On the evening of Thursday, October 18, 2018, I attended the Philadelphia screening for the new documentary film Race War, directed by Jason Black a.k.a. “The Black Authority”. Jason Black is the host of the BlackChannel.net radio program, where he consistently provides very insightful, no-nonsense commentary on current events and strategy from a Black liberation minded or as he says, “Black first” perspective. He is also the director of two other documentaries, 2015’s 7AM, which focuses on Black economic oppression, and 2017’s Gentrified: Ethnic Cleansing American Style, which focuses on the ongoing systematic location displacement of Black people from urban cities throughout America. The new film Race War extensively covers the powerful resurgence and mainstreaming of open, militant so-called “white nationalism” and the efforts to ramp up the oppression of Black people among those who practice, promote and maintain white supremacy. These efforts are multi-pronged and the attacks upon Black people are being launched in multiple facets, most of which are thoroughly covered in the documentary. The question that constitutes the running theme of the documentary, and which the documentary attempts to answer is simply, “Are we in a race war?”.
The documentary features commentary from Professor Kaba Hiawatha Kamene, former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, Black radio legend Bob Law, rapper Mysonne, Judge Joe Brown, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, Black Charlottesville, VA business owner Melvin Walker, and Yusef Salaam, one of the “Central Park 5”, a group of Black males who were wrongly charged with the rape and of a white female in New York City’s Central Park in the 1980’s. But although all who were featured in the documentary made very worthwhile contributions to the film, by far the most gripping commentary to me came from four people; retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey, former LAPD officer Brian Bentley, and notorious white supremacists Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist “think tank”, and Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, a white supremacist online magazine.
The film examines the current climate of simmering racial tensions in America through several connected aspects. It thoroughly examines how the conflict is currently playing out through the media, as the film makes the assertion that the media is the frontline of racial tensions in America. This section is interspersed with clips which show the imbalance in how negatively Black people are viewed in the media, contrasted with how the coverage of whites tends to be much more sympathetic. This is even true in the coverage of monstrous, evil, terroristic murderers such as Dylann Roof, the killer of 9 innocent Black people in a church in Charleston, SC, or Mark Anthony Conditt, the mail bomber from Austin, TX, who originally sought out Black families as the targets for his attacks. The film makes the excellent observation that the media’s portrayal of these savagely violent white supremacist criminals is much more sympathetic than the portrayals of Black victims, such as Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and even 12-year-old victim of race soldier violence Tamir Rice. All of the mentioned Black victims were castigated in the media for things that had absolutely nothing to do with their victimization at the hands of race soldiers. All of this leads to the conclusion of this section of the documentary that the media creates the environment for this sort of racial violence, by subtly implying that every victim of race soldier violence “deserved it” because they were allegedly flawed people, even if their supposed faults were not relevant to the incident whatsoever. The film also uses the example of the “Central Park 5” as an example of the media essentially trying and convicting Black suspects of crimes well before any trial or court proceedings are underway. The so-called mainstream media certainly is the propaganda arm of white supremacy, and this is demonstrated throughout the documentary.
The section which deals with law enforcement officials i.e. race soldiers as the enforcement arm of white supremacy is also quite riveting due to the contributions of former LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey and officer Brian Bentley, two Black former officers of one of the most notoriously racist police departments in America (and that is quite a statement). The 2006 FBI memo on how law enforcement has been “infiltrated” at all levels by white supremacists was discussed thoroughly. However, officer Bentley gave a very interesting take on how the word “infiltrated” may not be the most accurate word to describe the undeniable influx of hardcore white supremacy within law enforcement, as the word “infiltrate” implies that the infiltrators were not wanted by law enforcement, which he asserts is not the case. This is proven with the stories of recruitment within the LAPD, as the department has routinely attempted to recruit officers from rural, overwhelmingly white places in the Deep South, or states like Montana, going all the way back to the 1950’s, which Judge Joe Brown and Sgt. Dorsey corroborates. Of special note is how many of these officers, often not from L.A., are very eager to work in the 77th district which covers South Central L.A., a historically Black section of Los Angeles, because as Sgt. Dorsey says, “that is where the action is”. I suspect that these suspected white supremacist recruits are so interested in that and other similar areas because it affords them the greatest opportunity to harm and possibly murder Black people in the name of race war. This is confirmed by officer Bentley’s credible observation based on years of being on the inside of the law enforcement bubble, that “police officers generally don’t shoot out of fear, they shoot out of opportunity”.
The judicial war on Black people in America is also discussed, and the supposed “war on drugs” is focused on. The war on drugs is often framed as a covert war on Black people, as Black people are not the chief consumers or sellers of drugs in America yet are disproportionately arrested and given longer sentences than whites who are guilty of the same “crime”. Attorney Lee Merritt gave a tremendous quote on this, saying “We often discuss the legal system as being broken, but it is not. It is doing exactly what it was designed to do”. But one of the most intriguing aspects of the documentary is the deep dive into the infamous “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, where white supremacists violently demonstrated in the streets of the college town. The violence from this rally resulted in the death of Heather Heyer at the hands of one of the white supremacist demonstrators, James Alex Fields. It is very interesting to hear the accounts of Melvin Walker, a Black businessman and lifelong resident of Charlottesville, about the history of the town, and the prospects of Black people in that town (hint: they are not very promising). The film covers the ascension of the so-called “alt-right” as well as the election of president Donald Trump, whose rhetoric is often closely aligned with the tenets of white nationalism, as the significant events which emboldened the demonstrators to hold the rally in the first place, and then to violently show force during the rally, only for none other than the President to hail them as “fine people”. The much tamer “Unite The Right 2” rally is also touched upon as well.
But in my view, the most compelling commentary came from the two white supremacists featured, Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor. Spencer gave a lengthy, biased account of what happened at the Charlottesville rally, a rally the he helped organize, that served as a sort of verbal justification for the fiasco. Spencer presented his worldview in the frighteningly lucid yet irritatingly smug manner that befits the veneer of intellectualism that he attempts to inject into the white supremacist agenda. Jared Taylor also attempted to put across his white supremacist talking points with clarity, but with the condescension expected from a geriatric white supremacist speaking with a much younger Black male. As Jason Black has said in a few of the interviews that he has done in conjunction with the release of the film, “Black people often guess what the white supremacists think and say, but it is important to actually hear it directly from their mouths”. As someone like myself who attempts to study these people, who often have very wealthy and powerful backing and influence in very “high places”, hearing the enemy attempting to elucidate their position within the context of this documentary was invaluable. I personally would pay to see and hear the entire unedited back and forth between Jason Black, a very credible and intelligent representation of the Black first mentality, and Spencer and/or Taylor, two of the more notable spokesmen of “intellectual” white supremacy.
The last leg of the documentary focuses on white supremacy’s Black collaborators, and asks the question, “Can a Black person be a white supremacist?” (My personal conclusion is that they cannot). It also attempts to speak on solutions and strategies that Black people can employ in order to survive and win the war being waged upon us, as well as the long-term outlook for Black people. This section in my view illustrates how much trouble Black people are in, as there was almost no uniformity amongst the suggestions that the Black contributors offered, which indicates a lack of a focused agenda and a code under which Black people can coalesce. All in all, I thought this was an excellent documentary, and well worth the time and energy to watch. Jason Black should be commended for a very powerful piece of work. My answer to the question that constitutes the running theme of the documentary “Are we in a race war?”, is a firm and unequivocal “YES”. But after watching this film I would find it hard to believe that the answer would be any different for any other Black person who understands the world in which we live. I humbly suggest that anyone who is interested to go to see and purchase the film, and to show it to everyone that they think may be interested in this subject.
Osei, 21st Century Race Man