So, again, mobilization is always a good thing, but we also have to develop organizing capacity as well because organizing propels us beyond just reacting to oppression and towards building to dismantle oppression and create something better. So, going back to Kwame Ture, we know that every good organizer is also a great mobilizer, but many mobilizers have very limited to no organizing skills. This is why I can assure you that if you study mobilizers e.g. people who organize events, compared to organizers e.g. people that build institutions, the organizers will have a much longer shelf life than the mobilizers. Understanding all of this is why we quote Kwame Ture so much because he had a clear understanding of this entire dialectical contradiction. That's why he would always greet everyone who wanted to swoon over him with the same greeting: "Are you a brush fire or a bonfire?" Most of the people had no idea what he was talking about and to be honest, it took me a little bit before I developed a proper comprehension, but his point was are you here for the moment, or are you here for the long haul? This is a critical question because the enemy we are fighting - international imperialism - is committed to being here for the long haul so if you haven't made that same level of commitment, you are not going to be able to defeat imperialism. What that means is if you are in and out, if you are inconsistent, if you come late all the time or can't be relied upon to come at all, if you don't follow up with anything, you are fooling yourself if you think you are going to seriously challenge imperialism. A brush fire burns hot quick, but burns out fast. A bonfire burns hot slow and burns hot for a long time. Who is going to be a bonfire in 2017? This is an essential question because there are so many people who are new to this work. People who came in with the Mike Brown national awareness from 2014. Its wonderful that these folks are here, but we cannot pretend that you always know more in your two years than people who have engaged in this struggle for decades. Certainly, everyone has contributions to make and everyone can learn something from anyone, but we would never pretend that a first year med student knows more about practicing medicine than a seasoned surgeon. Now, its quite possible, and I've even experienced situations where new people do know more than so-called seasoned people, but this must be established through practice. What I unfortunately find more often than not, is many of the newer people don't want to even listen to those who have experience to determine if they have something you can learn from or not. And, the reasons for this are sad. Often its because of the breakdown of family structures caused by the oppression we experience from the capitalist system. Consequently, many younger activists have no principled relationships with older organizers, especially older men organizers because so many men behave in so many unprincipled ways. As a result, younger organizers don't trust older organizers and this is a struggle that sits solely on the shoulders of us older organizers to resolve. I believe that if us older organizers start behaving in more principled ways, that will help the younger organizers learn more humility. This is all critical. I know that I'm disrespected by young activists on a regular basis. Mostly its unintentional, but whatever way it happens, I never blame the person. Instead, my hatred of the capitalist system intensifies. I continue to work and every time, eventually, when that person gets used to working with me, instead of viewing me through a dysfunctional lense, they learn to trust me more and the disrespect stops. I believe its my responsibility as a revolutionary organizer to humble myself for the good of the struggle. I've had to learn the difference between humility and suffering abuse, but I think I have that figured out for the most part at this point. So, I say that we all need to try to engage in these practices all the time. Less ego and more humility. That's a formula that will serve our work overwhelmingly.
So, this is a call for everyone to approach 2017 with a commitment towards humilty and patience. If you don't have strong skills in those areas you are doing it wrong. Impatience is an ideolgoical tenet of elitism so unless you are proud to be elitist, you must always struggle against impatience because this element implies you have more knowledge than others so you therefore cannot understand why they are not on your level, thus your impatience with them. Impatience is dishonest and unprincipled because somebody had to hold your hand too. In fact, whether you can see it or not, I guarantee you that someone is holding your hand in some way right now. So, let's practice these things in 2017 because if we do that, we will create a world full of activist bonfires and if we can do that, we can create a foundation that will ultimately net us the victories we so rightfully desire. Are you ready to challenge yourself? Or, are you content to burn hot quick, and burn out fast?