I Will Not Conform, I Will Transform.

 Photo Credit: Eroc Arroyo-Montano

Photo Credit: Eroc Arroyo-Montano

“To make a revolution, people must not only struggle against existing institutions. They must make a philosophical/ spiritual leap and become more 'human' human beings. In order to change/ transform the world, they must change/ transform themselves.”

-Grace Lee Boggs

 

Capitalism and colonialism frame debt as blame worthy. They use debt as a mechanism for social control. They frame poverty as worthy of punishment. Capitalism and colonialism function as a belief system. A belief system that many people have been indoctrinated with. For many it is imposed until it becomes a part of their conditioning. Fighting these systems of the state requires an internal excavation of sorts. A realization that the conditioning is real and that as a framework it can be and needs to be removed and replaced.

Those people who are creating these economic disparities, creating deep debt, are exploiting poverty. These people benefit from our oppression. These are the same people creating the policies (or funding the politicians and think tanks that are writing and passing the policies). It is a clear conflict of interest. They literally make money off of our pain, our colonization, and then we think they will come up with the solution? That’s nonsense, they will not, they won't, it's not in their interest. We need a radical (r)evolution to get free, beyond reform, beyond their system.
 
Healing justice must be a priority in order for a decolonized, interconnected, interdependent, intergenerational movement to truly blossom. Transforming our individual and collective trauma into a deep capacity to heal our communities, strengthens our cultural (r)evolution for liberation.
 
Since its inception, the U.S. has required those who are being oppressed to unite with accomplices and fight back –– or continue to be exploited. Historically, from the Abolitionists, Suffragists, and the Civil Rights movement to modern social movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock, an organized radical resistance has been the vehicle for social change. Social movements have organized to combat the roots of inequality: white supremacy, capitalism and heteropatriarchy in the U.S. These movements have shown over and over again that there is a need to build coalitions across social issues and agitate, agitate, agitate!

When asked what our priorities should be after the recent U.S. Presidential election, activist and scholar Angela Davis said, “I think we need to build community, we need to come together. We cannot allow Donald Trump to govern the way that he wants to. It’s probably going to mean doing a lot of civil disobedience, being disruptive, but we also have to build something constructive. We can’t just engage on the anti-side of the political struggle.”

At this critical moment, how will we choose to live, learn and love while remaining true to our communities and ourselves? In what ways can we develop substantive connections across social movements? How do we resist fascism? What does collective resistance and coalition building look like moving forward? How are we decolonizing our movements and strategies? What does liberation mean to our movements? How do our coalitions evolve to address these new challenges? How do we collectively strengthen our support of movements against social injustices across the United States of America?

It is beyond time to come together, connect, build coalition, agitate and resist!

And LOVE--

Love like love is the work, the answer, the question, the truth. 

Love like your loving is the healing, because it is. 

Love like your imperfections and flaws, are where your humanity meets your will to evolve.

Love like shame is a tool of oppression; love like deep cynicism is poison.

Love like understanding and striving to understand, will expand our ability to be understood. 

Love like our ancestors wanted us to love. 

Love like our children deserve us to love. 

Love like knowing the trauma was not your fault. 

Love like healing is the gift you give your loved ones and community. 

Love like your story matters, because it does.

Love like this existence is nothing without love. 

The fight for holistic liberation and transformation requires healing at its forefront. Especially for those in the margins. The toxicity and poison are real. The trauma inflicted is real. 

With deep healing comes transformation. 

Our healing can not be a side thought, it is an instrumental part of the work. We may not actually see that deep justice-freedom in our lifetimes, but the healing we do will have reverberations on the next generations that will.

There are layers to this y'all. 

Beyond the simple truths are a complex web of manufactured realities that purposely create confusion and delusion. White supremacy is a monster that attacks its enemies mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. We have to build our defenses and offenses on each end. We need to be in conversation with each other and with ourselves. 

We need each other's perspectives, experiences and love. When we say in unity there's strength that is more than a rally cry, more than just a turn of phrase. It is a call to action that those of us who are explicitly pro-oppressed peoples and follow the leadership of the most vulnerable, must build together. 

I believe in the power of the people.

Contorting in and out of our truths in order to make others comfortable is a tiresome and very colonizing spiritual practice.  

How does cultivating love of self and others become a collective social act of LOVE? How does Love manifest beyond the spiritual and emotional into the political? How does love + action help us transform unjust economic policies? How does Collective love push our drive towards a just world? 

What does it mean to do the internal and external work to cultivate and spread love as an act of liberation?

This next generation seems more capable of grasping the concept that we need to heal from our traumatic experiences, personal, collective, current and historical traumas. I see more young folks stepping up and out and speaking on the mental illnesses that afflict so many of our communities. They speak out about our toxic environments, our sick dominant culture. I see more youth connecting the dots to the ways that the system perpetuates these cycles and benefits from our inability to go to the root. Now more than ever before, I see people having conversations about mental health.

We are not even close to where we need to be, but the fact that these conversations and spaces for healing (for us and by us) are being created, is so very affirming.

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe... Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” 
― Arundhati Roy

 Artist: Mear One title: David And Goliath. Soul Rebel!!

Artist: Mear One title: David And Goliath. Soul Rebel!!