Essays, issue 13: oct 2016, Narratives
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Pitbull Pariahs by Abondance Matanda

When you’re ready to tell me exactly how an unarmed man poses enough threat to be murdered by police within four seconds of being pulled out of a taxi, let me know then maybe my rage will burn out. Let me know why his whole country danced in orange flames for six days of mourning and them first funeralgoers was locked in cells and then silenced.

Apparently, that mode of expression was wrong. They should have walked in sad protest and mimicked the illusion of peace that the police could only hold up for two days. Mark Duggan was murdered by an officer on August 4th 2011 and the riots began on August 6th. By the 11th, when they was ending, it was obvious that the media and their political bredrins wasn’t tryna decipher this language of the unheard.

They thought that because the balaclavas and bandanas had disappeared, because the roads was empty and cold again, that the language died. Really and truly it’s only dormant. It’s been five years and the same misuse and lack of control exists today: if the pariahs who rioted that summer decide to speak up again anytime soon, don’t even feign surprise.

You can’t tether a pitbull to the same tree you will eventually hang it from and not expect resistance. It is a fighting dog and has seen itself die at the hands of your chains. Of course it will attempt to escape and work itself up and confuse the sounds of its own anger and fear til it don’t even know what it’s tryna tell you no more. The pitbull’s been caged for too long now. It can only see red and you’re badmind for kicking your manufactured beast in its belly when it is already vulnerable.

Darcus Howe labels England’s 2011 riots as an insurrection instead, because the so-called rioters were merely marginalised people fighting fire with fire – only theirs was orange and stood out in the same night that the authorities’ blue lights blend into.


Abondance’s body’s been here about 17 years, but she’s probably been around longer than that. There’s bare melanin in her blood – from Congo, Uganda and Pakistan. She’s a Lunduner and a punk and a black girl who writes to breathe. She is a staff writer for Sula Collective.

Richard A. Chance is an illustrator from Brooklyn New York, currently ducking and dodging gentrification like he plays for the giants. His illustration focuses on a play on words or current events. 

This illustration was created in honor of October, Halloween and the recent shooting. It depicts what would happen if a kid dressed up as batman on Halloween was confronted by the police.

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