debunk that NOW.
All of this is available on the official FBI website. Note the language of “Black Extremist” although our aim has always been equality. If the FBI denotes civil rights fights as extreme, kinda makes you wonder what the status quo is supposed to be.
Here’s a step-by-step instructional on how to find damning evidence that your government strongly believes Black lives don’t matter:
Barely scratching the surface, here is page one:
If you cannot see the above image, the text is below:
TEXT: “The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor, is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder.”
Literally page one (technically page 3) of the FBI counter-activism handbook says they actively work to disrupt and ultimately end the movement for Black rights. This can no longer be called speculation or conspiracy theory.
Here’s where it gets interesting, though. Sometimes on twitter, visible leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement will disagree. Other people will call it petty in-fighting and claim it’s taking away from the cause. This blame is misplaced. Our leaders are human. Our government has planned this. And I’ll keep saying it: None of this is speculation or conspiracy. Here’s the proof:
A lot is happening in this screenshot so let me break it down:
TEXT: “No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterintelligence techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leaderships of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflict between competing black nationalist organizations.”
So boom: stop blaming Black leaders, who are human, for having conflict. It’s normal and expected. Since the history of the entire world, people may agree on a goal but they won’t always agree on how to achieve it. That’s okay. But the FBI wants to sow discord and have you believe our organizers are disorganized and petty. They aren’t and they deserve better of their sacrifice and contributions to the movement.
The second thing happening in this screenshot? The FBI freely admitting that they use the media and government officials to LIE about Black rights groups.
TEXT: “When an opportunity is apparent to disrupt or neutralize black nationalist hate-type organizations through the cooperation of established local news media contacts or through such contact with sources available to the Seat of Government, in every instance careful attention must be given to the proposal to insure the targeted group is disrupted, ridiculed, or discredited through the publicity”
If I’m losing you here, allow me restate my purpose:
I’m establishing (with the FBI’s own records) a history of the government interfering, often unethically and illegally, with Black movements.
You know how with every Black death, the media brings up mugshots and criminal history? Thank the FBI.
Image 7: The FBI’s game plan to discredit Black people
TEXT: “Many individuals currently active in black nationalist organizations have backgrounds of immorality, subversive activity, and criminal records. Through your investigation of key agitators, you should endeavor to establish their unsavory backgrounds. Be alert to determine evidence of misappropriation of funds or other types of personal misconduct on the part of the militant nationalists.”
Bruh. Every single “fight” we’ve seen between activists and how quickly they get discredited, was already laid out by the FBI.
Oh and just in case you think “well maybe they were targeting really terrible Black people”, nah:
TEXT: “Intensified attention should be afforded to the activities of such groups as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Revolutionary Action Movement, the Deacons for Defense and Justice, Congress of Racial Equality, and the Nation of Islam.”
Note they were targeted and attempting to discredit the Student Nonviolent Committee, Deacons, and the Congress of Racial Equality..
I will conclude this with
TEXT: You are urged to take an enthusiastic and imaginative approach to this new counterintelligence endeavor and the Bureau will be pleased to entertain any suggestions or techniques you may recommend.
Concluding points: yes the government is actively working to disrupt pand discredit #BlackLivesMatter. This is fact. This cannot be debated. Yes the government uses the media to lie (which we already “knew” but now we KNOW). Freedom will not be given to us. It just won’t. There are hundreds and thousands of pages of FBI docs telling us this. The character assassination continues. The lies continue. The historic mistrust continues. But also the fight continues.