“The Revolutionary Column” is our monthly series by raptivist Bella BAHHS where she spits revolutionary commentary on politics and pop culture.

We already knew what was going to happen. Before the historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump even began, we knew how it would end. 

Or at least we should have known by now. Throughout history, guilty white men have been acquitted of and praised for crimes that innocent Black men have been assailed and assassinated for.

Trump was charged with encouraging a mob of protestors to storm and seize the U.S. Capital on Jan. 6, and make no mistake— he definitely did that shit. Resulting in the deaths of five people and the suicides of two officers, Trump explicitly sent his supporters to the Capitol that day on a mission to “fight like hell” and “stop the steal,” referring to the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral win.

To secure a conviction, which would have barred Trump from holding public office ever again, the Senate needed a two-thirds majority — or 67 senators — to vote guilty. I would have loved to see it, but I knew it was never going to happen. 

A conviction would have required 17 Republican senators to turn on their leader and break their red wall of silence. Before the impeachment trial even began, all but six Republican senators voted in favor of ruling the trial unconstitutional. At least three Republican senators met and colluded with Trump’s defense team to ensure his acquittal; only seven voted guilty. You’ll never convict a man by a jury of his co-conspirators.


Trump has been inciting violence and incentivizing murder since at least 1989, when he placed full-page advertisements in four New York City newspapers urging the State to bring back the death penalty for five Black teenagers falsely accused of a brutal rape in Central Park. We should know by now that a conviction doesn’t mean someone’s guilty, and — apparently — an acquittal doesn’t mean they’re innocent.

Like on Feb. 14, 1945, when an all-white, all-male grand jury in Henry County, Ala., refused to indict seven white men and boys for the rape of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old Black mother and sharecropper — even though one co-defendant confessed that they had abducted Taylor and raped her in the woods at gunpoint.

That was 76 years ago. So on Feb. 13, 2021, when the Senate voted 57 to 43 to acquit Trump, the verdict came as no shock to me. Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me for 76 years, and the shame is all mine. 

It does not serve us to keep feigning surprise every time the justice system fails us. When a policeman does something atrocious on camera and is undercharged or never charged, I’m never surprised. We’ve seen it too many times. For us, seeking legal recourse isn’t often the best course of action.

One thing the United States of America knows how to do very well is use the law to justify or nullify the actions of white supremacists and domestic terrorists. According to American history textbooks, slave masters who purchased, sold, whipped, raped, tortured and murdered Black people were just good ol’ law-abiding citizens doing property maintenance. Legality is a tool for historical revisionism.

Although the Black Panther Party leaders were hometown heroes and architects of revolutionary intercommunalism, having started the Free Breakfast for Children program and several other “survival programs,” white revisionist history painted them as villains. But unlike Trump, our Party leaders — pursuant to the FBI’s COINTELPRO program and its mandate to “neutralize” the Black Panther Party and its leadership — were framed by local police, falsely imprisoned, tortured, forced to live in exile and assassinated for their political beliefs. All without any evidence of criminal activity.

Like in 1969, when former FBI informant William O’Neal was coerced into infiltrating the Black Panther Party’s Chicago chapter and aiding in the assassinations of 21-year-old Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and 22-year-old Mark Clark, the Party’s Peoria, Ill., chapter leader.


And a few weeks before, on Oct. 29, 1969, when a federal judge ordered the Party’s co-founder Bobby Seale be gagged and chained to a chair in a Chicago courtroom while he and seven co-defendants stood trial, falsely accused of conspiring to incite the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. 

The U.S. government has done so many despicable things to leaders of political groups under the guise of preventing armed revolution, both in this country and abroad. It makes Trump’s prosecution laughable in comparison. The man has already proven to be the greatest threat to this country’s internal security, but he was treated like a saint. Donald Trump is the white messiah whose rise J. Edgar Hoover somehow never warned against. 

Trump was born in 1946, the year after the Henry County grand jury refused to indict Recy Taylor’s attackers. He is a product of the culture that raised him and a symptom of what’s wrong with America, not the diagnosis. 

Contrastingly, the counterculturalist movement that gave rise to the “Committee for Equal Justice for Recy Taylor” — with members such as Rosa Parks, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes and Mary Church Terrell — raised us, revolutionaries. And taught us that when judges, juries and history books fail us, it is our duty to tell, preserve and act upon our own truths.

The botched Trump trial illuminates the failures of prosecutorial justice and the widening schism between the right and the left. His defense lawyers argued that the trial was political theater and that the impeachment process was weaponized against him to neutralize the threat Trump poses to political adversaries. It wasn’t a completely invalid argument. All trials are political. 

Furthermore, the police, courts, jails, prisons, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are all political war machines used to offset the revolutionary potential of social movements that threaten the status quo. Prosecution is one of the master’s tools and has always been weaponized against Black people and left-wing activists in this country. It will never dismantle the master’s house. 

So let’s not lose sight of what we’re actually struggling towards — liberation. For abolitionists, Trump’s acquittal is not our defeat and his conviction would not have been our victory. Our victories come from how strongly we stand in our own convictions. If we believe that the American judicial system is a fundamentally flawed functional failure, then we shouldn’t be upset when we’re proven right. Trump winning his case strengthens our case for abolition. 

(Black Ancestors Here Healing Society) is a Chicago-based raptivist and revolutionary, nationally known for making sedition irresistible through her art, activism and advocacy.