We Not Ready for Freedom: Case Study 1
"For too long we've been beholden to a set of surface feelings, organizing around ideas and beliefs about what it means to be a good person or create a good society. These efforts at good behavior and pursuit of good policies have proven to be no match for the deep embedded-ness of what is the foundation of, and has been intricately woven throughout, every facet, institution, and relationship of the United States and the psyche of its inhabitants: the racialization of people and its underlying presupposition -- the superiority of white skinned peoples. A direct requirement of maintaining that position has always been and continues to be the inferiority of Black people." -Rev. angel Kyodo williams
We are not ready for the liberation we so desperately need. Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed on separate occasions evidence that we are not prepared for liberatory praxis. There are guiding assumptions that frame my understanding of the world:
1) Liberation is an imperative stop on the journey towards a freedom as yet unknown. To liberate, means that we will be free from the oppressive systems that currently constrain us. However, to get to the place of radicalized freedom -- where we no longer define ourselves from where our oppression ended -- we need to understand that liberation is not the penultimate goal it is a very necessary pit-stop to a freedom as yet unknown.
2) Anti-Blackness is rooted within all systems of oppression. There are no oppression Olympics, but take any oppressive circumstances and then make that person Black -- you are dealing with a highly volatile and politicized existence.
3) There needs to be a moratorium on white male leadership in every facet of human existence. You have done enough. Step down. Spend the next millennium doing individual and collective work to undo the seemingly irreparable harm you have either caused, been complicit within, or managed to be completely ignorant of.
I will be sharing WE NOT READY case studies over the next few weeks because the truth is frustrating but it is real. Each case study will come with a book recommendation - GET INTO IT.
Tr*mp is always in my social media news feed. Constant reminders of how ridiculous the world has become. However, I read a post from a Black woman, although not a personal friend, is popular on social media and I respect her craft tremendously. I cannot remember which of action of Tr*mp's administration had caused the recent headlines news, but she was MAD. She unleashed a series of posts lambasting all those who did not vote for Hillary in the last election. There was a rainstorm of F bombs poured out to those who wanted to "vote their conscience" or "stayed with Bernie" or "decided not to vote". There were a number of inhumane actions that were directed at all of those individuals. I read her post -- shocked. Because her post demonstrated a lot. Besides the fragile and volatile ridiculousness of the democratic party (which warrants another post entirely), it was clear that she was lambasting others for daring to practice their rights within a democratic system. The point of a democratic system (and yes I know we are democratic republic - barely) is that people have a chance to choose based on what they determine is the decision they want to make. The failure of the Democratic Party not being able to get Hillary in office is not of the voting public -- that is the failure of the party not convincing enough folks that voting for her was the best decision. Organizing for Hillary reflects those "surface feelings" mentioned in the quote above. Our collective fight for liberation has reached the point where those not playing the game are having an impact. This DOES NOT MEAN that we should just "grin and bear it" when it comes to the outlandish and recessive policies of the Trump administration. There are lives at stake -- but as many within Black liberation and political organizing know -- lives been at stake and mass mobilization hasn't occurred because it doesn't become real for many until effects populations that are not BLACK.
This does mean that we need to learn how to better articulate and organize political movement and action. The old system of fake nice nasty will no longer keep a comfortable status quo for the capitalist aspirant class!
The whole point of voting -- if we are sincerely believing that our vote matters -- is that we vote how we want IF WE WANT. If the entire premise of voting is threatening my existence, that is no system of legitimacy I want to be a part of. Perhaps I am not being totally clear -- but if we were really about protecting our freedoms, you would protect people's CHOICE to vote even if it isn't in favor of your political ideology. Be mad. If we were ready for freedom -- OUR ANGER WOULD BE DIRECTED SQUARELY AT THE PSUEDO-PROGRESSIVE SYSTEMS THAT REINSCRIBE AND PROTECT MATRICES OF OPPRESSION!
You should read --- Owens, L. R., & Syedullah, J. (2016). Radical dharma: Talking race, love, and liberation. North Atlantic Books.