What can I say… I’m average and not very proud of it. Don’t get me wrong. I used to be, proud, that is, as hell. Then something, someone; not even sure how it happened, woke me up. Maybe it’s an evolutionary process that I wasn’t aware of because I’ve always been semi-conscious, just never fully awake, but awareness always hovered in the background without fully resonating. It probably happened with my daughter. That would be a good guess. I won’t pretend to actually remember the exact point and time I “woke up;” it just happened, over time. And now, I just am. Problem is – can’t doze off. Can’t shut it down and go back to sleep although at times, I want to – bad! Now I’m tuned into shit that angers me, worries me, inspires me but I often feel a sense of hopelessness because I feel compelled to act but never swing into full on action. My activism of choice seems to be venting, involvement, 21st century type shit. I’ll tweet or Facebook the hell out of some shit. I’ll comment and discuss. I’ll write also, which is my way of putting it out there, but it stops there. Moments are rare when I feel the need to move from behind the screen to the front of the scene. I’ve been there. On the front line. It’s exhausting so I take my hat off to those who remain there waiting for something to jump off. Take the Reverend Al Sharpton, for example. He appears to always be in ready mode. People talk, but I admire him because I don’t see no one else out there bringing attention or keeping the focus on injustices that plaque our communities. I participated in community for some time but it’s easy to get frustrated at talking to the same people and never really reaching the seemingly unreachable. At some point along with conflated issues, I decided that my work would have to be done behind the scenes, which is were I am currently active. Learning. Writing. And Researching. And Writing. I’m trying hard to figure out how to make all this work in concrete ways. I’m looking and listening to what gets heard and who’s listening. I see folks getting their 15 minutes on and off screen. I see ordinary people doing extraordinary things that mainstream hardly knows much about. It seems now that you have to choose the circles you want to rise up in. But me, I’m a community person at heart. Just haven’t found a way to bridge the divide between knowing what I know and having that make a difference where I truly believe it counts. I want accolades, recognition and prestige if I’m being honest; however, I don’t want it at the expense of my community, my values, my thirst for answers to the questions that plaque my mind on a daily basis. Why poverty? Why inequality? Why racism and discrimination? Explanations abound for why poverty exists in the world and how “some inequality is essential to create incentives,” but at the root of it all the answer for me is that we need unity and discipline.
First we need to unify; organize on a global scale around the issue of poverty. We don’t need to coalesce around a few charitable organizations that vow to end poverty by a specified time. We need to weave our minds to the fabric of change. This shit ain’t rocket science, and contrary to popular opinions, the power lies within us to make that happen. The poor are dying because of decisions made by governments. The poor are hungry and homeless because governments are so busy chasing and protecting resources and cheap labor, that their countrymen have become simply a means to accumulate mass amounts of wealth for 1% of its people. In America, we have the resources for every citizen to live a comfortable life, but instead, greed has won out.
Americans were taught to chase a dream that was not inclusive of all her citizens. My dream is that I could actually live in the neighborhood of my choosing. My dream is that we realize minds cannot be legislated and until the federal government rights the wrongs it created, blacks, as a people, will never get a fair shake. We are still kept out of certain neighborhoods and gentrified out of our own. That’s not part of my dream. We still have substandard schools in our neighborhoods. That’s not part of my dream. We still have mass incarceration of our youth. That’s not part of my dream. We still have higher unemployment rates than whites …ummmm. That’s not part of my dream. America’s dream is not my dream! My dream consists of equality and dignity and respect for ALL the citizens of this country.