Frisco 5

African Americans Still Suffer under Obama: Margaret Kimberley

Following recent events in San Francisco and the hunger strike of the San Francisco five, protesting against the unrelenting police brutality towards non-whites; Margaret Kimberley, in an interview with talks about the different aspects of this event.
Ms. Kimberley is an editor and senior columnist of Black Agenda Report and an African-American civil rights activist in the U.S.

The issue of police repression against African Americans is an aged controversy that remains unresolved. Every few days -it seems- a tragic incident occurs, in which an African American is beaten by police and in some cases, killed. Why doesn't the brutality come to a stop? Is it because of a media boycott over the repression against blacks in the US?

In 2015 at least 1,145 people were killed by police in the United States and 300 of those persons were African-Americans. A black person is killed by police approximately once every 28 hours in this country. In recent years there has been more media attention given to these assaults and murders. Press coverage is not the problem. The brutality doesn't end because it is an integral part of white supremacy that is still practiced in this country. Police brutality is not only accepted but encouraged as a means of keeping black people under physical control. This is a legacy of the system of chattel enslavement which lasted for over 200 years.  

The United States is in debt to the African American population for looting their rich lands and enslaving free people for free labor. Why don't they try to compensate the survivors of this historic injustice through use of the right approach?

Reparations are owed to African-Americans not only for two centuries of unpaid labor but for the legally sanctioned discrimination and segregation which took place afterward. The same system of white supremacy and privilege prevents any discussion of reparation and compensation for this history of oppression. The majority white population would vigorously oppose any effort to compensate African Americans. 

In the face of a US President, who is African American, why do gory beatings still continue against the African American community? Has Obama succeeded in controlling the situation or has the violence against blacks increased during his term?

President Obama was elected and re-elected because he made it clear to the majority white population that he would not advocate on behalf of black people. Black people were eager to see one of their own reach high office and chose to overlook his antipathy towards them. This contradiction has proven to be disastrous for black people who cannot expect to receive justice. The United States justice department has the power to prosecute killer police but the Obama administration has refused to do so. The president has achieved his office precisely because he will not help the people who ironically support him the most.

What can the world do to support the five African Americans who are on hunger strike, in order to bolster their success in decreasing oppression against African Americans?

The five hunger strikers are a multi-racial group. The world must treat the United States as it is, a violator of the human rights of its citizens. Not only are police free to kill with impunity, but America is the world's biggest jailer with over 2 million incarcerated. As in the case of police brutality, mass incarceration disproportionately impacts black people, who make up half of those behind bars. These statistics show that America must not be allowed to claim a place among "civilized" nations. The United States of America is undemocratic and unjust in its treatment of millions of people. It cannot be allowed to call itself "advanced" and "free." People around the world must speak this truth. Exposure of these injustices will not only help the Frisco Five hunger strikers but millions of others as well.


  • 2016-05-04 19:47
    Great interview, Q&A, happy for this!
  • 2016-05-12 13:40
    Yes we do and we are tird of it all!