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National Hypocrisy 

Why do we dare to call it genocide?

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This country was built on the backs and with the bloodshed of kidnapped African American slaves who never received any compensation or reward. Even after being "emancipated," many starved to death or were forced to work for their former slave-master for slave wages, victims of slave-master trickery.

America's drug epidemic illustrates the hypocrisy of America's "democracy." Drugs are concentrated in the African-American communities, having been placed there by design by this government, unjust laws have been enacted and contracts for constructing prisons, guards and services are mega-dollar industries, whose lobbies wield huge amounts of political power. When mass killings occur, the American public gets empty lip-service from scumbag politicians, who are controlled by the dollars and political clout wielded by the powerful gun lobby and the gun manufacturers.

We can correlate a more direct line of genocide with the enormous influx of firearms, placed by design, into black and other disenfranchised communities and mostly wielded by so-called officers of the peace. Law enforcement has declared government-sanctioned open season on all youths of color.

Social media glorifies the drug culture and grabs the attention of our youth, who are fed the propaganda that lives are worthless and that the price you have to pay for what you choose to do in life, inconsequential.

It is of necessity and urgency, that in order to recognize and understand our present situation and strive for change, we must tie America's history of genocide and racism to our current history, to our so-called system of democracy, which is fundamentally hypocrisy, and to the lives of our lost youths of color at the hands of this system. It is of dire necessity that we do all we can to enlighten our children, for that is what we owe them, and their futures depend on it.

Elbert 'Big Man' Howard is a founding member of the Black Panther Party and is an author, lecturer and community activist in Sonoma County.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write

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