Monday, September 5, 2016

Major Key: What It Means To Have A Leader-ful, Not Leaderless, Movement | The Jose Vilson

Major Key: What It Means To Have A Leader-ful, Not Leaderless, Movement | The Jose Vilson:

Major Key: What It Means To Have A Leader-ful, Not Leaderless, Movement

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 I haven’t mentioned much about the presidential debates because a) I’m a socialist and b) the most affable person in the race said he’d step aside if he lost to the Democratic nominee. Even though everyone in the race was / is problematic, a requirement for running the world’s largest empire, it’s weird having such low favorability ratings for the two leading candidates in a presidential election. Compounded with that is the phenomenal work that I continue to see on the ground, the vast movements sweeping the nation to make people move forward, and the hyperlocal, earnest work that so many folks undertake as classroom educators and public intellectuals. While they seem disconnected, activism is one of the most important mechanisms for people’s survival and the betterment of this republic.

All of this reminds me of the famous Malcolm X quote:
“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda,” I had written to these friends. “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
In context, I understood this as part of his transformation from the one-man ideology that subsumed Malcolm X’s devotion to Elijah Muhammad to the universal understanding of Islam after his trip to Mecca. Ironically, it’s been used as a touchstone, to suggest that we can literally put anyone in a certain position and, as long as they’re saying all the right things, no one has any more work to do. Worse still is those who think the ways and means aren’t as important as the end.
Nah.
If anything, I don’t think the public – including myself – has held officials accountable enough for not representing us. Just as important, we all must learn how to support the folks who are doing positive, uplifting work around us. Putting in work shouldn’t be an individual effort. If anything, Major Key: What It Means To Have A Leader-ful, Not Leaderless, Movement | The Jose Vilson:

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