21 Questions with Quianna Canada:
Does Black Lives Matter Have A Central Unified Goal?
Does Black Lives Matter Have A Central Unified Goal? This has been the question for many polemicist, and if we were to ask those supporting the #AllLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter movement, the answer would be no. But they aren’t the only ones that stand against the all-encompassing protest movement or feel #BlackLivesMatter is unorganized rather than in good order —to my surprise, an African-American in Georgia. Here is 21 Questions With Major K.
Quianna Canada: Did you grow up in College Park, GA, what is your nationality, and are you studying?
@MajorK: I was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and then I moved to California when I was in grade school, then to Georgia when I was in the 7th grade. I’m currently in junior college studying History, and I should be studying for my math final right now. As far as my nationality, I’m African American. As a matter of fact, I’m the Blackest Man Of All Time.
Quianna Canada: Do you like politics? You said, “What happened to #StrongTogether?” in one of the messages on Twitter. Can we assume you voted for Former Presidential Candidate, Hillary R. Clinton? What draws you to the Democratic party?
@MajorK: I love politics, it’s one of my favorite things to talk about. Politics got me more into Twitter actually. I voted for Gary Johnson in the 2016 Presidential election, as protest honesty. I didn’t care who won the election, both Trump and Clinton held ideas that repulsed me. I consider myself an independent, and I’m not drawn to a party, but to policy. I like the Democrats support of a social safety net above everything else, they give little more than
I consider myself an independent, and I’m not drawn to a party, but to policy. I like the Democrats support of a social safety net above everything else, they give little more than lip-service on most other economic and foreign policy issues they claim to fight for.
majork on #AllLivesMatter Movement
Quianna Canada: We can agree that race is a sensitive subject. At times, it’s difficult to discourse. Race can be even more difficult when white supremacy is involved. Why are you attracted to #AllLivesMatter when the hashtag has been pushed by white nationalist?
@MajorK: I never said that I was attracted to #AllLivesMatter, I said that #AllLivesMatter includes all lives: black ones, white ones, blue ones, and any other ones. Just because people that are bad, and white nationalists are undoubtedly bad, push the #AllLivesMatter hashtag, doesn’t mean that all the people who use it are bad, just like the people calling for whites to move to the back of the line at so-called #BlackLivesMatter rallies because of the color of their skin, chanting for the murder of police officers, crashing political speeches, and LGBT vigils for gays murdered by Islamic extremists don’t represent everyone who uses the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
And just because someone who is evil pushes a something doesn’t mean the thing they are pushing is evil. David Duke was against the Iraq War. There are white nationalist sects that use their atheism as the underpinning of their hate. Should we support needless international conflicts and head to the church house because these people believe in these left leaning things? Both #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter can coexist. State sanction violence affects everyone, but it affects people of color more. Both are fair to say and can live and work together.
majork Talks Lynchings and Police Shootings
Quianna Canada: Despite regional variations, lynching in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries manifested characteristics associated with the killing of southern blacks: unlawful death at the hands of three or more people for alleged reasons of justice, race, or tradition.
In year-2016, police shootings are oddly similar to lynching: unlawful deaths at the hands of law enforcement for alleged reasons of “fear.” How are the deaths we see in our communities and in the media dissimilar to the reasons of “justice, race, or tradition?” Many (white) people often seen black deaths at the hands of police as justice, due to the fact that a high percentage of police officers are not convicted when they murder someone black). How is this not traditional to lynching?
@MajorK: There’s a critical problem with this question. One of the big reasons #BlackLivesMatter needs to be converted from a hashtag to something resembling a competent movement with competent leaders: These police shootings are largely not unlawful deaths. Most police officers are using what you and I believe is excessive force, are doing what they were trained to do and what the politicians above them have pass laws, or don’t pass laws, say they can do.
As the police have become more militarized, starting with the nonsense pioneered by Darrel Gates in the 1980s in Los Angeles, cops have been legally allowed to use more and more violence. Also, Ronald Reagans “War On Drugs in the 80s, and Bill Clintons crime bills in the 90s, inflamed an already silly prohibition on drugs and became a weapon to target the poor on a local level, targeting blacks and Latinos disproportionality due to a fear of ruffing more affluent white feathers, and effecting everyone, especially those that need help to get clean.
Mass incarceration and the rise of for-profit prisons are just the latest in a long line of issues fueled by the drug war. For-profit prisons can be used as a part of an argument to get working class whites to see the flaws in the drug war and in mass incarceration. They may realize rich elites are going to start seeing green instead of black and white. We would be better off doing that, instead of excluding, or worse demonizing, working class whites, which goes on so much now especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s election and goes on around the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
If the rabid positive energy that surrounds the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag could be converted into a real organized movement with policy goals that included ending the drug war, demilitarizing the police, changing training and adding controls to what police officers are allowed to do to the law books—with leaders that centered the movement on said goals while explicitly disavowing hatred, reverse racism and crime, it would be an entity I would wholeheartedly support. As of now, it’s little more than a nice phrase that can be used by any saint or sinner to back any action without consequence. There is no #BlackLivesMatter movement without airtight order, policy specifics, and leadership that can focus the goal.
Also, it ought to be said, lynchings were, for the most part, not carried out by law enforcement officials directly, nor were they just carried out on blacks. Now, law enforcement, mostly in the South, did allow lynchings to happen and some members of law enforcement then and today have been and are members of hate groups and participated in lynchings—but cops didn’t go lynching blacks as a matter of police procedure. It was state sanctioned, but not directly. The Klan was relaunched around the murder of a Jewish man, and many non-WASPs and non-Aryans were murdered in the name of white purity.
“As far as my nationality, I’m African American. As a matter of fact, I’m the Blackest Man Of All Time.”
Quianna Canada: Do you agree that African Americans are economically exploited and politically disfranchised in a “race caste system”?
@MajorK: No, I don’t agree with that. The issue with blacks in America is that we are stuck in an integrationist and assimilationist approach and mentality—that’s what holds us back economically, not racism.
Both the right wings idea that education and assimilation will make a way for blacks and the left wings desire for social programs and inclusion, sometimes just for the sake of inclusion and regardless of qualifications, miss the fact that blacks are the only outsider group in the history of the US that tried to integrate with the majority.
You can’t integrate without assimilating for one, which blacks are currently trying to do, and secondly, blacks would fail in integrating via assimilation if we tried. We have our own culture that is good and impactful and we ought not try to change it to sort of fit in. Irish folks didn’t say I’m going to convert to Protestantism and stop celebrating St. Patrick’s Day so the WASPs will accept me, as well they shouldn’t have.
As far as social programs like affirmative action, I see what the goal was, but the programs are counterproductive. We need to build our own entity not trying to jump into established ones. I don’t want to be included simply on the groups and I’m black and they needed a certain amount of black people to make some quota or avoid a lawsuit. I didn’t think that’s what content of character was supposed to be about.
We can do what every other outsider group in the US has done: chase economic power. Money grants you sway within the system and you can get your own politicians pushing for your policy goals in office, and with true self-reliance, you get your own piece of “Americana.” It’s time for blacks to focus on creating our own opportunities, starting with sending our kids to our schools, owning and controlling the products we buy and sell, and raising them to look out for their own people as every other race does.
White people looking out for other whites isn’t a sign of racism, they may be racist, but not because they look out for their own people. African Americans have to understand that. The dream of one homogenous nation is never going to come true in the way adherents to the dream hope it will, and that’s OK. We can live peacefully together without being blended together. America isn’t, never has been, and never will be a melting pot; it’s more like a chicken soup. All of us are in the pot but were different and separate, but all the pieces are critical to making the stew taste good and they go great together. There was a time when doing this would have been almost impossible, but that day is not today.
Quianna Canada: Post-lynching, Blacks were expected to abide by racial etiquette, unwritten rules of personal conduct toward white people that punctuated their inferior status and, for many whites, sub-humanity. Disobedience opened Blacks to verbal and physical retaliation, most fatally, lynching. What ways do you believe police shootings across America are different from the 1800s?
@MajorK: Police brutality in the 1800s wasn’t near the issue then—it is now, but the difference between then and now is a more stringent enforcement of laws that infringe on the free market in the name of morality, most notably, the area of drugs—creating more interpersonal contact with law enforcement to go along with the fact that the laws surrounding what cops can do have become increasingly lax or non-existent since the 1980s. And police officers very rarely lynched blacks or anyone else while on duty. Maybe after their shift was over, but not while on duty.
Quianna Canada: According to Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites. Richard Spencer refers to himself as a white nationalist as do others. Most white nationalist say, “#AllLivesMatter.” At a university, Spencer was filmed saying “Heil Trump,” a phrase Germans have said to Hitler. Hitler murdered a tremendous amount Jewish (people who did not have blonde hair or blue eyes), under his rule. Why is Heil Hitler different from Heil Trump?
@MajorK: Richard Spencer is a racist, and should be taken to task for his anti-minority views. However, to link everyone who uses the #AllLivesMatter hashtag to Spencer or other alt-right figures is unfair. There can be no evidence that proves that everyone that uses the tag agree with Spencer and his acolytes because the tag means different things to different people. Some use it in an attempt to be productive and solve problems; others use to spew hate and promote hate.
I’m sad to defend this man in anyway—but the same goes for Donald Trump. Heil Hitler is different from Heil Trump because Trump is no Hitler. His comments about minorities, particularly Mexicans, have routinely been egregious in they are racist and largely erroneous. He also didn’t condemn any of the hate groups supporting him when called on to do so. However, Trump has never called for the ethnic cleansing.
He has called for the banning of Muslims and tougher immigration policy along the Mexican border, but there is a mile wide line between banning or wall building and mechanized extermination. Yes, Spencer and those with his views understandably perceive Trump to be sympathetic to their cause, but Trump himself has not called for measures as evil as Hitler’s. And it’s not fair to say that everyone who voted for Trump agrees with everything he has said. Some in the Rust Belt voted for President Obama twice and flipped to Trump after crony capitalist faux liberals allowed them to lose their jobs to other countries and saw they wages refuse to go up. You haven’t necessarily invoked Godwin’s Law in my view, but you’re really close.
I’m also saddened, but not surprised by the Southern Poverty Law Centers imprecision in the context of the #AllLivesMatter tag and other issues regarding the Internet and hate groups. A fool from the SPLC argued on CNN that the #DrainTheSwamp tag was racist. What a damn shame.
“America isn’t, never has been, and never will be a melting pot; it’s more like a chicken soup…”
Quianna Canada: I’m sure I can get the #BlackLivesMatter and LGBT community to agree that when you say #AllLivesMatter, whether it’s meant or not, is racist. Name three ways #AllLivesMatter is not drowning out the cry of #BlackLivesMatter.
@MajorK: Firstly, there’s no such thing as a single or even larger #BlackLivesMatter community. It’s not in any way, shape, or form anything that represents a community. It is latterly no more than a hashtag. Also, whether allegedly racist comments are meant to be racist or not is highly relevant. I mean, you’re telling me there’s not a big difference between Jared Taylor and someone who may have said something insensitive they didn’t understand?
To continue, here are three ways the users of the #AllLivesMatter hashtag don’t drown out the calls of the users of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag: First off, #AllLivesMatters, considering the definition of the three words together, can be used to include black lives so it can be used to amplify black voices if a user chooses to use the tag to do so. Also, many that use the #AllLivesMatter tag also advocate for everyone regardless of position be able to speak openly, and not be de-platformed, mass blocked or silenced, as long as your version of the language of the unheard isn’t a riot. Lastly, anyone who dares apposes anything associated with #BlackLivesMatter, no matter how vile the thing they are opposing is, risks being called a racist for doing so, so its users are protected by the powers that be every time someone uses #AllLivesMatter. The negative response many a #AllLivesMatter user receives is drowning out anyone who uses #AllLivesMatter tag regardless of the context of its use.
majork on Police Profiling, Brutality, and Policy
Quianna Canada: Are African American men and women profiled by police?
@MajorK: Men, women, and children are racially profiled by police, yes. That’s an aspect of police training and procedure that could be attacked by a real organized movement.
Quianna Canada: Is police brutality a problem in America? Have you ever witnessed it yourself?
@MajorK: I have never witnessed or experienced police brutality personally, but I see it’s a problem. And it’s not even worse now, which some people think. It has been for a long time, there are just cameras on it now.
Quianna Canada: In what way is #AllLivesMatter not erasing the actual crisis of police brutality under the guise of being fair?
@MajorK: The #AllLivesMatter tag can be used to include people of other races who have been killed or brutalized by cops, so it can and has been used to further the cause of ending police brutality by addressing the reality the police procedure is too violent no matter what race of person it happens to be affecting. A broadening is not an erasure. If anything, users of the #BlackLivesMatter tag who attack the people who use the #AllLivesMatter tag to broaden the narrative around police brutality are the ones erasing discussion about an important issue.
Quianna Canada: Following the death of Trayvon Martin, three women named Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi began tweeting #BlackLivesMatter. Were they wrong to do so?
@MajorK: No, they weren’t wrong in creating a hashtag. However, if they are unwilling to broaden the narrative in order to address it honestly and effectively, unwilling to help to build a real movement with policy focus, and condemn bigots, criminals, and rioters who use their hashtag to represent their backward views, then they are wrong in that.
Quianna Canada: Are black lives valuable?
@MajorK: Of course they are. Black lives are just as valuable as the lives of members of every other race.
majork on Criminal Justice & White Police Shootings
Quianna Canada: Black children are 18 times more likely to be tried as adults than their white peers. What do you have to say about this statistic? Is it fair?
@MajorK: No, it’s not fair. For the record, that number is closer to equal when comparing white and black juveniles with the same amount of offenses, but the point stands: The justice system does unduly burden people of color. A good platform to address the nonsense that goes on under the current system should include a demand to change this practice.
Quianna Canada: When people say “Black Lives Matter” they are acknowledging an important context that involves several centuries of slavery, civil rights, mass incarceration and police brutality. When people say “White Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” excluding no one deserves to die — what would you say these people are acknowledging?
@MajorK: What else do they have to acknowledge but that no one deserves to die? What about espousing that is problematic, if you will? Maybe the assaults on whites in the street by people allegedly representing #BlackLivesMatter is what they’re trying to highlight, or the fact that white people like Dylan Taylor [the link to Dylan Taylor shooting. Warning it is graphic.] were shot by unpunished police officers and his plight, along with the plight of other whites, can and should be apart if the narrative. Some, although of course, not all people use the #AllLivesMatter or #WhiteLivesMatter tags to try to turn the narrative from stopping excessive police violence against blacks needs to stop to excessive police violence against anyone needs to stop, a message that is straight on.
Quianna Canada: We know that women (transgender and lesbian) are sexually assaulted at a higher rate than men are. If a campaign was created called, #StopRapingAmericanWomen, should men counter the campaign with, “Stop Using American Men for Money” or “Stop Dressing in Suggestive Clothing” or “Women Stop Raping American Men”? This be rude, hurtful, and dismissive, wouldn’t you aree?
@MajorK: The #StopUsingAmericanMenForMoney and #StopDressingInSuggestiveClothing ideas wouldn’t be trying to engage with reality and if put into the marketplace of ideas they should be, and likely would be dismissed out of hand —as they’re wrong, along with being rude.
If a campaign called #StopRapingAmericanWomen started with a platform that male victims who speak on their experience as victims of rape in the context of the campaign, or point out there are men that experience rape out there—they are gaslighting, cis-gendered, white male shitlords—then yes an extension or even a counter to that narrative would be totally fair. Acknowledging who gets the brunt of a certain injustice does not have to mean no one besides those who take the brunt experience it. Some who use the #BlackLivesMatter tag respond to those who use the #AllLivesMatter tag as if they should act like only some people can speak on their experience with police. So, I don’t care who would find it hurtful or dismissive. Sometimes the truth hurts and lies ought to be dismissed.
Quianna Canada: Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black, queer, and transgender people, the disabled, black-undocumented people, people with criminal records, and women. The movement is saying that black lives have been deprived of basic human rights and dignity. How does #AllLivesMatter and #WhiteLivesMatter doing the same thing? Do white people (non-Jews) have a history of being deprived basic human rights and dignity in America?
@MajorK: This question highlights another series of issues I have with some of what goes on with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag: strident identity politics, the intersectional so-called mission creep and a refusal to acknowledge that people other than blacks have been oppressed, now, today, and in the future with the way the country is going.
First, the identity politics. I’ve already addressed at length the lack of a real #BlackLivesMatter movement or community for any organization or group to affirm, but more crucially the issue with the identity politics that surround the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag is that groups don’t support groups, and some of these groups are arbitrarily created by people who need to section people off to push their agenda.
#BlackLivesMatter doesn’t affirm what some think it does. Legitimate homophobia is no rarity among black people, neither is legitimate racism among gay people. And people in both of these groups also contain people with real policy and social grievances with people in the other group that we as a nation can talk about and come to a consensus around. Plus, these groups themselves don’t have a single perspective amongst themselves they can even tell others they would like supported because they don’t all think the same. Yes, there are common bonds and community affects people, but common bonds and common goals aren’t always bedfellows. It’s not true that other reportedly marginalized groups support blacks as a group because that’s not possible. When you put all these people together under any banner, even one more defined by something organized and legitimate as a definable movement, you suppress the individual and create a false narrative by lumping people in places they don’t want to be.
Next is closely connected to the identity issue, the intersectional faux so-called mission creep that surrounds a lot of the discourse around the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Somehow a tag that started after a neighborhood watchman [George Zimmerman] shot an unarmed black teen [Travyon Martin] and was acquitted has evolved into a tag designed to fight the grievances of every leftist we can find. What does #BlackLivesMatter have to do with so-called rape culture, BDS, and gay rights? Do you really believe that those who use the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag know others use it to promote things that aren’t police brutality? If you don’t think they know, how can anyone say there an organized movement? If they did find out, how many do you think would still use it without some reservations?
Quianna Canada: If you visit Black Lives Matter website, you’ll discover a wealth of information that the individuals who created it are doing what they can or what they believe will ultimately end police violence, discrimination, and mass incarceration. The website clearly broaches the issues of women and gay rights and/or discrimination.
@MajorK: The last issue here is important and key to tying all the other ones here together and a point black really needs to engage with, address and walk in: Yes, most other people in the US have faced injustice at one time. At the adoption of the Constitution, only free white men who owned property could vote. Not just every poor and a minority had a basic human right taken from them at that time.
“…It doesn’t matter whether the people in that church are all productive members of society or not: They were worshiping peacefully before being mowed down by a bigoted coward who had no justification for his actions…”
Voting, of course, is the key to changing society and unless you were rich when the Constitution wasn’t enacted you could not voice your desires. I could go on, about the plight of the Irish who need not apply, the Italians who were victims of racial slurs and prohibition on alcohol, about white women, and even about gay whites, but I think it’s clear it’s not true no whites have ever had their basic rights taken away. Yes, black people have been uniquely picked on, then and today, by the system as it has been set up, but there is nothing stopping blacks from doing what needs to be done to cause change in 2016 going on 2017. Other outsider groups work in a productive manner to change their condition, usually by working within themselves and not chasing someone else’s approval or hand up. I want to see black leaders start to do that and encourage that.
Quianna Canada: Are you familiar with Dylann Roof, the white supremacist that murdered the church members in Charleston, South Carolina? Cops bought Burger King for Dylann Roof following his arrest. We know that felony extradition transporters (not police) usually purchase food for those being extradited because of the hours, sometimes days, of traveling to prison units. Roof was not in law enforcement’s custody. Do you think it is proper conduct of police to buy Roof a meal after he had slain several Black productive members of society?
@MajorK: Yes, I’m familiar with Roof, I hope he gets the death penalty. Also, it doesn’t matter whether the people in that church are all productive members of society or not: They were worshiping peacefully before being mowed down by a bigoted coward who had no justification for his actions, obviously. And it does show a difference in how some police officers treat whites as opposed to blacks. It’s funny how so many white mass shooters leave alive and so many black unarmed people end up dead.
Quianna Canada: What does the “Matter” in All Lives Matter movement mean to you?
Quianna Canada: According to CNN, 63 law enforcements officers have been shot and killed this year. The perpetrators of each murder have been either murdered by a detonating police bomb, shot dead by law enforcement, or brought to justice. Whether rational or irrational, no American who has shot a police officer has been found not guilty by the judicial system.
Howsoever, police officers have not been brought to justice and have been found not guilty for shooting unarmed African American men, whether rational or irrational. According to The Guardians numbers, police have killed more than 780 people this year. Other than vigilante acts and retaliation against the police for murdering unarmed black men, women, and children, can you tell us how Blue Lives have not mattered all this time?
@MajorK: How can you ask for ways that Blue Lives haven’t mattered to some at this time and then ask that I leave out the biggest proofs of such attitudes, which are the several incidents of murders of police this year?
Why in the world would anyone who has shot at the police while in the line of duty be found not guilty? Is there a case you can find where an acquittal in a case where a police officer was shot in the line of duty was warranted in your worldview?
Quianna Canada: I feel the Stand Your Ground law should be expanded to the individuals protecting themselves against rogue cops who assault physically and sexually .
And how you can you frame these fools killing the police as retaliating against the police? Killing the police isn’t retaliation, its murder, and the murder of a law enforcement official. Killing a cop is a sign of disregard for the basic rudiments of society, spittle in societies face. Once again, there are cops who don’t deserve to wear the badge and policies that don’t belong in the department that soil the relationship people, and particularly people of color, have with the police. But when you’re mistreated, we have the ability to retaliate with political action, not murder. Besides, the actual murders, the condoning and framing of the police killings by some as something other than thuggery, some of the chants at so called #BlackLivesMatter rallies are indicative of how Blue Lives haven’t matter to some this year.
Quianna Canada: Can you name three people that have inspired you the most?
@MajorK: Jesus, My mom, and John Lewis.
Quianna Canada: Congressman John Lewis?
Quianna Canada: You said, Jesus. Black Jesus or White Jesus — or just the universal power (smiles).
@MajorK: Everybody’s Jesus is black whether they admit it or not—ha ha! I’m not real religious but Jesus is an ideal to strive for.