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« Here’s your reparations ! »

domingo 29 de maio de 2022, por Frantz Fanon Foundation, Frantz Fanon Foundation

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Frantz Fanon Foundation note on the Buffalo shooting

On Saturday, May 14, 2022, Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white teenager opened fire in a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, eastern New York. Ten people were killed in the attack. The murder weapon, an AR15 assault rifle, a model used by the U.S. Army, is covered with inscriptions in white paint. This feature evokes the words inscribed on the rifles used in March 2019 by Brenton Tarrant, responsible for the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The similarities don’t end there. Like his predecessor, Gendron attempted to broadcast his massacre live on the internet and, like him, he claimed responsibility for his crime in the pages of a pamphlet: a 180-page PDF document in which he worries about the demographic decline of the white race in America, Europe and Oceania, and warns of « the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people » (p.2).

On the barrel of Payton Gendron’s gun, one can read, in capital letters, the insult « Nigger », repeated several times. On one side, above the magazine and the trigger block, tributes to his predecessors: the white supremacist terrorists Tarrant, of course, but also Dylann Roof, known for having shot 9 black people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2018. On the other side of the gun, the names of Norwegians Anders Breivik, who detonated a bomb in Oslo and murdered more than 70 left-wing activists with a gun in Utoya in July 2011, and Philip Manshaus author of a shooting in a mosque of Oslo in 2019. On the butt of the gun, it says « BLM Mogged, » which in radical right-wing internet slang translates to: Black Lives Matter overpowered, outgunned or outclassed. On the other side of the stick, another phrase jumps out, « Here’s your reparations! » The crime thus appears as a reaction to the wave of black political activism that has been building since the beginning of the 21st century.

In his latest book, Fear of Black Consciousness, philosopher Lewis Gordon writes, « The negrophobe or afrophobe … it’s not the body that frightens them. It’s fear of special kind of consciousness looking back at them: black consciousness. » The runic signs of contempt that run across Gendron’s gun tell us about the mortal enemies he has made: The movements for black lives and reparations for the victims of slave slavery and colonialism. The Buffalo massacre was a battle, one step in a vast crusade against black consciousness.

But the paintings on the gun, as well as Gendron’s manifesto, tell above all the adventures of a collective racist consciousness that is constantly gaining in intensity. The killer’s words map an international of white supremacy. First, of course, that of the mass murderers he honors and reveres. But also, that of the intellectuals, politicians and editorialists who share the analyses of his or Brandon Tarant’s manifesto. Among the heavily armed terrorists, the supremacist communities that proliferate on online forums, and more respectable figures such as writer Renaud Camus, inventor of the seminal concept of « Grand Remplacement, » U.S. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, or French presidential candidate Éric Zemmour, the same language, the same philosophy, and the same white supremacist vision of the boundary between friend and enemy is deployed.

In the face of these assaults by a white supremacist international that no longer even advances masked, the Frantz Fanon Foundation declares its solidarity with the victims and their loved ones. To prevent such horrors from happening again, the FFF reaffirms the need to reclaim Black Consciousness, the explicit target of this latest attack. Against this homicidal racism, we must not disarm our struggles for reparations and Black lives. We proclaim our commitment to the radical black, internationalist, decolonial and social tradition that white supremacists everywhere today seek to stifle with slander, insults or bullets.

Ver online : Frantz Fanon Foundation