Saturday night, November 11, security guard Jemel Roberson was murdered by Chicago police at his place of work. He was doing his job — he apprehended an alleged gunman at his place of employment, and called police for help.
Jemel was otherwise a normal African American man, a lover of his family, a gospel musician, and an upstanding member of his community. His family said he was preparing to upgrade from security guard to join the police force.
As we witness and are living through an apocalypse — the death of a social system - we seek meaning in the events of our lives. What is the meaning of the murder of Jemel Roberson? I see three lessons that it behooves us, as life and death issues, to glean from this incident, which is emblematic of daily and hourly life in today’s decaying United States of America:
1. If you are a Black man in the United States, limit contact with lunatic murderers — there are many of this type of personality in police forces around the country. Do not voluntarily bring the police into your midst. The closer contact any of us has with police in any part of the country, the greater are the chances that we will be executed on sight;
2. In general, Black men are not allowed to defend ourselves in any way. Having a gun is a very compelling top shelf reason for executing a Black man. We are not supposed to be armed. The underlying meaning of this social law is that political laws are formal; they are pieces of paper. By the written laws of this country, it is legal for Black people to have guns. Social laws are different from juridical laws: If you are a Black security guard and the company you work for requires you to be armed, you are still subject to be murdered on the spot. You are subject to the social law that Black men cannot be armed.
3. As the monopoly capitalist ruling class of this country progressively tests out the option of open fascism, one way they seek to “kill two birds with one stone” is: (bird #1) to maintain the loyalty of a major organized armed group — police — by rewarding them for (bird #2) executing Black men. When a police officer wantonly guns down a Black man for no other reason than that he was doing his job, this “peacekeeper” is automatically given a paid vacation. This is another social law of our time. This social law generates police murders of Black men daily and hourly. Think about it. Being a police officer is a stressful job. The vacation time police officers get is cherished by them and their families. All police have known forever that if they execute a Black man they will get the reward of a paid vacation. This is one of the resolutions of the stress factor. Shoot a Black man; make certain he’s dead; and you’ll get paid leave on top of your normal contractual vacation time.
The above three lessons are interrelated; they interpenetrate with each other, such that the existence of each is part of the conditions for the existence of the other two lessons. For example, Lesson #1 speaks of crazed lunatics. Lesson #3 speaks of rewarding people for murder. Indeed, does it not follow logically that one must be a crazed lunatic to execute innocent human beings simply to gain a bonus (supra contractual) vacation? This question answers itself.
Dear reader, any other lessons you can contribute to the meaning of the execution of Jemel Robeson are welcome. We are living in the denouement of a social system. We must figure out the way forward for humanity together.
Thank you for your consideration