I remember one time I was talking about how capitalism was failing and classmate-friend-teacher-organizer Mia Herndon said “capitalism is working exactly as it is meant to. in competition and constant growth, those who don’t compete, or who compete less viciously, suffer, serve and struggle.”
Now it feels to some people like America is failing, like the people who said “make America great again” are confused. But this is the trajectory of nation states, of borders and white supremacy. Deepening our anti-capitalist and post-nationalist analyses will help make this moment an opportunity.
Also, saying “I told you so” in any way is tacky and diminishes the speaker, because saying is not enough if we don’t effectively organize to make our visions palpable and our strategies collective. So we knew “make America great again”, when uttered by white supremacists, was not harkening the racism of the 1980s, or even 1950s, but the era of chattel slavery that preceded and seeded our current prison system. We may have done our very best, but we did not organize effectively enough to have the power to stop this moment.
But now we can.
This moment is our ledge, or choice point.
We are as free as we choose to be. (Baldwin)
Now we can put a moratorium on shading and attacking other factions of movement on the internet (or in meetings, or with funders) and either choose to collaborate or ignore other efforts while still counting them as part of our own resistance momentum.
Now we can look at each person, regardless of background or experience, as a potential comrade (Butler) and figure out how we must transform ourselves to transform the dynamic (Boggs) in the name of liberation. I have been practicing this in cabs – I’ve had three transformative conversations with drivers in the last three days – people just need one suggestion, one encouragement to question everything.
Now we must look within ourselves and ask what actions we are willing to take, what interventions we are capable of, if we can will ourselves into honest conversations, if we believe in our visions enough to step towards them, if we are brave enough to assert the future we require and to shape it.
The other option is to survive for a while, pointing at the very sharp thing aimed at our hearts and getting closer by the minute.
Adapt! Dodge, weave, learn from the L, slip out of your ego, hold each other, scream the truth and keep moving towards life. Everything is going fine in this realization of someone else’s imagination.
But we dream another world, and we make it come true.
Reprinted with permission from adrienne maree brown.
adrienne maree brown is:
– a writer
– a sci-fi/Octavia Butler scholar
– an organizational healer
– a pleasure activist
– a facilitator
– a life/love/relationship/work coach
– a network weaver
– a speaker/singer (including wedding singer) and
– a doula
living in Detroit.