Remember when police dropped a bomb on a neighborhood in Philly? Me neither.

AJ Rosario | ANTIMEDIA

Police dropped two one-pound bombs on a neighborhood.

The erasure of history, particularly black history and crimes committed against black and brown people, is an essential component that upholds white supremacy. It allows whiteness to be presented as fairly unscathed, save for indigenous peoples that were slaughtered to obtain America… er I mean conquered, as “history” is learned via books that are force-fed to youth in government schools.

Schools that still misteach that America was discovered by Christopher Columbus. Never mind that people were already here or that Columbus never actually set foot onto North America. America did not exist until Columbus and other Europeans began sniffing around is the story the government teaches us; Columbus is touted as a hero, diluting the genocide and violence against indigenous peoples that European settler’s used to colonize this land. On and on unwinds the yarn of falsities disguised as history in America.

For those who are questioning everything and deconstructing truth from utter bullshit, you may or may not know that 30 years ago today, the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb on a west Philly neighborhood. “Whoa!” Right? Dropping bombs in neighborhoods is what terrorists do. Not the good ole police. The Philadelphia Police were targeting MOVE, a Philly-based radical movement dedicated to black liberation. Six adults and five children died, a neighborhood burned, 65 homes were destroyed and 250 people were left homeless. What happened on May 13, 1985 is one of America’s worst known cases of police brutality.

Why is it important to acknowledge and understand the MOVE bombing? Journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who reported extensively on MOVE and is now serving time for killing a cop that he says he did not kill, puts it best: “May 13th at 30, why should we care what happened on May 13th, 1985? I mean, seriously, that was 30 years ago, a long time ago, way back when. Know what I mean? Most people won’t say that, but they think that. Why, indeed? I’ll tell you why. Because what happened then is a harbinger of what’s happening now all across America. I don’t mean bombing people—not yet, that is. I mean the visceral hatreds and violent contempt once held for MOVE is now visited upon average people, not just radicals and revolutionaries like MOVE. In May 1985, police officials justified the vicious attacks on MOVE children by saying they, too, were combatants. In Ferguson, Missouri, as police and National Guard confronted citizens, guess how cops described them in their own files. “Enemies.” Enemy combatants, anyone? Then look at 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland. Boys, men, girls, women—it doesn’t matter. When many people stood in silence, or worse, in bitter acquiescence, to the bombing, shooting and carnage of May 13, 1985, upon MOVE, they opened the door to the ugliness of today’s police terrorism from coast to coast. There is a direct line from then to now. May 13, 1985, led to the eerie robocop present. If it had been justly and widely condemned then, there would be no now, no Ferguson, no South Carolina, no Los Angeles, no Baltimore. The barbaric police bombing of May 13, 1985, and the whitewash of the murders of 11 MOVE men, women and children opened a door that still has not been closed. We are today living with those consequences. From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Drop a bomb on a residential area? I never in my life heard of that,” a neighborhood resident told a reporter on May 13, 1985. “It’s like Vietnam.”

For a deeper look at our history lest we be destined to repeat it like we have been doing for the past century, check out:  A Basic History of the 1985 MOVE Bombing, MOVE Bombing at 30: “Barbaric” 1985 Philadelphia Police Attack Killed 11 & Burned a NeighborhoodI’m From Philly. 30 Years Later, I’m Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing.  Please feel free to utilize the comments to share information.


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