Tuesday, July 10, 2012

{r}evolution begins in your neighbor/hood

Peace Family: Sorry this update is late, trying to listen to and follow of the example of those older and wiser than me, I decided to take a day of rest yesterday. I've been spending a lot of time contemplating the ways that capitalism has shaped and misshaped my identity. There is no doubt that to make true change it takes a lot of hard work and struggle, but capitalism is the voice in my head that tells me to work without stopping and without a breath because it assures that I will not survive long enough to detect my chains and discern a way out of my oppression. It's hard for me to look at anything in the world nowadays without thinking about how capitalism has affected it. Does that make me a communist or a socialist? Not necessarily. I'm reminded of the heavy critiques of Martin Luther King, Jr. on capitalism, and how often he had to fend off accusations of supporting communism. I'm also reminded of the accusations that are faced by individuals in our country who have the courage to question the actions and policies of our politicians and are told that they are unamerican and that if they don't like our country they should leave our country. So no, I'm not anti-capitalism, I'm also not pro-capitalism, I'm pro whatever brings dignity, unity and love to all of creation. I'm not anti-american, I'm also not pro-american, I'm pro-humanity and anything that heals the divisions in our communities rather than exploits them, which is what so many of our american policies tend to to do. To me, the places where capitalism's affects are most keenly felt are within those divisions in our communities and neighborhoods. There is no more disgusting example of this than America's crack epidemic. It made clear to the world how the American mindset was one in which there was both a willingness (and in many cases) a necessity to do anything for a dollar. But I am not using this an example of how people will buy and sell their own destructions, rather I use it because it shows exploitation at it's very worse in that the ones who benefited from this destruction were not the ones who were buying and selling, rather it was the ones who came in AFTER the destruction and bought up our neighborhoods which in many ways was also our histories. It is this kind of analysis of capitalism and our neighborhoods that makes me think of Detroit Leader Yusef Shakur. Here is a Black man who has every right to literally go around bombing the system, instead he chooses to stay and love his community and neighborhood and bring about it's re-evolution. He is constantly reminding us that we must "overstand" the entire purpose of capitalism is to sever us from one another, but most especially from our very roots, which is the thing that can most sustain you. "Putting the neighbor back in the 'hood," as he says then becomes the most {r}evolutionary act that one can do. Why? Because if we have a "strong neighborhoods we will have a strong city." And if we have strong cities we will have a strong country. And if we have a strong country we will have a strong world. It all builds out y'all. So please forgive me if I'm sounding negative when I say this, but my understanding of capitalism is that it likes to brag hella hard on itself and act like it's shit don't stink. That's kind of a lie. I want to encourage you all as you go throughout your days to think about how capitalism affects everything that you do and experience, and really contemplate the ways that it has wreaked havoc and destruction on your own relationships and communities. Because truly, we cannot heal until we identify our wounds. Thanks brother Yusef, for helping overstand what's good. One love, Tai Amri

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