Dear West Philly Radicals Who Put The Signs Up About “Smashing The State” Around The Neighborhood,
I don't know if you cats have noticed but there have been a lot of robberies and sexual assaults of women in our neighborhood lately. I was thinking to myself what I would do personally to the perps if I caught them myself and... Well, suffice it to say that I would want to smash their fuckin' heads in. Anyway, back to the point. As I walk around the town and see all these "fuck the police" and "how to make molotov cocktail" flyers wheat-pasted everywhere I ask myself: why in the current climate we are living is this the message you have chosen for yourselves?
I think you and I know that the people organizing these displays of public attention are NOT the people being systematically targeted and ruined by a criminal "justice" system that is clearly racist, classist, and corrupt. So, I ask myself: why do these people want to smash things? I think I know the answer because I know some of you, but decentralized chaos does not centralized change make. However, when I think about the safety of my wife, your family, and the residents of our neighborhood being in question it’s just not good enough. However, harken the day! I think I found an outlet for your rage.
The problem with "black bloc tactics" is that the marches and destruction usually come at the cost of people going about their day-to-days. Why not use that rage, community focused ideology, and desire to hit the streets to PROTECT people instead of DESTROYING things? If you want to have a community focus then you have got to earn the communities' respect. What better way to a) earn the respect of your neighbors, b) put all those political ideas in your heads into the streets, and c) exhibit responsible policing that can be an example for the corrupt criminal justice system to emulate than to do it yourselves? Why not organize yourselves into a peace-keeping force?
Someone reading this at this point may be asking: why don't you go do it, Larry? Well, I have new family to take care of and I'm not the one going around pasting destroydestroydestroy all over my neighborhood while women are being serially sexual assaulted and robbed on the streets. To be fair I think your indignation is just. I think alot of it is based in empathy for your fellow human, but I think you're being reactionary instead of proactive. Positive emotion trumps negative every time. Change in the streets of West Philadelphia will not come by who can yell the loudest or set fire to the most police cars. It will come from those who are passionate enough to dedicate themselves to discipline and can use that discipline to organize. I learned that from Malcolm X. Up the road and around the corner in our neighborhood there is a park named in his honor. Can we the residents of this historic and great neighborhood contribute to each other instead of just demonizing and pointing the finger? "Be the change you want to be in the world," I learned that one from Dr. King.
If at this point you are not convinced then I would remind you that in that case you are putting your faith in the very police you hate to protect our streets… you ok with that?
Though You May Have A Hard Time Hearing The Love Behind My Words (Though I Hope You Do),
A Member Of The Community