For anyone else who feels that you function on as stable ground as anyone can in such a dysfunctional world, there are some things you are going to have to accept and remember if you are going to serve a productive purpose in this fight. First, our struggle for justice cannot and will not be defined by our individual trauma. Of course, our trauma is a part of us, but the other part is our will to survive and flourish and it is that element that we must learn to draw from if we are going to be effective at fighting for a better world. The raw truth is our enemies are not the least bit affected by your trauma. They do what they do specifically to traumatize you. Our cries for compassion fall on deaf ears when directed at the capitalists. Kwame Ture told us 50 years ago that we are wasting our time trying to appeal to the conscious of this system because it has no soul. Their objective is to drive anyone who would challenge their hegemony into the grave, prison, or mental instability. That's their mission and they have millions of examples to illustrate to us how effective they are at carrying it out. So, if you are going to dedicate your life to going up against them, you are going to have to accept that there are no rules, no limits, and no sense of right and wrong when dealing with them. So release the bourgeois notion that you have rights in this system. Let go of the false concept that you matter and you have the right to be listened to. The truth is the extent to which you have all of those things is only connected to how much you are willing to fight for them. And, if you study history, you will know that this isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, it has always been this way. Whatever you have today, if you didn't fight for it, you better believe someone did. You must recognize that the strongest weapon the enemy has is convincing you that one day, there is that chance that they will listen to you. As long as they can maintain that hope within you, then you won't do the work that needs to be done to bring them down to their knees and as long as they know you aren't at the place of doing that organizing work, they have no incentive to change anything they are doing because its all working - for them and their interests.
Finally, for those who not only feel you are somewhat ready and willing to dedicate yourself to the type of relentless struggle that will be required to engage this beast, its imperative that you find some basis from which to motivate yourself for the rough and difficult days ahead. And, I'm sorry, but that motivation cannot be alcohol or any type of outside substance. That motivation, in order to be effective, can only come from inside you. It has to be something that inspires you. Something that calls to you to bring out the best in you. Something that connects you to the most advanced elements of human culture. Only you can decide what that motivation is. Once you determine it, you can never tell a soul, or you can tell everyone as a sense of inspiration, but you have to find that element and get right with it. Humbly speaking, for me, that element has been and continues to be the work I do on myself to try to keep myself in check. This is a continual work in progress, but I think I can say confidently that I've reached a point where I don't see the world as all about me. As a result, I have learned to value what other people bring to the world. This has generated a genuine love and appreciation for people, all people. The children, who I work with often. The elderly. Women. People from all nationalities. LGBTQ community family members. Everyone. In line with this I've learned to really appreciate all of the people who have come before me, especially those who have sacrificed to push our struggle forward. It is from those people that I receive my highest level of inspiration because I know from studying their work that they unfortunately experienced daily trauma that objectively overshadows anything I think I've experienced in my life. The appreciation of them, their sacrifices, and the humility I've learned from being able to see the world that way makes me honestly feel like I'm honored to do this work in their footsteps. Does that mean I'm not pissed, angry, upset? Of course I'm all of those things, probably a lot more than most of you, but I've learned to channel that and not let it consume me, at least not consume me for very long. That's why I've structured my life so that I could go to the slave dungeons in Ghana and Senegal. I've gone to the cotton fields and plantation houses in Mississippi, Louisiana (where my family was kidnapped and taken to), Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, etc. I've been to many of the worst prisons in this and other societies. I've felt the suffering of my ancestors so that when I see and feel trauma today, I remember the courage they displayed and it helps me contextualize my feelings. Not diminish my feelings, contextualize them. Instead of just seeing this suffering as a complete bad, I look at it from a revolutionary dialectical perspective. Yes, its terrible, but its also a testament to the fortitude and character of our people. Traits I want to draw from in my own life. With this in mind, I'm reminded that I have work to do. It reminds me that African women fought a rape culture that was the order of the day during slavery so that I could be here today. So, at least for me, there's no way in hell I'm going to complain about anything I have to do, see, or experience, when those brave women carried that terrible burden on my behalf. On your behalf. They could have given up and God knows no one could have blamed them with all the horrors that were regular parts of their lives, but they persevered. And because they did, we're here to continue the quest for justice. I know they suffered through all of that because they knew we deserved better and I'm committed to doing everything I can to do what they did - carry the struggle forward in whatever humble way that I can.
We won't be able to carry this forward if we are not healthy. The capitalist is determined to wear you down. When you say you are too tired and demoralized to continue he loves hearing that. Let's learn to do what we need to do create healthy environments that nurture us for the long haul. And recognize and respect that self care doesn't mean retiring from the struggle permanently or for long periods of time. If you have to do that, something is missing. Not judging here, just acknowledging that those African women never had the option of quitting and we should always be aspiring to be what they were in the areas of character and fortitude. So buckle your seat-belts. The enemy is making it plain that he has no intention of going out without a bang and he's going to throw everything he has at us. So, this struggle isn't for the faint of heart. We need people who are ready to stand together with others, as imperfect as we all are, and build together, as one. People who understand we will try and fail and try and fail again. People who won't give up. People who won't just be there once or twice, but who we know will have our backs like they know we will have theirs, all the time. That's going to require a lot of things, most notably patience. Let me say that again - PATIENCE - with each other. If we are really serious about making change, this is what it will take people. Otherwise, what we are really saying is we are just upset because capitalism is forcing us to acknowledge we are not free. I know that is not the message most of you want to project. So, let's focus on getting ourselves prepared. The more of these heinous videos we have to see, we can't be demoralized, this should be our fuel to fight harder, more relentlessly, to bring about justice.