There Are No Ethics In A Slave Revolt

Garrick McFadden
9 min readFeb 6, 2024

I have reached the regrettable conclusion that ethics are a luxury for those in ivory towers and useless for those facing annihilation. What is the purpose of morality when the means of your destruction are near? Your moral compass is worthless when the noose is tightened around your neck.

There is one commandment: thou shalt survive. Anything that does not adhere to this sacred tenament is folly.

I admit I lack the courage to engage in non-violent struggle. It is not in my nature. The zeal to do unto others as they do unto me resonates within me and can be witnessed through my actions. I am not pious enough to turn the other cheek. The vengeance of the Old Testament God reverberates through my body. When He dictated that there shall be an eye for an eye, I stood to my feet and shouted the mighty Hallelujah with all my strength.

This is my human condition. This is me standing before you unclothed, allowing you to leer at my nakedness and revile in my insecurity.

If faced with imminent destruction, would I embrace my fate? I ponder this question when I watch movies and television shows where someone is about to be killed, and they do not struggle. When Marlo confronted Prop Joe in The Wire, would I not engage in a physical struggle to save my life? The actor who played Prop Joe was always dismayed about how his character allowed himself to meet his end.

Is there any dignity in accepting my annihilation? Or would I want to resist so that I could leave a lasting imprint on my murderer(s) so they might carry the torch of my memory forward?

I have been vulnerable in discussing my self-professed and self-identified shortcomings.

Allow me to take another stride in my journey toward self-actualization.

I would slaughter anyone and everyone who benefited from my subjugation. Anyone who prospered as a result of my bondage would feel my blade, boot, or baton. I don’t care if they never cracked a whip. I don’t care if they ever hurled an insult in my direction. I regret to inform you that even the people who recognized my humanity, who were not the originators of violence against me or mine, still would have their lives extinguished by whatever means of murder I had available to me at that…



Garrick McFadden

I am a civil-rights attorney. I write about #whiteness, #racism, #hiphop, policing & politics.