Over 1,500 Black leaders were elected in the twelve years after slaves got the right to vote. This was fucking scary for white folks. So what did they do? They held up the presidential election, and they asked for a compromise.
That compromise was, “Okay, Republicans, Republicans of the party of Lincoln, you all can have a Republican president, for the sake of the economy, for the sake of ‘national unity,’ for the sake of peace…” (I don’t know if those things sound familiar right now) And so the compromise was, “You can have your Republican president, but let us do what we want with the Blacks in the South.”
And so, they did. The compromise was made. And what did they do? They fucking killed us.
They killed us. They harassed us. They raped us. They burned our homes, they burned crosses, they fucking tortured us and terrorized us. And so when I say, this story is not about voting, it’s not about the great things did when people voted, this story is about what happens when we compromise.
When we compromise… So I will tell you what happens when we compromise. When we compromise, Black people die.
So right now when we’re being asked to calm down, take a step back, saying we don’t really want abolition, we don’t really want to get rid of the police… We don’t want to compromise. That’s what we really don’t want. We are out here, we are in these streets because we do want to defund the police, we are demanding full abolition, we are demanding… we are demanding that we re-weave the fabric of this country and we imagine and we build a future where everybody has housing, where everybody has healthcare, where everybody has education, where we have no fucking cops on our streets and our people are not in prisons because prisons don’t exist.
They’re offering us reforms that will reduce how many people, how many Black people are killed by police, and I will tell you how many Black people I want to be killed by police: fucking zero!
And the only way that the cops will kill zero Black people a year, is if there are no cops. So I just want to finish, and I just want to say, like, a little bit of a chant if y’all can do it with me, because I want them to understand when we say “defund police” we are not confused, and what we are demanding is for them to: Disarm! Defund! Abolish the Police! Disarm! Defund! Abolish the Police! Disarm! Defund! Abolish the Police!