This is NOT YOUR REVOLUTION. So please stop trying to own it.
When a house is on fire, no one cares who has the water. And indeed, the house is on fire.
Nobody owns a revolution.
This is not my revolution.
This is not your revolution.
The very nature of a revolution means it cannot be boxed in. A revolution is defined as a sudden, radical, or complete change and change cannot be contained. A revolution will not fit neatly within your Crayola lines. A revolution is fluid. A revolution flows where it wants. A revolution will not always possess people that look like you, that think like you, that move like you, that do what you do. A revolution is promiscuous. It goes where it wants, how it wants, attaches to who it wants. A revolution fucks someone’s conscience so thoroughly that when they get up, they have wrestled in the bed of injustice and now stare at humanity who looks back at them naked and unashamed, crying out for them to see the world through their eyes. Through the eyes of father burying his child in Aleppo. Through the eyes of a Black mother praying that her son returns home safely. Through the eyes of a Muslim woman that contemplates wearing her hijab. Through the eyes of a Black mother wondering if the world will ever recognize that her daughter is missing. Through the eyes of a LGBTQ person wondering if they are safe in their neighborhood. Through the eyes of a transgender woman praying to make it in this world another day. Can you see the revolution through their eyes?
A revolution will not look how you want it to look. The very nature of the word revolution means it revolves. It is circular. Ever moving, ever changing, ever evolving.
And who are we to say what the revolution looks like? Gil Scott-Heron told us, “The revolution will not be televised,” but it is. Because the revolution has been “technologized”. The revolution takes place on Twitter. The revolution is on SnapChat in 10-second increments. The revolution is streamed live on Facebook. Instantaneous images of atrocities for us to tweet, retweet, post, and repost. We have witnessed the revolution on Iphone’s, Androids, PC’s and Mac-books around the world. Beaten and dead bodies lying in streets, images burned into our psyche, which opened the world to our reality- life ain’t been no crystal stair. And who are we, to mock those that give us the information? Information we would have never known unless it was shared on social media? Who are we to judge those that are doing their part the only way they know how or can do their part? Who are we to say how you must do your part when it comes to revolution? The revolution is big enough not to be homogeneous. As a matter of fact, I prefer my revolution shaken and stirred, mixed up, undefined and inclusive.
It does not matter what you do. What matters is that you DO SOMETHING! It is time out for selective vision, pretending that you cannot see the horror, injustice and suffering all around you.
However, everyone is not called to be Martin Luther King Jr. Everyone is not called to be Assata Shakur. Everyone is not called to be Angela Davis. Everyone is not called to be Malcolm X. The body cannot function as a unit if every part is the hand. So, find your part in the body of justice.
My answer to those that ask me, “What can I do?” It is simple. DO YOUR PART!
If you can write a poem, write. If you sing, sing a song. If you cook, make the sandwiches and fry the fish. If you dance, dance for justice to bring awareness. If you get on social media, post information to keep the masses aware. If you draw, make the signs for a protest. If you code, design a program that will bring awareness. If you build websites, offer your skills to an up and coming organization fighting for justice. If you are good with children, babysit while parents are at a march. If you have a peaceful home, offer someone a place to come collect themselves. If you have a car, drive someone to a protest. If you have financial resources, invest them in the revolution. If you a place of position and influence, use it to speak against inequality. If you are in political office, stand up for policies that benefit the least of those. If you own a business, hire the qualified and often overlooked minority. If you stand in a pulpit, preach against injustice. If you are a journalist, write unbiased news. If you have privilege, use it for someone that doesn’t. If you are breathing…do something.
I do not stand in a position to judge what you do. EVERYONE HAS A ROLE IN THE REVOLUTION. Your mission is to do SOMETHING! What isn’t an option, if you desire that this world change, is to do nothing. Find what you can do and do it! The revolution is as close as your own front door. Vow to impact those around you. Vow to make a difference in YOUR corner of the world. I am not asking that you boil the ocean. I am asking that you pick up a glass of water and help put out the fires of injustice that rage all around us in this world!
The best activism is the ONE THAT YOU WILL DO! DO THAT! And be amazed how WE can change the world one act of love, compassion, and humanity at a time!