Speaking in an exclusive interview with FNA, John Parker said, “This capitalist government is unable to provide the basic necessities of life, from health care to housing, since profit is king, and fear maintains control.”
He further added the US officials “did little other than lip service”, saying “The only time the corporate media and politicians claim to be against this violent manifestation of it is when the people’s anger threatens their ability to rule.”
He said the US police violence is intentional and authorized by the government, and added, “Both Democratic and Republican politicians are part of a capitalist state that enforces oppression to maintain the continual flow of profits through exploitation, especially the super exploitation of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.”
John Parker is a lifelong human rights and anti-war activist based in Los Angeles, California. He is the West Coast coordinator of the International Action Center. John Parker was the Workers World Party presidential candidate in 2004. He also ran for the US Senate from California in 2016.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: The murder of George Floyd was another case of fatal US Police brutality in which another US citizen lost his life. What should be done to put an end to police brutality in the US?
A: First we have to understand that this horrendous killing is not an atypical nor accidental occurrence by police against Black and Brown people. Assassinations and calculated murders by police like this have been going on since police were formed in this country to catch runaway African slaves. However, now we have cellphones that occasionally capture the terror. In this case it is crystal clear that George Floyd’s airways and blood flow were intentionally and increasingly restricted so that death would be the only outcome.
Add to this the case of Ahmaud Arbery, killed by a retired cop able to use his influence to stay out of jail and not be charged for months until a video surfaced. Then, add the case of Breonna Taylor and others and consider the outrageous fact that Floyd’s killers, as I write today, have not even been arrested or charged – forcing a conclusion that these murders are a systematic continuation of a policy to maintain fear among the communities that are most likely to fight against austerity and poverty. This capitalist government is unable to provide the basic necessities of life, from health care to housing, since profit is king, and fear maintains control.
Q: George Floyd (the victim) was unsurprisingly an African American. Do you believe there would be another scenario if the target person was white?
A: Racism is an essential part of maintaining divisions to keep us weak and fighting each other. The only time the corporate media and politicians claim to be against this violent manifestation of it is when the people’s anger threatens their ability to rule. That is what is happening now. But, before there were folks in the streets and the sharing of the video of Floyd’s murder most politicians, Democrat and Republican, did little other than lip service to stop the deadly difference between encounters between cops and Black and Brown people versus encounters with white individuals who they approach. I know this for a fact living in South Central Los Angeles where police continually threaten the lives of Black youth right on my block.
It is an election year – a time when politicians’ messages take flight. But, have you heard Biden, or Trump, or liberals like Warren or even Sanders call for the immediate arrest of George Floyd’s killers. It is not enough to say racism is bad or, as Trump said: “we are looking into it”; the demand first and foremost by all of these politicians should be arrest them now!
Q: Many experts have warned President Trump that his speeches create divergence in the US communities. What do you think about his messages these days?
A: That’s absolutely true, especially among white supremacists. However, regarding police it is interesting that, according to the Washington Post’s very conservative figures, the number of Black people killed by the police from 2015 to 2019 differed by, at the most, 30 per year. So, even during former President Obama’s time in office the numbers did not change much. For the US government to allow the continuation of this level of genocide against Black and Brown people by the police must be considered intentional. And, both Democratic and Republican politicians are part of a capitalist state that enforces oppression to maintain the continual flow of profits through exploitation, especially the super exploitation of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.
So, the big question is how we make this stop. Knowing it is intentional is important because it means we cannot rely on the politicians. Progressive organizations, activists must unify our fight so we can demand cops be jailed when they murder. Black, Brown and Indigenous communities must be able to demand the right to banish the police from their communities and create their own, community selected and controlled police force with the resources necessary. We must demand the right to defend ourselves against genocide.