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Chiraq: An American Colony

The vast disparities between the First World, which has vast wealth and technology, and the Third World, suffering from wretched poverty and poorblackmanunderdevelopment, is a product of the years of European colonization, exploitation, and genocide that built the current international order. The capitalist economic system is based upon the accumulation of capital; the gluttonous desire for more capital subsequently led to European nations invading other territories, gaining hegemonic control over their resources, establishing joint-stock companies, and utilizing the resources and wealth of other people for the exclusive economic benefit of Europeans.

 

 

cecilrhodes3The spiritually deficient materialistic nature of the capitalist economic system results in Europeans perpetually chasing “worldly gain,” which is characterized by endlessly chasing after material items. The current international order that runs on the dominance of the capitalist economic system continuously results in more and more wealth being hoarded by a tiny, rich and white elite. As a result, 2.7 billion people live on less than two dollars per day – which is not enough for basic needs. In 2011 alone, three million children died due to lack of access to food. There is an abundance of food in the world – enough to feed every human being on the planet – but the problem is in the distribution, The global system promotes deprivation and exploitation of the non-white Third World and hoarding by the white, western First World.

 

 

iraq32Iraq is among the most recent victims of American Imperialism. After George W. Bush claimed the nation had “weapons of mass destruction,” Iraq was invaded; 1.3 million innocent Iraqis were killed, but Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total, and Chevron profited greatly from oil resources that they lost access to after Saddam Hussein nationalized the commodity. The American invasion effectively turned Iraq into a colony that served U.S. interests. Much of U.S. foreign policy, far from being about National Defense, is actually driven by the need to secure strategic resources that are key to the success of their economies. Globalization is the continuation of Imperialism of the past. It’s based upon accumulating the world’s wealth for the benefits of Europeans, and this global capitalist system was kick-started by the enslavement of blacks. As a result, the tactics, techniques, and strategies the U.S. government uses to oppress foreign populations are first strategized,  practiced, and perfected at home against the internally colonized black community.

 

Within American inner-cities, blacks are colonized. The seemingly innocuous idiom ‘Chiraq’ used by black Chicagoans to refer their moneyforwar43communities is a linguistic combination of “Chicago” and “Iraq”; it demonstrates the colonized Third World status of blacks in America, showing the conditions of their communities have more in common with Iraq than mainstream America. The “Weapons of Mass Destruction” utilized to justify the invasion of Iraq were never found. If George W. Bush truly wanted to locate and destroy nuclear weapons, perhaps he should have looked at the National Laboratory and Boeing Corporations in Chicago (distinct from Chiraq), which are two leading companies that manufacture weapons such as the B-2 Stealth Bomber and F-16, both of which were utilized in the war on Iraq. Chicago contributed 2.5 billion to the Iraqi War; money that could have be utilized to revitalize the ghetto, provide social services, and employment opportunities was instead utilized to decimate the Iraqi people. An old saying by the organic intellectual Tupac Shakur rings true: ”They got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor.”

 

During the Iraq War, the Abu Ghraib Torture and Prison Abuse scandal took place when Iraqi prisoners of war were forcibly stacked upon eachjonburge other as animals, urinated upon by prison guards, sodomized, raped, dragged by their penises with ropes, had phosphoric acid poured upon them, and had fierce dogs attack them. This was often portrayed as an isolated incident, not representative of America, but these simply are torture techniques pioneered from the prison chambers of the colonized Chiraq; in a series of incidents, a Chicago Police Detective Jon Burge suffocated routinely suffocated black prisoners, used electric shock upon a prisoner’s genitals, held guns to prisoners’ heads, and burning them with radiators in an effort to get colonized black youth to confess to crimes they did not commit.

 

 

According to George W. Bush, the Americans brought the Iraqi people freedom and democracy. The existence of Iraqi politicians are held up assaudioil poor of Iraqi self-determination, despite George W. Bush effectively turning Iraq into a U.S colony, enabling western corporate control over oil. Similarly,  in the Post-Civil Rights era, the rise of black politicians is often held up as proof of black progress. However, even these black politicians are puppets in a neo-colonial situation. For Lil Bibby, the aldermen in his neighborhood was Sandi Jackson, yet the drug economy remained the dominant industry in the black community; Sandi Jackson used campaign money to decorate her home with lavish goods, and falsified tax returns for more wealth. In this way, the rise of black politicians in Chicago far from being evidence of black progress; it is actually a colonial tactic similar to the way the U.S. operates in foreign counties by throwing legitimate leaders, such as Patrice Lumumba, and replacing them with notoriously corrupt leaders, like Mobutu, who bought lavish material goods and allowed western corporate exploitation of Congo, all while his people starved.

The stores, businesses, and other enterprises in the black community are owned by foreigners who then take the wealth outside of the community, resulting in dilapidated and slum like conditions. For unemployed black youth, the dominant industry is the drug economy; the colonized youth Lil Bibby states:

“Remember back when I ain’t used to have a quarter? I started posting on blocks like ‘Place ya order.’ Now I’m riding in Coupes and I’m flipping Porches. All from spitting these bars to a couple courses. I been locked up, shot at and damn near died back when I was 16.”

bibby34Fundamentally, these colonized communities seek to set up political, economic, and social orders where repressed blacks are often lured into a life of crime that then makes them a object of the prison industrial complex. Thus, the name ‘Chiraq’ reveals the neo-colonial status of America, an area utilized by white elites to maintain a steady supply of cheap labor to fuel the prison industrial complex, despite the existence of black politicians all of which makes the presence of black politicians as nothing more than a tactic in the continuous colonial oppression of blacks.

 

 

Though blacks now live in an era in which overt legal racism has ended and public appearances of racism are largely condemned, racial justice in the “Post-Civil Rights” era is illusory, as the state has taken on other efforts to maintain the white over black hierarchy through the discriminatory ‘war on drugs’ launched against blacks, the ever-expanding prison industry which re-enslaved blacks, and by the fundamental reality that anti-blackness has been so solidified in society that it was able to maintain itself despite the removal of overt discriminatory legislation. While the tactics utilized to maintain black oppression has changed over time, the anti-black reality of all American social institutions has not.

 

 

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Sources Use:

 

Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A living Black in Chicago by Paul Street.

 

 

 

 

The Making of Chiraq

herb43The name Chiraq, which is frequently employed the black Chicagoans, has attracted much criticism, with some arguing that its utilization glorifies an urban culture of violence. Lil Reese, who grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, describes his upbringing by forcefully testifying, “I lost so many niggas, turned into a savage […] Where I’m from? This Chiraq.” In numerous rap videos, these self-proclaimed savages residing within the enclave of Chiraq appear brandished with weapons that are suitable for military combat. Their T-shirts often have insignia that reads ”R.I.P______,” with the blank filled by the names of deceased peers. “Chiraq” is just one of many of these ghettos; the same lifestyle can be found in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and other urban communities. In Lil Bibby’s pivotal track entitled “Raised Up,”  he asserts, ”We some savages, that’s what the hood made us.” Lil Bibby and Lil Herb describe the dominant mode of life in inner-city ghettoes, which is one of pure survival where youth must  bear the brunt of a chaotic environment that consists of coping  with the stress that comes with living in and out of jail, violently protecting ones stake in the drug market, and dealing with potentially lethal run-ins with law enforcement.

In the public’s imagination, these ghettoes are home to black welfare queens who are leeches on the economic system, as well as a remberinghadiya“black criminal deviant underclass” who carry out horrific acts of violence in the form of drive-by-shootings, car jackings, and burglaries. The linguistic choice to dub their areas of the city “Chiraq” by Chicago’s youth conveys a fundamental reality about the status of black Americans; it reveals that they constitute a segregated space in  the United states, effectively challenging the commonly held belief in the post-Civil Rights era of America in which  institutional racism is said to be gradually fading as we move towards a  more progressive society, heading more towards  accomplishing  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream with every passing year. After the death of Chicago public school student Hadiya Pendleton, President Barack Obama made the tragic death a mere issue of “gun-violence” and utilized it to advocate tougher gun control legislation, without acknowledging the oppression that went into creating the violent conditions in her community.

The Violence that Created the Violence

chicagogreatmigrationThe ghetto and all of the sporadic anti-social behavior, which is a product of perpetual violence (both physical and institutional), continues to create the social conditions needed for gang conflicts. In 1870, after legal plantation slavery was abolished, 80% of black Americans resided in the rural south; these families were forced to endure an oppressive sharecropping system which had largely replaced slavery. They were marred in poverty with a lack of education while having to cope with a series of repressive black code laws which were the precursor to Jim Crow. During the great migration, African-Americans began moving to Chicago in search of better opportunities, but would instead be met with violence.

 

The White Circle League, formed with the mission of “keeping white neighborhoods free from negroes,” regularly terrorized Africanchicagoraceriots-Americans in Chicago.  Between 1917 and 1921, the bombing of African-American homes occurred once every twenty days on average. In 1919, an African-American boy who was swimming was killed as a result of whites throwing heavy rocks at him. When blacks sought to report the incident to police, they themselves were arrested while the white individuals who had killed this young man went unpunished.   As African-Americans began peacefully protesting, whites began to violently assault them, forming mobs that eventually sought to harm African-Americans through various avenues, from attacking patients in black hospitals to setting fire to the homes of blacks. The Irish Hamburg Athletic Club was among the groups who made an effort to kill many blacks; a man who would eventually become mayor decades later – Richard J. Daley – was an active member of this group. These violent attacks left many African-Americans homeless, causing them to lose the relatively small amount of wealth that they had come up north to accumulate. Furthermore, the Irish gangs who carried out these brutal attacks would in mass numbers be recruited to the Chicago Police Department.

 

cjocagpb;aclbe;tThe Chicago Housing Authority also implemented the “Neighborhood Composition Rule,” which ensured that blacks would be segregated and confined to housing in the black belt. The housing for black Americans lacked plumbing and was routinely neglected; the neighborhoods did not even receive the benefit of regular garbage disposal services. In addition to being near toxic waste dumps, the decrepit housing set aside for blacks drastically increased the levels of infant mortality.  Even after the neighborhood composition rule ended, whites would take to violence to ensure segregation.

 

In Englewood, the  birthplace of rappers Chief Keef & Lil Reese, was once a bastion of white supremacy. After African-Americans had
nnegroes
 merely visited the neighborhood, due to fears that a home was going to be “sold to niggers,” neighborhood associations campaigned with slogans like “America for whites, Africa is the onl y place for niggers.” One white person being interviewed argued that, “We don’t want them, we don’t want to live with them. I think they’re savages. ” With protest signs stating, ”Negroes Invading,” whites began the ‘Englewood Race Riots of 1949,’ not only carrying brutal acts of violence against African-American citizens, but also finding black residential homes to arson, which left many blacks dead, homeless, and losing all of their property. All of this set the precedence of the creation of the ghettos within the city due to the huge wealth loss that black families had struggled to gain. White Flight  took place and years later Lil reese would rap,”I lost so many niggas, turned into a savage. In real life, no movie shit, bitch we clap. Where I’m from? Chiraq.”

The Failure of Civil Rights

tenants A week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Richard J. Daley, who was part of an Irish Club which routinely terrorized blacks, would become the Mayor, and his racism would be backed with institutional support. Daley ordered his police force and U.S. army troops to cripple and maim outraged black citizens. Nonetheless, African-Americans won some concessions; the Fair Housing Act was passed, allegedly attempting to address housing discrimination.Under the Fair Housing Act, African-Americans could sue if they were subjected to housing discrimination. However, such legislation did nothing on a practical level to restructure American society. Indeed, think about the capitol, time, and effort that the average African-American single parent would have to expend to pursue such a case in ‘job discrimination’ or ‘housing discrimination,’ all while struggling with what comes from living in the ghetto.

 

While the “No Niggers” signs and overt visible signs of racism declined, the act could do nothing to change the everyday racially discriminatory practices of realtors and city planners who would routinely blackhousign4operate along radicalized lines. Douglas S. Massey points out that realtors had unspoken assumptions in their clients’ interest which kept “unwanted” elements (blacks) out of affluent neighborhoods, fearing the professional repercussions from their clientele. This confirms that, despite legislative changes ending overt signs of racism, such legislation would have no effect in transforming the cultural attitudes and daily practices of institutions of city planning and realtors who would continue to operate along racist lines; in summation, relators were found to, and have continued to, keep African-Americans away from white neighborhoods despite the passing of the Fair Housing Act. The sociologist Douglas S. Massey concluded, “Since the passing of the Fair Housing Act, the level of black-white segregation has hardly changed.”

In fact, according to the current trend, blacks in Chicago will still compromise a segregated group as far into the future as 2042. Douglas Massey, states, ”Ironically, within a large, diverse, and highly mobile post-industrial society such as the United States, blacks living in the heart of the ghetto are among the most isolated people on earth.” Born witlilreesehout a silver spoon, in the ghetto, the typical lifestyle of a resident consists of languishing in run down areas, being pressured to hustle on the streets, carrying out “hits” to protect their block as a result of the lethal underground drug economy, all resulting in a continuous cycle of going in and out of jail; many individuals born in these areas know they may  face an early death, and they do not expect to live past eighteen.

 

 

The segregated status of black Americans, which separates them from white America, protects white Americans from the social violenceLeondore Draperproblems, drugs, gang wars, and violence, which are a result of an unjust social order. Meanwhile, innocent  African-American women, such as Chicago Public School Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot down by stray bullets on her way home from school, and Leondore Draper, who was shot coming back home from an anti-violence  campaign that she helped to organize, bear the brunt of a racially segregated society. The complicity and perpetration of this racial segregation includes both conservative right wing forces, many of whom deny racism is even a viable factor in the social mobility of blacks, often blaming “immoral black culture.” Also complicit are  liberal left wing forces seeking to liberalize America while  reinforcing the violence against African-American  by spreading the narrative of “steady progress” for blacks and thus obfuscating their true plight and the desperate living conditions they live within.

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American Apartheid, Segregation and the making of the Underclass by Douglass S. Massey A. Denton

Making of the Second Ghetto, Race * Housing in Chicago 1940-1960 by Arnold R. Hirsch

 

 

Lil Bibby: The Third World Inside of America

Lil Bibby is the next up-and-coming rapper from Chicago. NBA star Kevin Durant just showed that he enjoyed Lil Bibby’s music by mentioning him in a tweet, and he recently was interviewed by the classic rap interviewer Sway.

Lil Bibby states, ”On Essex wit’ the No Limits“

What makes writing this article interesting for me is that Lil Bibby and I grew up on the same block; I used to live on Essex which he discusses in his song. It gives me joy to see my fellow peers making it into the rap industry. In an interview concerning his upbringing Lil Bibby States,”  “Where I am from, that’s probably one of the craziest places in Chicago. I had seen and did a lot of stuff…I don’t like talking about that type of shit though.”

 In ‘How I Was Raised up,’ Lil Bibby discusses the various trials and tribulations related to being a black man in the hood. Over the hard beat, Lil Bibby states,  ”We some savages, that’s what the hood made us. Bodies droppin’ everyday, they try to blame. I said, that’s just how I was raised up.” Every day, black people find themselves born into violent neighborhoods on the absolute lowest end of the economic ladder. The neighborhoods are divided by various warring gang factions and many youth out of economic necessity partake in the drug economy. And through programming, black youth become trained to perform ‘hits’ on one another.

Lil Bibby states that the hood made him and his peers savages due to the tumultuous nature of their environments; he makes it clear that they were not simply born this way and, hence, cannot be blamed.  Chicago street gangs and the violence are a product of social conditions created by institutional racism. Chicago’s state-sanctioned racism produces “thugs” and systematically strips the morality from people, replacing it with a stone cold heart that is necessary to survive on the careless streets. The constant discussion of “carrying hits” in rap music originating in Chicago is indicative of the low value that human life has in these areas. For people growing up in these violent neighborhoods, they become accustomed to killings; taking a human life is no different than killing a character in a video game. But from whence did this violence come? African-Americans came to Chicago in mass numbers during the ‘Great Migration’ in search of job opportunities.

Instead, they would be segregated from white society, forced into decrepit houses in the ‘black-belt,’ and become the victim of regular attacks of the Ku Klux Klan and other white vigilantes. When black people sought justice after white locals intentionally drowned a black child, the race riots of 1919 took place where whites would bomb and set fire to black neighborhoods. In this environment, blacks were denied opportunities for social advancement. All of this laid the foundation for the drug economy and the formation of gangs.

His line, “They try to blame us,” is an obvious jab at people like conservative news media outlets who feign concern for the plight of black youth while simultaneously marginalizing them as deviants who are lacking in morals who simply need to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.” One conservative news commentator, Bill O’Reilly, who often presents himself as the expert of ‘black-on black crime,’ states the solution was, ”…what they need to do is ‘the surge strategy’ like Iraq…” The fact that this was actually seen as a viable solution to the problem of gang violence in Chicago is further proof that blacks are outside of mainstream America and live in internal colonies. In his neighborhood, Lil Bibby states, ”Its kill or be killed where I came from.” To blame individual people for their participation in violence without a larger critique of the socio-economic system which creates the conditions for that violence only serves to marginalize black youth while keeping the same unequal exchange between whites and blacks intact. Lil Bibby states:

 run up on you, shoot ya face off

Tryna wipe them niggas out like Adolf

The system of white supremacy has created conditions in which gangs of the same color and socio-economic ladder fight one another over crumbs. Having Klan Members come together to wipe out black people became a tiresome efforts, so instead the white supremacist system would create a structural system in which black people themselves would perpetuate a genocide with whites benefiting socially and economically from the conditions of the ghetto. 60 years ago you would have expected to hear statements like ”tryna wipe them niggers out like Adolf” from Neo-Nazis, but the capitalistic system has created conditions where blacks inflict this violence on each other.

 Moreover, black youth live a life under constant police surveillance. Lil Bibby states, ” Operation lookin’ sloppy. The feds tryna watch me. ” He boasts about his ability to outsmart and duck the feds as he carries out his job in the underground sectors I where the drug economy is the only viable way to social mobility. The obstacles that were, and still are, put in place, to halt black socioeconomic aspirations, has resulted in black youth acquiring detrimental social, economic, and political habits that are exemplified in the gangs that roam Chicago’s streets. The gangs that we have in our community, the bloody knives that lay astray on the pavement, the white chalk on our sidewalks, the yellow tape surrounding vacant lots, and the rapid succession of bullets that are fired at one another are the cumulative effects of systematic institutionalized racism. This has created conditions in which, as Lil Bibby states:

It’s kill or be killed where I came from.