Friday, September 21, 2007
Is Jena 6 a "Watershed Moment"?
This time right now is a defining moment for us, as blackfolk and a nation. Not simply for Jena 6, but for those effected by Katrina, Mr. Genarlow Wilson, Mr. Sean Bell, the sister in West Virginia who was violently assaulted both (physically and sexually), and every instance of human rights violations against those decedents of transplanted Africans whose labor built this morally bankrupt republic.
There have been several defining or watershed moments in American history. August 28, 1963 has often been viewed as the watershed event of the civil rights movement, but there was "movement" happening both before and after the (2nd) March on Washington. I am drawn to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's last book, Where do we go from here, Chaos or Community? In this timeless text he reminds us that:
"Social action without education is a weak expression of pure energy. Deeds uninformed by educated thought can take false directions. When we go into action and confront our adversaries, we must be as armed with knowledge as they. Our policies should have the strength and deep analysis beneath them to be able to challenge the clever sophistries of our opponents"(155).
With that in mind, my push is toward sustainable solutions to the systemic problems caused by race, class, and gender. It is my hope that the so called black leadership that has converged in Jena is developing a program for movement in the most holistic since. Likewise I hope that those among the rank and file are not "waiting" for an edict from the likes of "Jesse" or "Rev. Al" to instruct them about what to do either. Dr. King NEVER got involved in protest...he was a proponent of movement and a symbol of movement as well. We are dealing with a sophisticated enemy and there is much at stake...the spirits and minds of our youth.
Moving forward we must remember the spirit of Frederick Douglass that cautions to us now, "power concedes nothing without a demand...it never has and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted by words or blows, or with both...the limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress" (4 Aug1857).
In this moment we must prescribe to a consciousness that speaks and acts boldly to speak truth to power, and not be shackled by the chains of greed and fear. The power we seek rests solely with the people...the leaders are those who will not be afraid as Claude McKay wrote to "face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!"
Posted by negrointellectual at 9:59 AM