As of October 9th, 2017, The FBI counterterrorism department has identified Black Identity Extremists as an official threat to the security of The United States. The FBI’s statement includes “perception of police brutality against African Americans has spurred retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.”This follows a year where United States police have been responsible for 768 deaths in 2017 alone. We are in the midst of another era of combating systemic racism.
“In a time when white supremacists are marching down city streets with loaded weapons and tiki torches— organizing rallies of terror around the country – it comes as a great shock that the FBI would decide to target black identity groups protesting police brutality and their right to exist free of harm as a threat.”
When the FBI feels as though Black and Brown people are gaining enough progress in fighting for the rights to live without harm, they see it is a threat. In a time where mass shootings are prevalent, human trafficking is prevalent, and white supremacism is prevalent, the FBI counterterrorism division decides to attack groups striving towards the sanctity of life for Black and Brown people. The FBI stated the catalyst of this movement was Michael Brown’s death, not Michael Brown’s murder. One former homeland security official told Foreign Policy, “They are grouping together Black Panthers, black nationalists, and Washitaw Nation. Imagine lumping together white nationals, white supremacists, militias, neo-Nazis, and calling it ‘white identity extremists,” the official said.
This is not the first time this happened. The FBI was strongly against Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The FBI database contains 50+ files regarding investigative information on Malcolm X. The film Selma shows us that Dr. King’s phones were often tapped, as well as extensive documentation on the movements of Dr.King. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, which started the free lunch program, was targeted heavily by the FBI, resulting in the assassination of Huey P. Newton.
Although this is a blatant use of power inflicting racism, it shows the gain that the Black Lives Matter movement has been able to accomplish. Historically speaking, this means that a repeal of institutionalized racism is coming. History repeats itself, in the sense that the U.S. government has continually been successful in innovating new ways to systematically oppress Black and Brown folks. However, we will continue to challenge the system.