Friday, September 18, 2015

Bob Marley's Song "War" & The Reasons For The Black Lives Matter Movement

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video of Bob Marley's song "War". The lyrics for that song are also included in this post.

The Addendum of this post presents an excerpt of a September 17, 2015 Daily Kos diary. That excerpt provides one of the most succient explanations that I've read to date for the reasons for the Black Lives Matter movement. After reading that particular excerpt, I thought of Bob Marley's song "War". To be very clear, the war that I believe Black Lives Matter activists are waging is a non-violent, non-weapons battle against systemic and personal racism in police departments in the United States and in that nation's criminal justice system.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, sociological, historical, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Bob Marley for his musical legacy. Thanks also to the publisher of this song on YouTube, and the transcriber of this song. And thanks to Vyan for his dailykos dairy that is quoted in this post.


ChaƮne de metisrastaman, Uploaded on Jun 29, 2011

Amandla festival 1979
The phrase "Amandla Awethu!" was often shouted at anti-apartheid rallies in South Africa. It means "Power to the People!" Amandla is also the title of a documentary about the role of music in the anti-apartheid movement, Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony.

(Robert Nesta Marley)

Until the philosophy which hold one race superior
And another
Is finally
And permanently
And abandoned -
Everywhere is war -
Me say war.

That until there no longer
First class and second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes -
Me say war.

That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race -
Dis a war.

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace,
World citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued,
But never attained -
Now everywhere is war - war.

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
that hold our brothers in Angola,
In Mozambique,
South Africa
Sub-human bondage
Have been toppled,
Utterly destroyed -
Well, everywhere is war -
Me say war.

War in the east,
War in the west,
War up north,
War down south -
War - war -
Rumours of war.
And until that day,
The African continent
Will not know peace,
We Africans will fight - we find it necessary -
And we know we shall win
As we are confident
In the victory

Of good over evil -
Good over evil, yeah!
Good over evil -
Good over evil, yeah!
Good over evil -
Good over evil, yeah! [fadeout]


EXCERPT FROM "Bristol Palin Rages that Obama should "Stay Out" of Ahmed Mohamed Clock Case" Vyan, Sep 17, 2015

[Editor's background note: Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidental candidate Sarah Palin wrote at tweet criticizing President Obama for inviting Ahmed Muhammad to visit the White House.

Ahmed Muhammad is a brown skinned fourteen year old boy who lives in Texas, who is Muslim, and who was arrested after bringing a home made clock he had invented to school to show his engineer professor. This diary mentions African Americans who were killed at the hands of police. James Blake, the mixed race former tennis star who was is also mentioned in this excerpt. "On September 9, 2015, Blake was taken down to the ground, handcuffed and arrested by a plainclothes New York City Police Department officer in front of the Grand Hyatt New York after being mistaken for a suspect of interest...The violence of the arrest has prompted Blake to take a more active stand on police brutality against minorities".]

[Here is Brital Palin's tweet criticising President Obama's praising Ahmad Muhammad's invention and inviting him to vist the White House]
"This is the kind of stuff Obama needs to STAY out of. This encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the “Black Lives Matter” crowd and encourages victimhood.

The police made a mistake, clearly.

But why put more people against them? Why egg it on? Childish games like this from our president have divided our country… even more today than when he was elected."

[Vyan writing]
..."[Bristol] Palin clearly doesn't understand is that these situation can be not just humiliating but also traumatizing. When you've been repeatedly harassed, hassled, singled-out, attacked, assaulted and brutalized you can - and you will - develop traumatic stress over it. James Blake talks about how he felt "raw" after the arrest, how he keeps playing it over and over in his head. I have little doubt, if not for the intervention of the President, and of MIT and others, that same horrible negative stain of terror and shame would remain in the memory of 14-year-old, let me repeat 14-YEAR-OLD Ahmed Mohammed for the rest of his life.

And if you fail to survive as did Eric Garner who actually didn't have any loose cigarettes on him to sell or Jonathan Crawford who was just shopping at Walmart not "brandishing a loaded weapon" in the "open carry" state in Ohio, or Tamir Rice who was playing alone in a playground not threatening anyone with a weapon, their families are the ones who are traumatized and brutalized. As our their friends, as is their community.

Eric Garner did nothing wrong. Jonathan Crawford did nothing wrong. Tamir Rice did nothing wrong. James Blake did nothing wrong. Ahmed Mohammed did nothing wrong.

And yet the people who did do something wrong, who made a "mistake" as you call it, - the Police-Americans who Bristol feels are the "real victims" here as they stand over a wrongfully arrested teenager or over the body of a bloodied, bruised or dead wrongfully stopped, wrongfully arrested, wrongfully killed person of color - there's no indication that any of them will pay for their "mistake" or that they won't just continue making that "mistake" over and over and over again.

THAT - that fact right there - is what is driving the racial strife in this country, not President Obama.

It's been this way in America for decades, for centuries even. It didn't start with the election of President Obama and it won't end after his final term is over, it's just that some people finally started to notice.

And they aren't gonna forget. Not any time soon, not until the "mistakes" stop happening to black people at a rate that is 3 to 4x higher than it does to others. When it stops happening to black people at that ridiculous rate, when Police-Americans start to act like Black Lives Actually Do Matter not just White Ones, that's when we stop "egging it on".

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