Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reflections on the "Conscious" Community

After spending years reading, watching videos, dictating quotes, journal entries, and anything else you can think of to learn about our past and present struggles as Black people, our freedom fighters, historical figures, etc. I really thought I knew something. Knowing that I educated myself about people important to the black community, I developed somewhat of a superiority complex. 

Developing a superiority complex is the first step (or symptom maybe?) to becoming out of touch with your people and community. Despite all of this knowledge I had and my pipe dreams of starting a Spook Who Sat By the Door -like revolution in Yourtown, USA, none of that was my reality. There were no mass protests, press conferences, riots, no (productive) debates with other "intellectuals" on the Black struggle, no turning your average street thugs/gangs into revolutionary freedom fighters or organizations. It was just me going to school and working, searching books and the internet for answers to questions, finding other pieces to the puzzle and putting them together. Looking back now I see that my pipe dreams were reflections of the times and lives of the men and women I had studied and looked up to: Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Fred Hampton, Mumia abu-Jamal, the Black Panther Party(as a whole), Frederick Douglass, Tupac Shakur, and countless others. This is how my worldview was shaped.

Over the next couple of years I would learn a lot of lessons. (Since I'm still in college, and I'm still learning, I'll just put a couple of them up). When I finished my freshman year in college, I was still an intellectual, but at the same time a loner, broke, and dependent on family. Now remember, I had a superiority complex because I knew XYZ black revolutionary figure, or concept, or had XYZ revolutionary pipe dream. There would be times when I would stop and think about how different family members or other people in general didn't know what I knew, but still had cars, their own homes, etc. When I eventually came to the point  that I had spend enough time under a rock learning and studying the struggle, it was time to come out of my shell and socialize, reach out and teach the other students and members of the community, family, etc. everything I had learned. (As one of my professors put it "Man, the path you're taking is a tough road to hoe. Black folks are going to break your heart.") I socialized more and built up my network of associates (online and locally), most of us only having a love of weed in common (that's a whole different blog). Eventually I developed the motivation to seek out ways of becoming active in the Prairie View (I'm a student at Prairie View A & M University) community. 

Through socializing, and (attempts at) organizing I learned that 1) Having a revoluionary mindset won't automatically make other black people like you, 2) Even the people who cheer you on when discussing revolutionary ideas won't always help you when you are ready to act, 3) Not all black people are trying to hear "that black power stuff", and 4) Not everybody doing good in school and working (whether working hard or smart) is selling out. So what did I learn and where does that leave us?

People in the "conscious" community really lose touch with the people they're supposed to be "saving, educating, liberating, etc." when they get superiority complexes. Nobody can help anyone that they see as "below" them, or don't understand (which comes from being out of touch). The thing that people in the "conscious" community need to realize is that nobody is going to ask for help from someone who A) isn't going to (or can't) put money in their pockets, and/or B) Talks down on them. Especially not from someone who fits category A and B at the same time. Really, these are lessons that I had to learn myself. For those just becoming "conscious" and learning about the people, places, and ideas, if you want to actually make progress, you will need to learn these lessons, too.

Even the Black liberation movement involves economics, and if they (xyz revolutionary black organization) aren't talking about getting money (in whatever form of currency they want) in people's pockets or resources (so that we can survive without having to live on the streets waiting for xyz government/society to say "o we give up, black people are free") in some shape or form, then they might as well be compared to a church, selling hope. How revolutionary can someone be if they can yell "black power, fuck white people" all day long at the rallies and protests, but have to ask for gas money to get home?(speaking from experience) Or (even worse) the people/organizations who go to white people, or the police, to support those same organizations that are saying "fuck white people, black power"?

The "average" black population is living in a way that we understand and perceive individual phenomenon more than group phenomenon (going back to what Stokely Carmichael was talking about in BlackPower). It's not that the "average" black people "love" white people that much. They don't love white people any more than they "hate" their own. They're just going where the money is - legally or illegally, inside or outside their own communities - because in order to survive (which is the purpose of any revolutionary struggle, according to Che) until you are able to put yourself in a position to thrive (independently), you have to be able to realistically function in the current society. If not, you will get locked up or killed (by "them" or your own), because if you can't function properly, then you have to live off the people who can. Stopping that pattern is what the revolution is supposed to be about.

 And "conscious" people can say "getting money" is a part of that "imperialist pie" all you want, but even after the revolution there's going to have to be some type of currency, with some type of practical economic structure, with some type of system to govern/maintain it, outside of what someone dreamed up in a utopian dream world after the revolution. And that economic structure has to be set up to where everybody has a part of it's fruits, or has the potential to have a part of it, and the necessary tools to put themselves in the position to get a part of it. If not, that "dream world after the revolution" won't last long. Period.

No comments:

Post a Comment