Still, I've been doing this long enough that I am very well versed with the energy. "You intimidate people. You talk down to people. You scare people." To be completely frank about it, I don't think I'm guilty of any of those things when I'm speaking. The reason why I don't think that is because what people are intimidated about isn't my problem. If you don't agree with what I'm saying, you should be able to articulate concrete political reasons why you don't agree that are scientifically based. This, I never get from people. Plus, I know intimidation is a subjective phenomenon, usually dripping with white supremacist foundations, so that simply won't work. Come with a strong political argument that disproves whatever I'm promoting. It can be done. We do it the A-APRP at events as common practice. As for talking down to people, this could be valid if I was a person who spoke to people telling them to do things I wasn't willing to do or had no experience doing, but no one who knows me or my work can claim that's my approach. I speak only about the struggles related to the work I do and I've done. And when I say work, I'm talking about work I've spent the last three decades putting my body on the line for. An example. I re-posted a picture on FB about an action three years ago when I helped lead dozens of people in an effort to reclaim a house being stolen by banks from an African family here in Portland, Oregon. We challenged the police that day, resulting in myself and others being pepper-sprayed and harassed e.g. being detained (that happened to me), etc. I could give you dozens of examples illustrating where I've placed myself in harm's way doing that type of work for people while asking nothing in return. So, if I tell you that you should join an organization working for justice instead of just talking about what should be done with no accountability, that my friends isn't me talking down to you. That's giving you an analysis based on experience and the credibility of doing what I'm advising you to do. When I tell you that you don't know anything about socialism and are instead reacting to capitalist anti-communist propaganda, that isn't talking down to you. That's giving you an analysis based on years of scientific research and work. For example, our breakfast program here is based in socialist principles. I see the people who make contributions, including myself, and do so on a regular basis. I see comrade Jamilah riding her bicycle at 5am to get there to feed the children. I see the community began to respond to our work. So, when you tell me people have no motivation to work in socialist societies, I know from experience that you don't have a clue what you are talking about. That you don't know the difference between having moral incentive and material incentive. This type of science cannot be refuted just by you recounting what your uncle from Romania told you. So, if you see this as being talked down to, I feel sorry for you. As for scaring people, if you aren't scared of what's happening to the world around you and the people in, and you choose instead to be afraid of me for telling you the truth about it, you are a poor excuse for a human being and that's about the best response you deserve.
So, I realize that I'm going to get many invitations, but very few repeat invites. I have no problem with that. My responsibility is to reach as many people as I can as a revolutionary organizer. I get repeat invites from the right people. The places that don't repeat the invite are the places that have something to protect. Something to defend. Usually, that something is a budget or a job position or prestige. Since I have no interest in either, only the truth, if my words intimidate, scare, or make those people feel talked down to, I'm doing my job. Besides, I know my history. I'm in great company. Macolm X was famous for upsetting people and having people refuse to invite him back. And, I had the privilege and honor of spending enough time around Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) to see him intelligently present strong revolutionary messages to people who didn't want to hear it. People who would complain about his message after he spoke. In fact, I appreciated the one uncle tom brother who when I approached him years ago about having Kwame come speak on the university campus where this brother was a professor, he told me point blank with complete honesty that "I can't be connected to Stokely Carmichael right now...I'm up for tenure!"
That great son of Africa - Ahmed Sekou Ture - told us so clearly that "if the enemy isn't doing anything against you, you aren't doing anything." Not a day goes by that I don't think of his prophetic words. I'm reaffirming my mission. My job is to provide political education to the masses of African and other oppressed humanity. My job is not to make people who are denying truth comfortable. That means speaking truth to power every chance I get and it means making every effort to inspire people to shake the cobwebs out and take action. So, if you are looking for someone who is going to maintain the status quo, I'm not your person, but if you want someone who will rock the foundation and keep us squarely focused on truth and justice, I'm always available to bring some fire to the woodpile. And, I'd suggest that if we started approaching all of our relationships with that type of honesty and integrity, many of the problems we have would start disappearing overnight. So, instead of projecting criticism on the people who are doing sincere work, maybe do a re-listen to Michael Jackson's landmark song "Man in the Mirror" and inventory what you are actually doing to seriously confront the challenges in this society.