Organizing against resistance
Salutations. As I write this letter you will be feeling what I call my everyday polemical life. My angst is superfluous because I can't believe what I encountered on the 9th through the 13th of September. I personally witnessed Willie Lynch's letter on how to keep us against us while I was helping bring consciousness to the brothers here at Clinton and was met with resistance. It seems that what happened in the past is no longer significant nor appreciated. I'm talking about the Attica rebellion of 1971.
As I expressed solidarity amongst us I attempt to recreate ourselves and adhere to a different form of rules, all while not violating any directives that may lead to an infraction of any sort. I tried to catalyze and show that what happened almost 40 years ago is indeed still taking place today, except there's a lot more tribalism now. I provided a non-violent event which was something totally small. I asked if brothers would, along with the 15% who didn't eat during the 5 days, maintain a verbal fast to show and pay homage to the fallen freedom fighting comrades who were murdered by the government appointed force for standing up to the injustice that is still plaguing our people in prisons today. By fasting from both food and talking I attempt to show how we can get along with each other no matter what gang we are in, no matter what religion we practice. By not eating we show self sacrifice just like the brothers did, and by not talking we show also discipline, again just like those who were in the Attica rebellion did.
Sadly, in my attempts to show and express an affinity between each other I was met with enmity. After a couple of the average "get the fuck out of here with that bullshit" and a few "negro please" I was sure to attract some politically and socially conscious brothers who reminded me that "violence is a dark undercurrent of Amerikan history." Like Pan-Afrikanist Frantz Fanon put it, "What we are witnessing is a psychological and physical reaction to the trauma." Some brothers actually said, "That was then and this is now, why should we respect something that happen before we were even born?" Some went on to say, "Ain't nothing going to change anyway." It's statements like these that show our ignorance!
In fact, take the Civil Rights movement for instance. They started out in small groups and grew in relations with those who were also victims of the desegregated south, and formed a force of mass campaign of civil disobedience! By sticking together and voicing our opinion we spoke volumes of our rights as a people who had little to no rights. We started to register to vote, operate forums, print our own newsletters, to be acknowledged as Afrikan men and womyn. Even today we have Afrikan mayors, attorney generals, CEOs of the largest bank, and President of the United States. After explaining this, more and more participated in the eating and verbal fast, but it wasn't enough.
I think back on how brothers like Herbert X Blyden, Big Black, L.D. Barkeley, John (Mecajaweh) Hill, Sam Melville, Akil Al Jundi, Robin Palmer, just to name a few, gave their lives for brothers to have better programs, and to study the Islamic religion - where there was none. They fought for better schooling, and got children to be considered as visitors so they could visit their loved ones under lock and key. I have much respect and profound gratitude for the Nation of Islam who held order and negotiations. Yet still this vicious ass piece of swine still considered the NOI a hate group. If it wasn't for the good brothers those corruption officers would have been dealt with.
So I say unselfishly, it's not enough! We need to do more to bring some awareness, we need to get our media (BET) to stop playing comedy, music, and hood movies, and instead play some Black August, Motorcycle Diaries, and Malcolm X. We need to become more aware by reading books that deal with the history of struggle against oppression. We need, emphasis on we, need to educate our people with the help of those who also want to see us kick this stigma in the ass.