Black Leaders Eliminated or Co-Opted into System: Canadian CommentatorMostafa Afzalzadeh
Zafar Bangash is a noted Islamic movement journalist and commentator in Toronto, Canada. He is the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, and president of the Islamic Society of York Region, a suburb of Toronto. In an interview with Parsi Policy, Bangash explains why the movement of African- American have failed to bear any changes.
Q: Many black people and people of color have been killed during the years but none of them has had the reaction of people like what happened to George Floyd. why?
There have been reactions like this in the past as well. The death of Erik Garner for example, which in fact gave birth to the Black Lives Matter movement. But over the years, the anger of the people has continued to grow particularly of African-Americans. But this time even a lot of white people have been affected.
The police have killed more than 7000 people obviously a much larger proportion of African-American or people of color without any reforms in the police force without any prosecution of any of these people, and only 5 police officers in all of these years have been prosecuted in anyway.
There was anger burning up inside the African American community and when they saw that despite the promises, no changes occurred in the police force and the police force continued to act with brutality and viciousness and absolute horror, this new movement has emerged, now they say that the police force should be abolished altogether because they are not really protecting people they are simply murdering them.
Q: Why are the US mainstream media like CNN supporting the demonstrations?
They have found an opportunity to get back at Trump; particularly because of the mishandling of the pandemic and understanding that this situation of the killing of African American is going to put the entire American political system at risk. Those in power, the 1% including the big corporations and banks etc., are beginning to worry that the whole system is going to collapse.
Q: What do you think would be the outcome of the protests and how long would it last?
Unfortunately, the protests do not have a very long life unless and until something drastic happens. for instance, if the police or the National Guard units that have been deployed in various cities they become violent and start to shoot at the demonstrators in large numbers and the large number of demonstrators are killed, that is going to turn the situation very violent.
Keep in mind that in the United States something like there are about 370 million guns in the hands of people and so America is a very militarized society and if the police and National Guard units begin to kill unarmed demonstrators, then the situation is going to turn ugly. But if they don't go on a killing spree then the chances are that these demonstrations are going to gradually peter out and the people would be told that well you have made a point we are going to appoint various commissions they are going to make recommendations etc.
However, we won’t see any change just like before. Any time a police officer, right wing groups that are mobilized raise millions of Dollars for them and so very little is done by way of reprimanding or punishing of these police officers. I am afraid nothing will change in the United States. It will require real determined effort and courage on the part of decision-makers both in congress as well as at the state level.
Since 2002 most of the police forces in the United States are getting their training in the Zion state of Israel and what the Zionists are doing to Palestinian people; these police forces are acquiring the same brutal techniques and they are applying those techniques to the people that they arrest in the United States.
Q: Why the African-American community do not have a leader like MLK to lead the protest now?
There are several reasons for that. People within the African-American community that are educated and that are able to articulate their case, all of these people are co-opted by the system. Barack Obama is a prime example, if you just ignore his skin color Barack Obama is no different from George Bush or Donald Trump in terms of the policies that they have implemented.
And so from the grassroots level, anytime if there is somebody that tries to emerge then they are eliminated, they are not allowed. We know the example of Malcolm X was a genuine leader I believe, probably the greatest African American leader that ever emerged, but look at what happened to him. He was gunned down at the age of 39. So he was quickly eliminated; contrast him with Martin Luther King who talked about nonviolence movements and he was also eliminated.
Without proper planning and direction, these movements will ultimately peter out because people get tired, these are all ordinary people they have to get on with life; so you know these other considerations that come into play makes it very very difficult for people to continue.
Thank you so much for your time Mr. Bangash.
Mostafa Afzalzadeh is a senior Journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is currently the managing Director of Parsi Policy.