Erica Garner was a revolutionary. Don’t let neoliberal Democrats whitewash and exploit her

Blog / Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Erica Garner has passed away. She was taken from us. Erica did not die a “natural” death; she was killed by the same white supremacist system that murdered her father, the system that destroyed the Garner family.

As soon as the last breath left Erica’s body, however, reactionary center-right Democratic Party operatives slithered out of the woodwork to try to exploit her legacy for their own political interests.

New York City Mayor de Blasio was one of the most shameless figures trying to co-opt Erica Garner’s memory — even though Erica had relentlessly criticized de Blasio and the impunity he has guaranteed for police who kill Black people.

Erica Garner went to her death condemning the mayor for shielding killer cops from punishment — including officer Daniel Pantaleo, who brutally choked the life out of Erica’s father Eric Garner and is still on the NYPD payroll. Erica said de Blasio is “to the police what Trump is to the ‘Alt-Right’.” Yet now the mayor is opportunistically exploiting her legacy for public relations, after doing nothing for her family.

Now more than ever is the time to firmly and unconditionally condemn these vile and opportunistic attempts at co-optation and emphasize the following: Erica Garner was an uncompromising revolutionary who refused to be co-opted by the capitalist Democratic Party.

Do not let neoliberal politicians whitewash Erica Garner’s radical politics to exploit her legacy — as they have with Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and so many other radical Black leaders.

Erica Garner refused to be co-opted and exploited in life; do not let them co-opt and exploit her in death.

The following are just a few quotes from the real Erica Garner:

  • “WE are not democrats. WE are not republicans. WE are Black in America which means we will NEVER be American. Cant u tell 300 yrs later?”
  • “Im not a Democrat nor a Republican they’re two sides of the same corrupt coin . Don’t be surprised when I critique either of them.”
  • “When i think about capitalism I think about slavery, share cropping, bank scandal wall street donors… #HillaryClinton’s people”
  • “Listening to these high net worth democrats deconstruct the election makes me certain that they are no allies of mine.”
  • “Who is organizing to put these corporate democrats the fuck up out of your community?”
  • “Democrats dont listen. They eat their babies too. Just like Republicans.”
  • “When the democrats give me shit to eat I CHOOSE to pass on the meal.”
  • “The democrats are republicans. for real. The Dixicrats took over.”
  • “They were all for Black lives… Till we talk bout Palestine.”
  • “My struggle isn’t confined to this country. Palestinians struggle against the same thing. That shit aint right… we all need to link up”
  • “Whats wrong with not being a capitalist”
  • “#RahmResign all these democrats are crooked as the letter s”
  • “Why do Black folks CONTINUE to accept democrat leadership that won’t stand up for US over the police. Like de Blasio or Rahm Emmanuel or Stephanie Rawlings Blake … For real why?”
  • “Capitalism wont get the collective US free at all”
  • “[Chris Matthews] has a major issue with Bernie’s socialist label .I feel like his inner Jim (Crow) Webb is about ready to become a republican”
  •  “#Democrats maintain this system .. so do #republicans … they prop up coon leaders by  giving them crumbs to keep us calm.. #JusticeOrElse”

Below is a selection of tweets in which Garner made her revolutionary politics absolutely clear.

Erica was one of the strongest and bravest activists I have ever met.

I know her legacy will live on, in the movements she led, and the many people whose lives she changed.

Rest in power.