Black People Are Still The Greatest Threat to the United States: Free 21 Savage

Uprising in London, 2011.

While Americans (including those who pretended to stand with Colin Kaepernick and were extremely vocal about boycotting all things NFL) watched the SuperBowl, we received news that Atlanta rapper 21 Savage had been arrested by ICE, allegedly because he was not American, but a British subject. For context, here’s an article from an industry publication, XXL. Now, just to make things perfectly clear, I don’t give a shit where Savage was born. Regardless of where in the diaspora we are from as African descended people, we still catch hell, whether it be Harlem or Hampstead Heath. There were massive riots in London in 1981 (Brixton) and 2011 (Tottenham). Despite the memes that circulated after this man’s arrest, Black people in the UK are not “posh” or “soft”. The overwhelming majority are descended from Caribbean folks from places like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago who were brought over as low paid workers in the late 1940s and 1950s on ships like the Empire Windrush to rebuild cities such as London after they had been bombed to pieces by the fascists in the Blitz. These are a neo-colonized, exploited, oppressed people, just like us in the US. 21 Savage’s family background is not Oxford and tweed, it’s “No Rooms to Let to Colored”, cold water flats and brutal police beatings. As a fan of first and second wave (two-tone) ska along with reggae, I owe much to the experience and bitterness-speaking of Black people who migrated to the UK in the mid-late twentieth century along with the diaspora remaining in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica, because my favorite music would not exist without their creativity and their struggle against the atrocious conditions they were forced to live in by the British colonial regimes that governed these countries. Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, The Ethiopians, etc. were speakers of bitterness against colonialism. Bob Marley did not just sing about smoking weed, he shouted down British imperialist Babylon from musical heights. To listen to these artists and then condemn and mock Savage for being born a colonized British subject is the pinnacle of hypocrisy. His people are Dominican, Savage is apparently only second generation, Dominica is a British neocolony.

21 Savage did not attract ICE attention and arrest until he appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s show on January 28th and denounced the water crisis in Flint and the abuse of migrants on the US-Mexico border with updated lyrics to his song, “A Lot”. To quote: “Started from the bottom straight from the gutter, so I had to go a lil’ harder/The lights was off, the gas was off, so we had to boil up the water/Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border/Flint still need water/People was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers.” This is a demonstration of advanced political consciousness and correct use of one’s platform and base as a musician to raise the consciousness of your fanbase. ICE, after detaining the artist, began slandering his reputation and implying that he was a fraud, a posh Briton posing as a gritty dude from the streets of Atlanta. This is a common trope used by the forces of the State when famous Black people express politics that run counter to the BET/black bourgeois narrative. It is imperative that whenever one of us, from wherever, is in trouble for speaking out in solidarity with other people, we march in lockstep to demand their immediate release and point out the hypocrisy of detaining a politically consciousness Afro-descendant for deportation, or separating migrant children from migrant parents who are only migrants in the first place because of the United States, while illegal immigrants from the US comprise the majority of the American population in Mexico. When Americans immigrate overseas, they usually end up being sex tourists, drug traffickers, mercenaries, and religious missionaries brainwashing the masses of the third world. That’s why the Communist Party of Peru used to execute missionaries and burn their churches in the 1980s — they correctly realized the social and class character of these denominations. They were advance guards of imperialism and spent much time lecturing their flock against the revolution, thus they needed to be removed.

21 Savage was detained by ICE and is marked for deportation for the same reason that Paul Robeson and countless other revolutionary-minded Black cultural workers and theoreticians, people like Claudia Jones, W.E.B Du Bois and Paul Robeson, were detained, stripped of passports, hounded out of the country, or otherwise interfered with by the United States. The United States will go to all lengths to stifle the voices of and damage the well earned reputation of revolutionary and progressive artists of African descent and partisanship. If you reject the Empire, it will try its hardest to cost you your fanbase, make you lose money, turn your colleagues against you, and destroy countless years and hours of work. 21 Savage is claimed by Black Atlanta, Black Atlanta fights for him regardless of where he was born. From what we know, he came here before he was a teenager and thus his music is shaped by his experience here, in this country. Even if he came here yesterday, he is our brother and comrade and is being punished for his progressive politics. Thus, it is imperative for revolutionary minded New Afrikan people in this country to offer whatever support we can and raise awareness of this situation. Put away the memes and jokes, if you’ve been partaking in them, stop. A black man or anybody who has stood for what is right sitting in a cold cell at the mercy of the worst Empire in human history is not a joke or a meme content. You wouldn’t want people laughing were it you.



Black Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. STL based. Patreon:

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