The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) seeks to recapture and redevelop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist, and pro-peace positions of the radical black movement. Through educational activities, organizing and movement support, organizations and individuals in the Alliance will work to oppose both militarized domestic state repression, and the policies of de-stabilization, subversion and permanent war agenda of the U.S. state globally.
Background & Rationalization
The black radical perspective sees the relationship of black people in the U.S. through a much different lens than the fictional accounts of the U.S. origin myths. The stark reality of the barbaric Atlanta slave trade, Indigenous land thief and brutal genocidal policies occupy the center of that perspective. The strategy of colonialist war, systematic state and private violence is seen as the heart of the methodology for establishing and then maintaining the first White supremacist republic in the history of human societies. Indeed, the establishment of the United States with the ratification of the constitution in 1789 in the midst of the turmoil in France and the beginnings of the French revolution is not seen from the radical black perspective as the dawn of a new day for human liberation in either country, but the continuation and reconsolidation of what Rodrick Bush called the Pan European colonial project, that vicious, hegemonic project that was fueled by the European invasion of the Americas’ in 1492.
From 1492 to the presence, and despite the high-sounding proclamations of liberalism and enlightenment thought that asserted the universal equality and inherit rights, systematic, extreme, unspeakable violence constituted the relationships between Europeans and the racialized “others.” For the Africans who ended up in the United States there has never been one decade of peace between African descendants and white authorities.
With the growing maturation of the radical black movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the formal institutionalization of racial apartheid in 1896 with Plessy v Ferguson, the beginnings of the Pan African movement, the Russian revolution and agitation and organizing in black urban colonies like Harlem that offered a precarious refuge for the first wave of escapees from the fascist totalitarian South, saw the creation of solidaritist movement among black people in opposition to U.S. and European colonial violence.
From the opposition to fascism in Spain and the invasion and occupation of Ethiopia by Italy in the 30s through the 1960s when leading black organizations like the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee sparked the anti-Vietnam war movement with their opposition to the war and their expression of solidarity with the Palestinian national struggle, black anti-war and anti-imperialist positions reflected the black internationalist stance at the center of the black radical tradition.
In general, suspiciousness, skepticism if not outreach opposition to U.S. militarism characterized much of the black community’s views regarding U.S. foreign war policy until the ascendancy of the first black president, Barack Obama.
During the Obama administration, there was a significant shift in the consciousness of large segments of the African American population toward a more supportive and uncritical stance on U.S. militarism and interventions. Many seem to be unaware or had forgotten Dr. King’s sharp denunciation of U.S. militarism and violence and the historical opposition to U.S. imperialism that characterized much of the positions of the Congressional Black Caucus - pre-Obama.
Militarized policing, with over $4 billion worth of military hard-ward turned over to local police departments, extrajudicial murders (police executions), the school to prison pipeline, aggressive military recruitment of black and Latino youth, the normalization of militarism and general popular support for the militarized strategy of U.S. global “full spectrum dominance,” provides the context and impels the establishment of a BAP.
The establishment of BAP will be a first step in revitalizing the critical, moral stance on issues of war and state repression that historically the black population in the U.S. embraced. BAP is part of the efforts to rebuild the broader anti-war, anti-imperialist and peace movement. And by linking the issue of state violence and militarism comprehensively, BAP will concentrate its efforts on both opposing the U.S. war agenda globally but also the war and repression being waged on black and brown communities domestically.