Cal State Los Angeles Pan-African studies Professor Anthony Ratcliff is one of the leading Black Lives Matter activists in Southern California. He’s a proponent of black resistance and political violence and regularly cites the studies of Frantz Fanon, a political radical and Marxist whose book The Wretched of the Earth focused on the necessary role Fanon thought violence must play in decolonization struggles.
Ratcliff is also an advocate of Texas A&M Professor Tommy Curry who also cites Fanon in his writings and teachings, and who has come under fire by conservative media outlets for his lectures about killing white people.
This Cal State professor is now taking his militant acumen to the streets of Los Angeles with a “Youth Activist Camp and Resistance Space 2017” through the L.A. chapter of Black Lives Matter, whose motto on its Facebook site is: EDUCATE * AGITATE * ORGANIZE!
The camp is designed to be a “black youth-centered resistance space” with the objective of teaching black youth as young as 10 years old “strategies for organizing social justice campaigns” and “direct action tactics” to fight against racism. The day camp is free for black youths and set to run June 12 through June 16. The only requirements are you must be black, between the ages of 10 and 18, and bring either a pen or pencil. Snacks and lunch are included.
Ratcliff’s camp is geared toward members of the BLM-LA Youth Vanguard. He launched a fundraiser with a $10,000 goal for the camp. Donations will be used to teach black youth how to make “Black Lives Matter in social groups, schools, and communities.” The camp’s primary focus is on community building, skill-sharing, critical literacy, public speaking, as well as techniques for developing healthy collective and self-care practices, according to the description.
Wording on a meme used on its fundraising page – “the young always inherit the revolution” – is a quote by Black Panther Party (BPP) founder Huey P. Newton. The meme also features an image of two youths attending a BPP “Political Education Class” in 1972. Logic dictates BLM militants see themselves as the second coming of the radical Black Panther Party, and they might not be too far off.
BLM is developing more toward political education and activism. It’s organizing students and grooming future political militants through demonstrations within the Los Angeles Unified School District, with such sponsors as teachers unions and Youth Vanguard, a group of students that often takes part in local BLM demonstrations within the L.A. school district. However, this doesn’t mean they’re any less radical than the Black Panthers.
Ratcliff’s self-professed “comrade” and chairwoman of the CSULA Pan-African department, Professor Medina Abdullah, is among the original group of organizers that assembled to form Black Lives Matter and still serves as the Los Angeles chapter lead, in addition to contributing to the BLM national leadership. She’s helping to market the camp by retweeting memes to her followers. In 2015 when she welcomed Ratcliff to the CSULA Pan-African studies department, she announced,” We are on our way to building one of the strongest, most vibrant, visionary, brilliant, nurturing, active/ist departments in the world!”
Yes, the professors at a state-funded Southern California university are Black Lives Matter political radicals creating an activist department, and they are now bringing that to day camp. Abdullah is known for making radical calls to abolish the police and also made a call for action to protest a speech at CSULA when Young America’s Foundation sponsored a speech by Ben Shapiro last year. According YAF’s Lauren McCue, Abdullah spread rumors that conservatives threatened to bring guns to the speech. She was arrested in May 2016 for resisting arrest after a BLM shout-down at an L.A. Police Commission meeting.
When it comes down to brass tacks, the Pan-African studies department at CSULA is a Black Lives Matter breeding ground and recruiting tool. In her essay, Abdullah describes how BLM began to build its base with many in the black community and through partnerships with various groups including, “Black students through work with the Pan-African Studies Department at Cal State L.A.” But the movement within the field of education doesn’t stop there by a long shot. Professor Frank Leon Roberts of New York University created a syllabus for teaching a course on Black Lives Matter. It’s beginning to permeate our Pan-African studies programs.
Throughout many universities, black students and professors alike are calling for and even demanding “reparations” be made to blacks through free tuition, housing, and other demands to compensate blacks for the slavery of Africans more than a hundred years ago, which is reminiscent of the Black Panther Party.
Although the BPP started as a group patrolling black neighborhoods to protect residents from police brutality, it metamorphosed into a Marxist revolutionary faction that called for arming blacks, exempting them from the draft and all sanctions of “white America,” calling for the release of black convicts from jail, as well as compensation to African Americans for centuries of exploitation by white Americans.
The problem with these movements is they exclude the very people the success of their movement is contingent upon while isolating themselves in the process. These “movements” seem to be an explosion of sorts – the release of built up rage. Perhaps “social justice campaigns” might be more productive when half of the equation isn’t blacklisted as the enemy of the state.
Instead of organizing a camp promoting an exchange of grievances and ideas to bring black and white youths together, the camp is being built on the imagery of black revolutionaries whose purpose is to disrupt the lives of white Americans and abolish the policing of their neighborhoods.
Abdullah’s essay concerning the beginnings of BLM, “Black Lives Matter and the Building of a Mass Movement,” speaks volumes to the white population. It captures the reaction of the black community in Los Angeles when the “not guilty” verdict was reached in the Trayvon Martin case. Abdullah was at the protest with her three children.
Excerpt: “We were able to make linkages between the state-sanctioned murders of Black people and the violence of unemployment, underemployment and racialized economic exploitation. We understood how over-policing sets the stage for racialized mass incarceration and police violence. We drew connections between self-knowledge, liberatory [sic] models of education, and movement building. We built out a sharp analysis that identified a White supremacist heteronormative patriarchal capitalist hegemony that intentionally built policies and institutions that systematically target, oppress, and exploit Black people.”
This is interesting because conservatives continually point out to black voters that the Democrats’ plan is to keep them poor and dependent on the system to get their vote every four years, but they still keep going back for more. It is no secret these liberal/progressives with the BLM movement are not checking the box of the conservatives on their voting ballots.
In fact, quite to the contrary, BLM has shown itself to be a group of destructive, violent antagonists, much like the liberal Antifa movement, with no respect for laws, police, property, freeway traffic, street traffic or white people. The common themes are obstruction, destruction and anti-police.
These are also common elements in the teachings and BLM activities of Cal State professors Ratcliff and Abdullah. A long-term goal of Black Lives Matter L.A. is to get funding and manpower diverted from the police department and toward social services that prevent crime, including gang intervention, mental health and homeless outreach. While there are exceptional points to be made in reagrds to putting funds into crime prevention in inner black cities, it shouldn’t be done at the cost of police.
During a protest at L.A.’s City Hall last year attended by both Ratcliff and Abdullah, the mayor had agreed to sit in his office with a handful of BLM protesters. Abdullah, who was leading the charge, said, “We don’t want to go up and have private talks with the mayor. We want a public meeting with him where he says he’s going to fire the police chief.”
Unfortunately, two-way channels of communication do not begin with demands in a civilized democracy.
These are the mentors of today’s black youth and the ideologies that will be passed on through our system of education and into the youth activist camp this summer.