“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”
In amerikkka from the time we are very young we are taught that “the bad guys go to prison.” We are taught that prison is the worst place to be but “if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.” It is with this colonized framework of thinking that so many of us engage in this idea of justice. Justice by definition has to deal with fairness or righteousness. Therefore we must understand justice cannot be found in colonial governments and structures because there is absolutely nothing fair or righteous about settler-colonial imperialism. How can a country formed under the land theft and genocide of Native Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island be just? How can people, companies and structures who have built their wealth off the enslavement and exploitation of Africans ever believe in fairness? How can a country that since the 1800s has forced labor, passed exclusion acts, placed thousands in internment camps, dropped Atomic bombs as well napalms, agent orange and various chemicals to massacre Asians in the name of imperialism be righteous? No, these colonial structures and systems will never be able to give us justice.
Once we identify that these colonial institutions cannot deliver justice to us we are able to see the propaganda the amerikkkan injustice system perpetuates. “No Justice, No Peace,” “Justice for Breonna Taylor,” “Justice for George Floyd”; all of these sound great but without a firm understanding of what justice means, how can we possibly know what justice looks like in action? The simple answer is justice is punishment. That’s what you and I have become conditioned to believe in amerikkka. Justice means arresting the killer kkkops or klansmen who hunt us down, justice looks like a large financial settlement, justice looks like a more visible representation of Black and Brown Indigenous People in these colonial positions.
“Corn can’t expect justice from a court composed of chickens.”
I am here to tell y’all, that isn’t justice. Justice isn’t a settlement, an arrest or even a conviction and a sentence. The dollars families are “awarded” isn’t fair, there is nothing fair about a life stolen away by white supremacy; making sure that not another human being would have to lose their life at the hands of the state isn’t even justice but it is working to be righteous. How can the arrest of a European mass murderer be seen as “fair” when the pigs and the media run a narrative that he was just having a bad day and his arrest was a very real reminder of the ways in which the carceral system can never be fair because it stems from the enslavement of Africans. Even if there is a conviction for the racist pig kkkop who lynched George Floyd, all it does is get us sold on the idea of incarceration as a legitimate system. But again I ask knowing the history of policing and the rebranding of slavery through the 13th amendment’s exception clause how can we call this system just or fair? As Darnell Moore put it “how are we to name jails and prisons and law enforcement as just tools when they are doing unjust things in our communities?” The system needs the occasional “bad apple” in order to rationalize and legitimize this evil colonial system. amerikkkan exceptionalism and propaganda tells us that “a few bad apples’’ shouldn’t indict the whole system. But those bad apples are all from the same rotten tree of the carceral system. Justice cannot be carceral, because the carceral system is inherently racist, the very idea of incarceration is european and a product of imperialism, which cannot be just.
The only justice for Africans and Brown Indigenous People that could ever be found on this land is abolition; because abolition seeks for us to acknowledge the harm that was caused, seek out the root causes, and asks us to work to restore and transform those involved, how much more righteous could that be? Justice looks like the end of modern slavery, where more Africans are currently incarcerated (2 million+) than were enslaved prior to the amerikkkan civil war. Justice isn’t some big check for a family that proves Black lives have value. Justice isn’t carceral, it can’t be when we see what the carceral system does to political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Ruchell Magee, Veronza Bowers, and countless others. Justice damn sure isn’t big corporations telling us Black Lives Matter or they stand in solidarity against those living in the midst of white supremacist violence when these same companies profit off the exploitation of Africans and other Brown Indigenous People domestically and globally. No see justice is much deeper than that, justice heals and transforms, justice is righteous to the people, not profits.
Justice is self-determination, justice is full employment for the people, it is the end of capitalism, justice looks like housing and medical care for all, justice looks like a fair and true education that teaches us what justice really is. Justice is so much more than a settlement from these fascist pig departments, so much more an arrest or even sentences to those terrorists who beat and kill us. Justice is abolition, abolition of the unjust racist carceral system and the abolition of european capitalism-imperialism. Justice is giving the land back and healing the earth and her colonized peoples. Justice isn’t a settlement or a sentence, justice is emancipation and liberation of the people!