Because most people don’t know what racism is, they don’t know how to fight it. This is even true of the millions of people who’ve taken to the streets because of the death of George Floyd, who haven’t yet taken the time to study the history and anatomy of racist systems – or the movements that have prevailed against such systems in the past – and therefore think protest alone creates systemic change. The notion that marching and chanting in great numbers is the key to social progress is a symptom of our miseducation. Until we understand that nonviolent struggle is a martial art and work to master it, we’ll keep commemorating the deaths of the fallen and past uprisings with symbolic actions that have no effect on the material conditions of the oppressed.
This means that, for many, the fight for racial justice begins with a wake-up call that demands we unlearn the whitewashed histories we were taught in school and in national myths repeated by politicians, preachers, and pundits. A wake-up call that disabuses us of the sanitized stories of past nonviolent movements that gut them of their radical ambitions and disruptive power. And wake-up calls are what apocalypse, and this book, are all about.
From “All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep: Hope – And Hard Pills to Swallow – About Making Black Lives Matter” By Andre Henry