Black Identity Extremists Who Don’t Exist

Resisting the FBI’s new racial targeting

Dr. Maulana Karenga | 12/12/2017, 11:50 a.m.
It is the wisdom of the ancestors that “if you know the beginning well, the end will not trouble you.” ...
Dr. Maulana Karenga

It might seem to be about one group, but it is actually about the black community. It is a continuation of racializing crime and criminalizing the race, and thus an attack on black identity and black people, making us all suspects and offenders and subject to the harshest measures, especially activists.

It is also, then, to criminalize and discourage black resistance, an attempt to intimidate and terrorize activists and potential activists, sowing fear, doubt and heightening concern for safety, security and stigmatization for work, career and life. It is also an attempt to redefine the emerging overarching black movement for racial and social justice as extremist rather than righteous struggle against injustice and oppression. And finally, it is an attempt to shift attention from state-sanctioned white supremacist and police violence against black people and to justify increased police presence and repression in the black community.

History and hard lessons of life and struggle have taught us there is no substitute for freedom and justice with dignity. Safety and security come not from resignation, but resistance; not from conceding in silence, but confronting in audacious and effective ways; and not from surrender to evil, injustice and oppression, but from united righteous and relentless struggle on every level and every battlefield and battleline.

Dr. Maulana Karenga is professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University-Long Beach; executive director of the African American Cultural Center; creator of Kwanzaa; and an author.