By Jakob Stein
On Saturday in Beverly Hills in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Offset, famous rapper from the Atlanta-based group Migos, was detained by armed police during a rally of approximately 2,500 Trump supporters.
The incident was viewed by over 25,000 people live as Offset streamed the encounter with police from his phone. Police outside the vehicle can be seen with their weapons drawn, saying that they had a report that the occupants were pointing guns at the pro-Trump demonstration. Offset responded by claiming that Trump supporters had been beating his car with flagpoles within view of the police.
In the video, police can be heard giving contradictory orders, something they often do which serves as justification for police brutality and even murder, telling him, “Don’t move,” while also saying, “Open the door.” Offset responded to police questions, and he kept his hands firmly on the steering wheel until eventually, the police reached through the window, unlocked the car, and forcibly pulled him out of the vehicle. Offset was detained and released, while the passenger, Cardi B’s cousin, was arrested for possession of a concealed handgun.
This example shows the stratification of all classes, even among the imperialist ruling class and the petite bourgeoisie, including those wealthy and famous entertainers like Offset. The police will often not know a person’s relation to production at the point of engagement, especially in an area as obscenely wealthy as Beverly Hills. To them, any Black person in their midst is suspicious and taken as a serious threat.
The rabid reactionaries that show out in force for pro-Trump rallies constitute the widest base of recruitment for the fascist movement, and they are a far bigger threat to the people than any ‘gangster rap’ celebrity. The most unfortunate aspect of this incident is that both Offset and Cardi B have used their enormous platforms as celebrities to endorse the electoral farce and encourage their fans to vote for Joe Biden. Even though both partners have felt the very negative impact of police, they have opted for a changing of the guard in the same old system, one that cannot change the fundamental role of police as oppressors and maintainers of imperialist law and order.
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