Revolution #265, April 8, 2012

Interview with Carl Dix:

Step Out on April 19 to Stop Mass Incarceration

The following is an interview with Carl Dix, one of the initiators of the April 19 National Day of Resistance to Stop Mass Incarceration.

What do you think about the murder of Trayvon Martin?

It takes me back to the lynching of Emmett Till back in the 1950s, and brings me back up to the age of Obama and the police murders of Oscar Grant, Aiyana Jones and Ramarley Graham. Trayvon’s murder is the latest in a seemingly never ending chain of outrages perpetrated, condoned, and covered up by this system. But things don’t have to stay this way, ’cause through communist revolution we can end the situation where Black youth are treated like criminals by this system. We can end all the other outrages that this system forces on humanity. And the way people have taken to the streets in outrage around the murder of Trayvon Martin points to the potential for people to not only stand up in outrage around the particular abuse, but to open their eyes and see what’s really going on, where the problem is coming from, and what needs to be done to deal with it once and for all. This is what the Revolutionary Communist Party is getting at when it says those who see the need for revolution need to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.

How does all this relate to the struggle to end mass incarceration and the plans for April 19?

April 19 National Day of Resistance to Stop Mass Incarceration has a very direct relation to the murder of Trayvon Martin. This vigilante, wannabe cop, George Zimmerman, saw Trayvon Martin, a Black youth in a hoodie, and decided Trayvon was a criminal, somebody who was “suspicious” and “up to no good.” This is a small example of what the system as a whole has done in relation to Black youth. This kind of racial profiling is what leads into the kind of horrific numbers of people who are warehoused in prisons across the country and the millions more who are treated like second-class citizens even after they have been punished and served their sentences. And the backdrop to this horrific reality is that this capitalist system has got no way to profitably exploit this generation of Black youth, and their response to that has been criminalization and incarceration. This is why I say: Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide. This system has no future to offer this generation of Black youth. Its approach comes down to a slow genocide that could become a fast one. But we could break up this deadly equation by stepping up with resistance, and increasingly powerful resistance, and that’s what people need to do.

People need to stand up and say no to the racist murder of Trayvon Martin and, on April 19, step out in resistance to mass incarceration. It needs to be a day that students in high schools and colleges are holding rallies and teach-ins and marching out in the communities, taking to the streets with other youth, saying we’re tired of being demonized and treated like criminals. And then there need to be many other people from many different walks of life, many different backgrounds, different races and nationalities, standing with the youth and having their backs, and saying with them: NO to mass incarceration and all of its consequences. And in the days leading into April 19, we need people taking to the streets. Because the outrage that’s manifested all around the country around Trayvon Martin has been a very good thing and needs to continue.


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