I woke up this morning still processing the death of yet another brown body at the hands of our justice system; only to find out we'd lost another brother during my brief time away from our virtual world.
Last night, after work . . . my heart heavy, mind reeling, I went to the ATM. Withdrew my last twenty. Stopped by my dealers crib. Copped. And went to the homies’ crib to play 2k.
I don’t play 2k because I enjoy it — I mean it’s OK. There are better things to do with time.
I don’t play because I’m particularly good — I actually suck ass. Like, several asses; I’ve lost my last couple games by an average of 35 points.
I play 2k because it allows me to escape.
It allows me to not think.
To not think of black body being forced to pavement, white hands wrapped ‘round neck.
It allows me to not think of stray bullets from black hands hitting toddler . . . hitting grandmother, hitting black body through window.
It allows me to not think of mosque bombing . . . airport bombing . . . drone bombing . . . mass shooting . . . after mass shooting . . . after mass burning . . . after mass shooting.
It allows me to not think of methane leak . . . of mass dying off of bird, fish, elk, whale . . .
It allows me to not think of increased flooding worldwide, shores shrinking, drowning Polar, wildfire — drought.
It allows me to not think of our poisoned air, waterways, and food.
It allows me to not think of bench bum ass NBA players making 10+ million a year to watch their favorite players play from courtside seats, which is ironic since my playing of this game directly contributes to the fuckery that is.
It allows me to not think of the running joke that is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump being our next President.
It allows me to not think of being 28 and not owning or having much of anything aside from the clothes on my back.
That’s why I play 2k.
It’s an addiction much like anything else. And addiction is always rooted in our need to escape — to be somewhere else. Our need to COPE with our reality. Whether you’re playing 2k, smoking bud, snorting coke, popping pills, chugging beers, having sex, binge watching Netflix, or eating a double cheeseburger with pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo, curly fries, and pickle on a side —if you’re over indulging, you’re coping. And this mechanism will always find it’s foundation in our overwhelming need to escape the pain that is our everyday existence.
. . . but I’m tired of escaping.
I’m tired of numbing myself to the crass injustice I see and experience every second of everyday. Driving home, after my 2k binge, tears free flowing down my cheeks I asked myself: when?
When did I decide not to care?
When did I decide that it was okay not to feel? To distance myself from the struggle of my many brothers and sisters?
When did I decide their pain wasn’t my pain?
When did I lose my humanity?
Throughout my Life I’ve felt called to something greater . . . like I was here for a very specific purpose. And it wasn’t until I grew into a Man that I realized the vastness, complexity, and importance of that purpose: which is to foster change. Deep, penetrating, comprehensive, liberatingly evolutionary, Change.
I’ve spent the greater part of my adult life shying away from it — from this calling, lost in my want for success. Success in the guise of financial security, influence, material.
. . . but no more.
I can’t sit back and knowingly watch our world burn with my camera out, sharing, retweeting, hashtag, sad emoji — fetishizing the struggle.
Something needs to be done. Something HAS to be done.
We have to stop.
We have to stop watching and do our part.
We’re intrinsically woven into the fabric of this machine — this mechanism — we are its nuts, its bolts, its engine, its heart.
And in order to process. In order to redirect our current trajectory. We have to bring this machine — this mechanism — to a stand still.
For nearly a year now, I’ve been harping about a strike — #WhenAreWeAllGoingToGoOnStrike
I told myself I was going to write a book that laid out a comprehensive plan of how to go about striking as a collective — a global collective, feasibly i.e. in a way that everyone could take part in some capacity. Lofty goal, yes. But a goal I believe in nonetheless. But the scale of it overwhelmed me — ideating the entire process: writing it, illustrating it, and piecing it together, overwhelmed me.
And over the course of the past six to twelve months my focus has shifted.
As a Black Man.
As a Black Man in America — as spiritual and inclusive as I am — At this point in my Life, I’m only concerned with worrying about the fate of black and brown bodies.
We have to lead this revolution. It’s black and brown bodies that are going to tip the scales and play the largest role in helping humanity as whole gain its liberation.
We have to. That’s our role.
We’ve got the gahdamn JUICE. Sip it with two straws cause is thick af, JUICE. The most consumed, duplicated, capitalized on, fetishized culture/ people on the planet.
Sun only make us mo’ golden and chocolaty, mm, can I take a bite, people.
And the powers that be know that.
And whether we decide to walk in light or darkness is the only thing on the table, because we’re going to walk regardless, heads high, fists up.
So it’s on us to sculpt and mold a model for others to follow.
We have to lead the charge.
Though the climate is hot, temperatures running high, this remains a revolution that needs to be lead in Light, until the latter is forced upon us.
And this revolution can’t look like the revolutions of the past. They obviously didn’t work. They were quickly and swiftly stamped out, and then it was back to business as usual — cloaked under the illusion of freedom. Because of course we’ve been beaten down for so long that incremental moves in the right direction always look and feel like progress.
No, this revolution can’t look like the revolutions of the past.
And it’s many byproducts.
Are the elephant in the room.
It’s inherently destructive towards not only human life, but Life and its many expressions. We’re going through the greatest mass die off our planet’s experienced in recorded history.
It’s inherently anti-progress. Keeping the layman in the stone ages technologically because it’s profitable. Even going as far as to murder inventors, doctors, engineers, scientists, et. Al, who aim to push us forward as a civilization.
And it’s inherently steeped in slavery. In keeping wages, morale and self esteem low, the work week long, our children dumb, our people sick, our bank accounts negative — and brown people demoralized. No one owns anything. We’re trillions of dollars in debt as a collective. And we just keep on sprinting forward towards . . . what?
Quite frankly the shit makes zero sense and always has.
So back to the point — what does revolution look like? Specifically, what does a revolution lead in LIGHT look like?
This is an idea I’ve been mulling over for years now. And though I’m far from having the answer, I believe I’ve come up with a jump off point.
Because we’re so steeped in responsibility and conditioned to give a fuck about rules and law, in order to get mass buy-in, there has to be varying levels of participation.
A person with a family and a mortgage can’t necessarily participate on the scale a young person with very little responsibility can, and our effort needs to be framed to reflect this fact.
When I say #WhenAreWeAllGoingToGoOnStrike — most people probably envision, nobody going to work, nobody shopping, nobody participating in the machine, “until our demands are met” — which sounds good, the anarchist in me is uber down with the cause, but that model isn’t necessarily feasible nor sustainable.
What #WhenAreWeAllGoingToGoOnStrike really means is doing what youcan as an individual to aid in slowing this machine to a stand still.
i.e. it means meeting people where they’re at.
Really, at the core of it, it means empowering people to create a self-sustaining community of support and economic wealth that don’t revolve around corporate interest or government influence.
Here’s a list of actions that we can do toDAY that would make our presence felt by those in power (in no specific order).
1. Stop shopping at corporations (Walmart, Target, McDonalds, big box grocery stores, etc, etc).
a. This is how money gets recycled into the community. When we give our money to these corporations, it’s like throwing our money into a vacuum. It immediately stops circulating. Allow your money to circulate within the community. If you need lotion, buy it from the homie. If you need clothes, thrift or buy it from the homie. You need vegetables. Buy it from the homie. This is how we create economic wealth. This is how we cultivate entrepreneurship — by increasing our need for it.
b. McDonalds, Chipotle, Perkins — fuck these places. We need to stop being so got damn lazy. We need to start cooking again. The shit’s not even GOOD. Let’s be real. Paper plates? Stop it. Wash your fucking dishes. Enjoy the process. We have more than enough reasons and outlets not to support these institutions if we organize.
2. Become an entrepreneur/ Quit your job.
a. Find a skill/ trade you can flip — provide a service to the community.
i. Sell food/ candy out your crib
ii. Providing healing or holistic services
iii. Design/ alter clothes
iv. Be a carpenter
v. Be a freelance educator/ youth worker/ tutor/ childcare giver
b. We used to be a nation of artisans — now we pimp out our skills, for what? 11 dollars an hour? 15? 20? 25?
i. Hone a craft. Find a partner. A collective. And build.
3. Stop supporting sports.
a. I know, I know. We mark out over fucking sports. It’s our oldest past time. But at the end of the day, these corporations are hoarding the fuck out of their money. Players, coaches, owners, make millions on millions of dollars, that WE funnel into their pockets, yet reap none of the benefits. Why does this bench player deserve 40 million dollars? Our schools and neighborhoods are falling a part, but this guy gets 40 million to sit down? We support this injustice. KD and the warriors are going to win the next 2 championships anyway; this season looks like a filth flarn snooze fest. You can take a gahdamn break.
4. Support friends and family who are taking risks.
a. I wouldn’t have been able to quite my job and hone my skills as an artist in order to flip them if I didn’t have the support from my friends and family.
i. Friends funneling me gigs. My ma allowing me to live for the low as I sharpened by talent.
ii. I’ve gone from doing hours on hours of work for 30 bucks. To doing a couple hours of work for thousands. Help each other be great.
5. Check friends and family.
a. We all have the friends and family members who are uber steeped in conditioning. Our brothers, sisters, cousins, etc are the ones killing each other in the streets. Robbing each other. Fighting. Being toxic ass human beings. And it’s on us to check them. To correct behavior. To heal. Granted many of our family members are too far gone — but I also believe there’s no such thing. When you speak to humanity — people listen. When you speak to the heart. People listen. At the end of the day, we’re only human. And we need healing. Our families have been systematically deconstructed, and it’s time we put intention toward healing our Tribe.
b. We have to become better communicators. Far too often we speak to each other through ego — through pain — through trauma. Nothing good can come from discourse rooted in such things. We have to heal each other. We have to be sensitive. We have to be Light.
c. Stop being Petty and Childish.
6. Get in touch with spirit.
a. What we’re currently engaging in is spiritual warfare. The powers that be aim to rob us of our connection with All — with source — our connection with each other, and all other Life forms on this planet. They want us operating solely within the physical realm. The tangible. The material. Our society largely revolves around the “seven deadly sins”: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. We feed off the lowest of vibrations and wonder why we live in chaos.
i. Mind you, I’m a heathen af. But I’m about as connected to my spirit as one can be. Operating on this low level energy can only breed low level energy — darkness. And we need Light.
7. Stop watching TV
a. Tv is toxic. To us . . . to our children. Yet, we watch. We watch them demonize and fetishize black and brown bodies and their experience. We watch them leave us out of their productions. We watch them whip us and keep us in chains in 2016. We give them ratings. Ratings is money. No. No more.
b. It’s okay to get your fix. But be mindful. Please be mindful.
8. Practice wellness.
a. Our food is killing us. Meat is killing us (and the planet). If we could ease meat out of our diet, not only would we destroy a multi-billion dollar industry. But we’d add years to our lives, glow to our skin, as well as stop bringing life into this world only to be raised to live and die in their own filth.
b. Get fit — we need to be in the best condition of our lives for the times that lie ahead. We need clear minds and hearts if we hope to win this war.
c. Chill on drugs. Not only is it a slow death — but it keeps us foggy, docile, and distracted. It’s a form of escape. Not saying it’s not okay to indulge from time to time — but we have to chill on our destructive ass habits. They’re as accessible as they are for a reason. Every aspect of our reality is designed with intention.
9. Take it to the streets
a. Whether you’re marching and disrupting traffic or throwing an impromptu block party — we have to stop the flow of Life. We have to slow the machine bye any means necessary.
10. Arm yourself
a. Get a license. Don’t get a license. Who cares, just arm yourself. I hate guns. Hate them to death. But I understand their necessity. We have the right to protect ourselves, at all costs.
b. Hand to hand combat. Guns aren’t the only way one can arm themselves. Knowing how to protect you and yours is a top priority.
11. Connect with your community — build within your community
a. Not one person, or one organization can lead this charge. It takes a village. We need to speak — face to face. We need connect and love on each other, face to face. Everything via telephone/ social media is recorded. Now isn’t the time to be recorded. And we need to share energy with one another. We need to keep each other focused.
b. Our history is rich in Tribe. And unconsciously we naturally Tribe up — — surround ourselves with likeminded individuals. Much more intention needs to be put into this task. Combine funds — co-habitate — teach and learn from each other.
12. Arm our children
a. Arm them with insight. With perspective. With knowledge of the world in which they live.
b. We’re going to need them more than we can even imagine, and currently we’re failing them. I’m an educator. I’ve worked with children from 8 to 22. And they’re lost. We’re teaching them the same bullshit we were taught and it’s doing them a grave injustice. They have access to more information than we’ve ever had access to. They’re more connected than we ever were, but they need help understanding how to use it and navigate through it.
c. I, personally, would never send my children to school, but I understand its necessity (we work). But hopefully we can build a network of educators/ artists who are willing to lend themselves to the task — we don’t need more slaves. We need more soldiers.
13 Provide capital and resources for the struggle.
a. Many of us have land. Many of us have money. Many of us have connections. Many of us have insight — wisdom. We all have resources. Resources of all forms. They need to be allocated.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. And I’m not pretending to have any answers.
I’m just tired.
And something needs to be done. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but yesterday.
What sacrifices are you willing to make to get us — black and brown folk — humanity — on track?
What sacrifices are you willing to make for Progress? For the Liberation of future generations?
At this point on our timeline as a species — this is a question we should all be asking ourselves.
It’s the 4th quarter.
Email Me @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in touching base.