William C. Anderson:
What do you think about the current uprisings happening throughout the country in response to police violence?
Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin:
I think the uprisings are good but we’re seeing that they have limitations as a revolutionary uprising. These limitations allow the state to subvert the nature of uprisings as well as the issues as mere reforms. The state and the liberal politicians and others are able to utilize that against the movement. This kind of cooptation has been happening for a while. I’ve watched 60 years of protests and so-called “riots” and rebellions and uprisings in major cities and small towns like Ferguson, Missouri. I’ve watched 60 years of them going back to 1964 with the Harlem rebellion in Harlem, New York. It was always something to do with the police. One form or another, they kill somebody, beat somebody, or just came in the community and did some kind of atrocity. And the people responded with a fight back. What’s been allowed to happen in this instance is that the people rebel, the people fight back, and people put up a mass front of protests. Then the politicians and the others claim to be using their issues or their drive to then turn around and propose some liberal reforms, which aren’t liberal at all, actually.
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