The U.S. Is a Political Prison, Kamala Harris Is a Prison Guard

By Daniel Haiphong
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Harris protects police unions, the courts, and the stakeholders of the mass incarceration state.”

Black Agenda Report and other independent media sources have repeatedly been called “fake news” or “Russian propaganda” by the political gatekeepers of the U.S. empire. Trump has been used as a convenient excuse for the ruling elites to discredit those who tell the truth about the ruthlessness of the system. This became even more evident after journalist Marzieh Hashemi was indefinitely detained for over a week by the U.S. government without any formal charges against her. Last week, I wrote that Hashemi’s incarceration and treatment is a product of the U.S. imperial war on independent journalism. The crime committed against her is also a reminder that the U.S. itself is a political prison.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, the U.S. empire’s most famous political prisoner, was recently granted the right of appeal after the courts ruled that his trial was rife with judicial bias. Several boxes labeled “Mumia” were found in the District Attorney’s office soon afterward, although the boxes reportedly did not possess exculpatory evidence. Despite these positive developments, the fact remains that Mumia Abu-Jamal has been in prison for thirty-seven years for a reason. District Attorney Larry Krasner caved to pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and appealed the favorable ruling on Abu-Jamal’s case. A potential retrial for Abu-Jamal will now be delayed by a time-consuming legal process.

Once again, Mumia Abu-Jamal shows that the U.S. is a political prison from which the police are treated as a protected class. Police officers and their unions occupy a status in society that reigns above the humanity and rights of the people they supposedly “protect and serve.” Police departments murder nearly 1,000 people per year in the U.S. without political or legal consequence. It wasn’t until the Black Lives Matter insurgency arose that police departments began to come under fire for the near daily homicides that they commit against Black Americans. Even then, the Obama Administration and both political parties united to protect the police from federal investigation.

The U.S. political prison has placed 2.3 million people in cages and twice that many under “correctional control.”Forty percent of prisoners and close to fifty percent of those placed in solitary confinement, an internationally recognized form of torture, are Black American. Solitary confinement is the prison state’s weapon of choice when it comes to its political prisoners. Political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier of the American Indian Movement, and Russell Maroon Shoatz of the Black Liberation Army have endured decades upon decades of solitary confinement. New research on solitary confinement indicates that the practice permanently damages the hippocampus structure of the brainand imposes a form of social death onto prisoners.

The conditions faced by U.S. political prisoners reveal the true face of the U.S. political prison. This prison has draped itself in grand narratives of exceptionalism to hide the fact that it is the most repressive and exploitative system in human history. Prisoners in the U.S. represent a disposable class of the poor, mainly the Black poor, whose existence has been relegated to the margins by the nation’s exceptionalist tales. The racist criminalization of Black Americans and the explosive growth of the prison population beginning in the 1980s in the U.S. share both political and economic origins. Economically, the U.S. system of capitalism that sustains the prison fell into a permanent state of overproduction and lost the ability to raise the standard of living for any section of the working class. Politically, Black American resistance was targeted by the state to make way for the imminent neoliberal disaster to come. And out of the ashes of repression, political prison guards such as California Senator Kamala Harris were born.

Kamala Harris announced her bid for the Democratic Party presidential ticket in the upcoming 2020 election on the Martin Luther King holiday. The Howard alum has served as the political prison guard for the U.S. prison regime as District Attorney, Attorney General, and Senator of the California state gulag. Harris has championed herself as “for the people.” What she hasn’t mentioned is that she is for only a certain class of “people” in the U.S. political prison. That class of people includes the police unions, the courts, and the stakeholders of the mass incarceration state.

Under Kamala Harris, California saw an exponential increase in the number of drug convictions. Harris also punished Black families for truancy and appealed a federal judge’s decision to eradicate the death penalty. She has furiously protected the police from prosecution and refused to investigate police officer abuse, violence, and murder perpetrated mainly against poor Black Americans. Harris is a cop for the U.S. political prison, as are most members of the self-serving Black misleadership class. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) voted in favor of the 1033 program that arms police departments with military weaponry from the Department of Defense in 2014 and followed up this vote in 2018 by supporting a federal “Blue Lives Matter” bill.

As part of the CBC, Harris certainly possesses credentials that the ruling classes desire. Not only has Harris played an instrumental role in the mass Black incarceration state, but she has also been paid handsomely to protect the banks. As Attorney General, Harris refused to prosecuteTrump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s former corporation, WestOne, for imposing illegal foreclosures. Mnuchin awarded Harris with a generous contribution to her political campaign in 2016. And if that weren’t enough, Harris is sure to project U.S. imperial interests abroad given her numerous speaking engagements with the powerful Israeli lobby AIPAC and her cozy relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Harris, in other words, is Obama personified as a self-identified Black woman.

Kamala Harris’ bid to become the commanding prison guard of the U.S. comes amid a crisis within the entire prison system. The U.S. prison economy, capitalism, is in a state of decay and stagnation. Finance capital and high-tech, globalized production has placed downward pressure on wages to make up for the rising costs associated with technological advances. Fewer and fewer jobs are required to maximize profitability. The combination of a growing “surplus army of the unemployed” and low-wages has led to a crisis of overproduction and a fall in the rate of profit that credit and debt cannot relieve, no matter how many millions of Americans are forced into the red. What has ensued is near poverty for eighty percent of the U.S. population and an intensified thirst for austerity on the part of the rich.

Of course, austerity in the U.S. political prison does not apply to the military state. The U.S. spends trillions to fortify its military hegemony worldwide at the expense of the self-determination of oppressed nations. With over 800 military bases around the world and potentially hundreds more uncounted, the U.S. political prison is in possession of the largest military empire in history. As more and more Americans demand policies such as Medicare for All, the U.S. political prison will continue to extend its global military reach without hesitation. This will inevitably mean more destruction and death for the Global South and more austerity and repression for workers and poor Blacks.

Kamala Harris in the 2020 election is vying for Trump’s presidential seat in order to quiet the potential rebellion to come. However, it is quite clear that no relief can be expected from the prison guard Kamala Harris. The Democratic Party apparatus is a legion of prison guards holding Black and other progressive constituencies in political captivity. The best hope for the masses lies in the destruction of the Democratic Party, which can only be realized by another DNC attack on the likes of Bernie Sanders. Expect Kamala Harris to participate in that attack when Sanders finally announces his decision to run if doing so will increase her chances at the nomination. Leftists must avoid falling into the pressure of supporting another Democrat and instead take up the fight to expose those who keep political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal locked up indefinitely. Out of this struggle should come the recognition that the U.S. itself is a political prison which cannot be elected or reformed out of existence.

Hillary Clinton 2020 is Malcolm X’s American Nightmare on Steroids

By Daniel Haiphong
Source

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Clinton’s reemergence is a dangerous reminder of who she really is: a “too big to fail” parasite of finance capital and the war machine.

Black revolutionary Malcolm X famously said that Black America didn’t experience an “American Dream,” only an American nightmare. The so-called American Dream continues to be a nightmare. US imperialism has successfully held Black America in political captivity in the Democratic Party despite the self-proclaimed “lesser evil” party having played a vital role in every ill that befalls Black people. Democratic Administrations have been the architects of the mass incarceration regime in the United States, partners in the world incineration regime known as the U.S. military state, and active participants in the theft of nearly every dollar of Black wealth that existed prior to 1983. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party’s top sponsor of the American nightmare for Black Americans and she is once again making headlines in an apparent attempt to assert herself in the upcoming Presidential election of 2020.

It may only be 2018, but the divided and increasingly unpopular Democratic Party has been testing the Presidential waters since Clinton lost in 2016. For Black America and all of humanity’s exploited and downtrodden, Clinton’s reemergence is a dangerous reminder of who she really is: a “too big to fail” parasite of finance capital and the war machine. In an interview with The Guardian, Clinton remarked that Europe must “get a handle” on its immigration problem to stop the march of the far right. What Clinton meant was that Europe should further militarize its immigration policy to appease racist Europeans. She, of course, didn’t mention that European imperialism, under the leadership of the United States, is the real culprit in the refugee crisis. To do so would be an admission of guilt, as few others are more responsible for the massive displacement of peoples that has occurred worldwide since 2011 than Hillary Clinton.

It is no secret to most people around the world that the U.S.-NATO invasion of Libya engineered the largest refugee crisis in human history. However, few in the United States remember Clinton cackling to the corporate press “we came, we saw, he died” after U.S.-backed jihadists ruthlessly assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. What came after the destruction of Libya was anything but laughable. The Obama and Clinton-led U.S.-NATO-Zionist and Gulf state alliance quickly moved on to Syria and, as the Black Alliance for Peace explains, expanded their reign of terror in Africa by way of the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM). Millions of Syrians and Northern Africans from nations such as Mali have been displaced by jihadists armed with imperial military gear and a mission to sow political and economic chaos. As Black Agenda Report Editor Glen Ford stated in 2016, Turkey and Europe have been trafficking humans on a scale not seen since the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Despite this, Clinton stated that she wanted to gift the planet with more refugees in the 2016 election. Clinton called for a no-fly zone in Syria, a code word for a massive bombing campaign that would surely have led to a military confrontation with Russia if carried out.

One must ask why Clinton made her most recent comments about the issue of refugees in lieu of the fact that they seem to invoke memories of her imperial legacy. The comments angered pro-refugee progressives throughout the Western world and for good reason. They are indicative of sheer ruling class arrogance and reveal the extent to which she will expand her big, nasty tent of ruling class deplorables to achieve political ends. The plight of refugees has no seat under this tent. But the far right does; so long as it behaves in sync with the real ruling class, the finance capitalist class, of which Clinton is a VIP member.

The United States has perfected the art of inducing short-term memory loss in most Americans when it comes to matters of history and politics. Thus, it was forgotten that while Clinton may have lost the 2016 elections, she certainly did not lose her influence over the political direction of the imperialist system. Clinton and her allies in the finance capitalist class have continued their tirade through weapons such as Russiagate wielded by the intelligence apparatus and the corporate media. These deplorable forces have aligned with the Trump Administration when it has served the aims of economic and military warfare against Russia and China and the profits of the banks and monopolies. The American Nightmare has continued for most Black Americans and workers generally, half of whom cannot afford an emergency of $500. With the 2020 election fiasco fast emerging, one has to wonder if Clinton hopes to try once again to win the highest seat from which to spread the American Nightmare far and wide.

There are some rumblings from Clinton’s former aid Mark Penn that a third run at the Presidency may be in the cards. Clinton has already announced that she “would like to be President” and continues to shed her racist and imperialist wisdom on issues such as immigration and the death of Washington Post “journalist” Jamal Khashoggi. The Chicago Sun Times wrote a glowing yet superficial endorsement of Clinton for the 2020 nomination, claiming that Clinton possesses the “experience” to defeat Donald Trump. Some corporate outlets such as New York magazine and CNN disagree and would rather try their hand with a new neoliberal imperialist face such as Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Beto O’Rourke. The rich white boy wonder of Wall Street O’Rourke has been called the “white Obama” by the 44th President’s former lackies.

Whether Clinton runs or not, she remains an instrumental figure in the ruling class. Her embarrassing defeat to Trump did not cause the ruling elites to disinvest from the Clinton machine. Clinton will have a hand in the 2020 election. Donald Trump will either run against her or another corporate Democrat. Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are ready to carry on her blood soaked, finance capitalist agenda. The nomination of charter school sugar daddy and servant of finance capital Hakeem Jefferies to the Democratic caucus seat is a stark indication that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton-wing of the party has no intentions of supporting even the mildest social democratic agenda like that put out recently by Bernie Sanders.

Currently, the crisis in the Democratic Party is far graver than in the White Man’s Party. Donald Trump can comfortably carry out the deeds of the ruling class while posing as the celebrity President. Trump’s rule has been another chapter in Malcolm’s American Nightmare, but not because Trump is a special case. Trump’s Administration has been consistent in the escalation of imperialist wars by dropping more bombs on Afghanistan in one year than any other President prior. He has cut taxes for the rich and continued the bipartisan consensus of criminalizing immigrants. However, the ruling class will stop at nothing to paint him as a “Russian” regardless of how much his Administration has increased sanctions against Russia and built up the U.S.’ military presence along the Russian border. That’s because under this period of imperialism, the ruling class is not satisfied until the entire planet is swallowed by capital and every vestige of social solidarity and protection is stripped from the people.

Hillary Clinton and the rest of her wing of the Democratic Party is plenty experienced in ravaging the planet and the people, especially Black people. Trump is occupying the highest seat inside of Malcolm’s American Nightmare on steroids, and he isn’t doing it to the liking of the most influential section of the ruling class in Wall Street and the Pentagon. Malcolm’s American Nightmare, then, cannot be transformed in a “resistance” against Trump. The people must be in motion against the entire ruling class and system. Black America has historically led whatever real resistance has arisen to the American Nightmare. And the Democratic Party is the biggest obstacle in the way of ending the nightmare because it keeps Black America in political captivity. The Democratic Party needs the White Man’s Party to keep poor Black Americans and the entire working class chained to the Democratic arm of the imperialist system. Those chains must be broken, as Malcolm X said, “by any means necessary.”

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