Oh You Didn’t Know: Revolution Is Not Quite What You Think

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Personal

Once upon a time, America was a place where people fought for what they believed in no matter who they had to fight against. Be it the British on the East Coast, Mexicans in Texas or each other over slavery, Americans would get it shaking for their principles.

Fast forward to a new form of revolution. Sit ins, Boycotting and marching took the place of guns for an oppressed and out gunned people looking for equality. They were no less revolutionary than their musket toting counterparts, they were just doing what they could with what they had.

Regardless of the situation, revolution is brought about when people have had enough of the conditions in which they live and are willing to make great sacrifices to make a change. With that, I welcome you to America in 2014. People spend more time attacking each other for not being revolutionary instead of leading by example and getting their hands dirty. The average American will denounce their citizenship and call their fellow man cowards before taking a personal step towards change. We have become a nation of people who rant behind the mask of social media as opposed to those who actively seek and bring change.

So then, what about me? Am I not just adding to the noise? To that, I say nay. I live within my means and do what I can. I support my friends and family in righteous endeavors and do what I can to catch them if they should fall.  Support is a MAJOR component to revolution. I could take to Facebook and Twitter and call out my generation for not producing another Martin or Malcolm, but what would that do? Would my time not be better spent supporting and encouraging my brother to work hard for that promotion to take care of his kids? Or support my sister when she’s stressed about her volunteer work and give her the encouragement to go out and make lives better? That’s where your energy should go. There are many a large scale force at work against you, this is true, but we are not all in a position to take it out head on. A foundation of support must be in place before we can face the enemy, whoever or whatever it may be.

As for those who are in “a position to make a change”, I have learned to forgive them. Yes, forgive them. I once sat at home fuming at the Jay-Zs and Diddys of the world who I thought could change hip hop for the better. I sat disgusted when musicians continued to play concert dates in Florida after Trayvon Martin. I then realized, they are just people, no different than I. They may appear to have the power, but what control do they truly have when faced with the fear of losing all that they have ever hoped for? They lack a true foundation of support. Fans are ever fickle and record companies are no better. If they take a stand and their label drops them, would we really support them? It is historically not in our nature to do so. Yes they have millions and yes they could stand to have their pockets take a hit (which they constantly remind us in EVERY song), but do you REALLY expect them to make the stand up move in crunch time? I did and that was foolish of me. They are people. Scared people. People with hundreds living off of what they do or say and it is a pressure that is difficult to understand unless you live that life. The most difficult part for the average person to understand is, we put them there. If you are so truly disheartened by what your stars and celebrities do, just know you made it this way.

Through all that rambling, the bottom line is, revolution in America no longer exists as it did. There are two ways to bring about change, TRUE change and that is through money or violence. Seeing as how the average person has no interest in putting up money to have their voice heard, the words of Malcolm X immediately come to mind: “You haven’t got a revolution that doesn’t involve bloodshed…and you’re afraid to bleed”. It is true. Many of us are afraid to bleed though are worldwide counterparts are not. We would rather hope and pray and wish for someone to stand up and lead us. Those days are done, my friends. We must all be leaders in our own right. We must lead our peers and help them be greater. We must lead our children so they may be better than us. We must look out for each other because the powers that be have no intention on looking out for us. Let the revolution begin with you, in your mind, in your beliefs, with your family and your friends. Stop putting down people who are working just as hard as you to get out of hard times and stop lifting up people who make your life more difficult by perpetuating stereotypes that you get judged by everyday. Let history look back at this time and say that a new type of revolution happened. A silent, but powerful one.

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