On Social Media, Lack-tivism, and the Immanence of Depression

The underlying pain of it all — ‪#‎Ferguson‬ ‪#‎Gaza‬ ‪#‎ISIS‬ to name but a few re: American hegemony, oppression, racism, subjugation, expropriation, alienation, paramilitary domination that stretches across the globe — is the wound it exposes: Our inability in post/modernity to point to countable locations of power to call for accountability and pursue radical change.

We are utterly lost, running to social media and protests to generate a feeling of activism in which we can believe, if only for a minute, that change will come if we demand it…only to reach a dark tunnel where we face the inevitable questions, ‘What are we doing?’ ‘What is happening?’ ‘Why is this (still) happening again and again?’ ‘Oh, that is happening too?’ The police forces become more militarized. US and Israel share their technologies of terror, control, surveillance, and murder. Martial Law lingers in the distance. Colonialism was always already here.

Eyes turned towards President Obama, ears eager for words of comfort and plans of immediate action against police brutality in the case of ‪#‎MichaelBrown‬…no therapy there. We latch onto the ‪#‎BDSMovement‬, only to realize, we are but a few…the airstrikes continue. Depression sinks in.

At the end of the night, Facebook offers nothing short of despair and we retreat to our dreamworlds, hoping for at least a few hours in paradise. We wake up, the possibilities of the new day are promising momentarily… alas, dreams deferred, once again. We manage to maneuver ourselves to work, sick of the system as we concede with the system to ‘earn a living.’

And the socio-politico-economic-academic elites wonder, ‘Why do they want the destruction of society as we know it?’ Because we’re sick of you and what you know. Because nothing short of a revolution will ever be enough.

Nothing short of a revolution will ever be enough.

08-20 / 13:05 / reblog

“You realize that everything the police are doing in Ferguson is carefully calculated, right? They’re purposely turning peaceful protests into riots. They’re purposely committing violence to incite violence. From saying ‘We won’t be answering 911 calls,’ which is a very clever way to set themselves up to be able to say, ‘We were afraid for our safety - any call could really be an ambush, our lives were in danger’ right down to the camouflage and the military tanks and wearing more body armor than a soldier in a war zone. Its exactly why they’re going for a media blackout - yet allowing certain photos through - they WANT you to see their tanks. They want you to see their riot gear. They WANT you to see a war-zone. They’re trying to sell the world the idea that this community is inherently and constantly a source of violence and turmoil - they want you to think that they [the police] are being attacked daily in a place so vicious they need full body armor. You know why? Because then, at the end of the day, you might just be able to believe the story they’re going to spin. They’re going to tell you that this (white) officer goes to work in this war zone every day - that he spends every working moment in constant fear for his life. They’re going to tell you that Michael Brown attacked this officer. And then they’re going to bring up everything that has happened in the aftermath and try to use it to convince you that he shot that little boy because he was afraid for his life. They’re setting up a defense. You mark my words, they’re trying to set up a defense.”

My mom’s take on what’s going on in Ferguson (via actualbanshee)

To Be at Lollapalooza; To Be a Low-Wage Security Guard at Lollapalooza

I’ve been standing here for some time now. Friday; Day one of Lollapalooza from behind the scenes; Day one of Lollapalooza from behind the barbed wire fences.

It’s interesting. I get to man the only entrance into the FYE VIP area. Meaning: I get to let artists into a private area before their autograph sessions with fans almost as eager as Bey’s Beehive.

It’s uninteresting. I stand around waiting for people with specially designated wristbands. Then I open the makeshift gate. Grabbing the fence by its diamond-shape patterned wire, I pull until the opening is large enough for those holier than thou to pass through, escorted on golf carts. My hand begins to hurt after the third hour; Why isn’t this gate user — worker — friendly?

One member of an entourage gave me a high five. It was a nice gesture.

And I watch. Birds flying around. Clouds — Earth’s first shape-shifters, ‘Will the rain hold off?’ I wonder. A dragonfly lands on my shoulder, get off.

Oh my, more policemen and ambulances making sure the consumption of alcohol by those underage and hallucinogens isn’t entirely out of hand/attending only to people who appear to be on the brink of death. Few arrests will be made here. None of the other low wage security personnel get it either.

We, the security guard rejects, get paid a hair above minimum wage to stand at our posts and people watch. We’re tasked with ensuring that no one sneaks into our respective zones. Meaning: We stand around idly for the majority of our shifts. Looking. I saw a group of five young white men and women — a small sample of analysts in corporate America not necessarily working hard, but certainly playing hard — step out of a stretch limousine at the Northern festival entrance at Monroe and Columbus. Others are chauffeured in Cadillac Escalades. None of the other low wage security personnel get it either.

A mulatta — always stunning, flavorful, and hipper than hip-hop — appears to be dating the lead band member of an all male indie group. And so. many. beautiful. scantily. clad. white. and. fair. skinned. women.

Have you ever had to stand on your feet nearly 15 hours straight with only a 30 minute break to eat a cold meat sandwich that resembles those served in middle schools with subsidized lunch programs: Ham stank, bread stale, condiments been ran out.

I made friends with security guards working nearby for other private companies. We complain together, share laughs and cigarettes, and swap food (‘Yo, can I get an apple? I got some ketchup for you’). An older woman takes a seat on the unused FYE cart at her post; Her supervisor sees her and demands that she stands; My coworker, with suspicion, tells my supervisor that I’m making friends; A bouncer comes to make sure that my new homies aren’t “causing any trouble back here.” The higher-ups sense the development of a workers revolution in its early stages. Companionship, camaraderie, and solidarity among workers has always troubled capitalism. Techniques of containment and control are kicked into gear. I surely won’t be at this post tomorrow.

Is it surprising that we’re mostly non-white Latin@s, and black men and women? While those ordained with the privilege of driving around apparently famous musicians and their entourages, and those event organizers scrambling about with things do look like humans without the hue: Behold, your white men of the world.

Damn, I can’t wait for that paycheck. Damn, I need that paycheck.

08-20 / 0:40 / reblog

Peaceful vigils honoring the innocent lives lost and pay respect to those whose lives have been affected by police brutality will gather on August 14, 2014 at 7pm EST/4pm PT. Moment of silence will start at the: 20 minute mark.

Source: http://dakrolak.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/nmos14-infographic/

08-14 / 11:36 / reblog

Title: Was it gang violence or police brutality? <— Why I do not give a fuck

Rashid Johnson sends shivers down our backs
feels as if our hearts are bout to crack
Aren’t they?
Or should we live to die another day?

'Cause we've heard what it's like
to be young and
Black
in a society that wants you
Dead
on your back.

And that’s a fact.

08-12 / 18:47 / 1 note / reblog

Afrofuturism and Extraterrestrial Sounds

atrewn:

Movements through Afrofuturist musical productions of Generation Y + Z…the extraterrestrial sounds of millennial cyborgs.

The music, discussions, and cyborg performances collected on this page are productive of and for Afrofuturism. They reflect the manifestation of deep Black history and oral + sonic traditions, as well as the primacy of Blackness to post/modernity. This is a page which remembers the legacies of Miles Davis, Sun Ra, and Ishmael Reed while documenting the shapeshifting electromagnetic kindred sound magicians of the new millennium.

Get funky. Lose your human self through time travel. Imagine freedoms through otherworldly adventures. And always, in the words of Palaceer Lazaro, “Stay fresher than the oppressor.”

BUMP THIS PAGE IS BACK IN ACTION GET YO MUSICAL CRAVINGS SATISFIED MY KINDRED CYBORGS WITH THE GHOSTLY SOUNDSCAPES OF THE ABJECT MAKING YOU WANNA BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE SWEEERRRRVE HIT THAT RHYTHM WHERE ARE WE? THE SELF IS NEVER THE SAME.

The 'MHP' Black Feminism Syllabus

newwavefeminism:

newwavefeminism:

The link has a video to the open letter, the syllabus is below:

Cooper, Anna Julia. A Voice From the South.

Hunter, Tera.  To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War.

Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.

Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision.

Shange, Ntozke. For colored girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf.

Theoharis, Jeanne. The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.

I found myself in need of new literature to pick up before the school year begins again, great place to start - repost in case others are also looking for new things to read

How Cooperation Jackson is Transforming the Poorest State in the U.S.

With a median household income of just over $37,000, Mississippi is the poorest state in the United States. A powerhouse organization promoting economic justice, Cooperation Jackson was born of a need to transform the state, in particular its capital and largest city, Jackson. Cooperation Jackson is a network of interconnected yet independent institutions including an incubator and training center, a cooperative bank, and a federation of established cooperatives. Together, they’re exploring the potential of cooperatives to transform local communities.

Cooperation Jackson is emerging as a leader in the global cooperative movement and the struggle for economic democracy. Among other things, the organization teaches people about the importance of worker cooperatives and how to create one. It recently hosted the Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference, to lay a foundation for the transformation of the city and establish it as a center for economic democracy. The event was a great success, attracting international attention and moving Cooperation Jackson further into the spotlight.

Shareable caught up with Kali Akuno, Coordinator of Cooperation Jackson, to talk about the impact that the organization has had on the community, the challenges that it faces from political opposition, and how they’re planting the seeds for wealth equity in an impoverished region.

Shareable: Cooperation Jackson consists of a federation of cooperatives, an incubator, a training center, and a cooperative bank. This pretty much covers the bases for the new economy. Can you talk about the plan for Cooperation Jackson and how it came about?

Kali Akuno: Cooperation Jackson is the realization of a vision that is long in the making. The vision was produced by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the New Afrikan People’s Organization and began to be operationalized in 2005, when these two entities started to develop a long-term strategy to transform the city of Jackson and the state of Mississippi. The vision is known as the Jackson-Kush Plan, and was made public in 2011 via a document with that same title. Cooperation Jackson is the manifestation of the solidarity economy aspect of that transformative vision.

Cooperation Jackson has many ambitious plans. It would probably take a book to deal with them all. But, one of our primary objectives is to have a minimum of 10 percent of the jobs in Jackson be drawn directly from the federation of worker cooperatives that we are producing. And we are looking to have an even greater percentage of the city’s GNP being produced by Cooperation Jackson.

Cooperation Jackson delegates at the Worker Cooperative National Conference

How has Cooperation Jackson been received and what kind of impact has it had on the community?

Cooperation Jackson is being extremely well-received by the vast majority of the residents of Jackson. People are enthused with our vision of job creation and distributing wealth in an equitable manner. However, not everyone is pleased. Unfortunately, many of the campaign contributors to the new mayor of the city are very oppositional to Cooperation Jackson, and the vision of justice, equity and equality that it puts forward.

Without question, the arms that are open to us are far more powerful than the few detractors when they act as a unified front. But, the detractors presently control much of the economy of the city and region, so we have a fight on our hands.

What’s the importance of creating worker-owned cooperatives, especially in Jackson?

The most fundamental piece about creating worker owned cooperatives in Jackson is planting the seed for the development of economic democracy. Economic democracy will produce wealth equity, and in a city that is as impoverished as Jackson is, this is fundamental to the improvement of the living conditions and life chances of the vast majority of its residents.

The Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference attracted international attention and further established Cooperation Jackson as a leader in the movement.

What successes has Cooperation Jackson had and what projects is the organization currently focused on?

Our greatest triumph to date was successfully hosting the Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference, which was held at Jackson State University in early May. This conference raised the national and international profile and visibility of Jackson and it enabled us to train more than 100 Jacksonians in the basics of how to start a worker cooperative.

Any outcomes or key takeaways from the conference that you’d like to share?

The Jackson Rising conference expanded our network tenfold, has provided us with countless opportunities, and produced broad local, regional, national, and international support for our initiative, which is essential for our future success.

The late-Mayor Chokwe Lumumba was a champion for local cooperataive economics.

You have a rich history of organization and activism, including working for the late-Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. What’s the connection between Cooperation Jackson and the mayor? What effect has his passing had on the community and the organization?

Cooperation Jackson was originally designed to work in tandem with the Lumumba administration to incubate, educate, and help finance the startup costs for new cooperatives. The passing of our mayor means that we are having to kick-start our own development and growth without the institutional support of the municipal government. The loss of Mayor Lumumba was a hard blow to the community and a hard blow to the development of Cooperation Jackson. However, we firmly believe that the distributed leadership that existed within the social movements that we emerged from enable us to persevere and gradually overcome his loss.

Yes! Magazine proposed that Jackson may now be the capital of cooperative economics in the South. Do you see Jackson leading the South in creating a new economy?

Absolutely. We firmly believe that we can become the Mondragon of the South, and the U.S. for that matter, because of our strong social base in the community and our connection to the vibrant social movements in the city. Our connection with these forces provides us with many opportunities that do not exist in other cities in the U.S. Further, we believe that our geographic location provides us with a lot of opportunities to do extended regional, national, and international cooperative trade.

We believe we are in prime position to do many things that have not been done to scale in the U.S. overall as it relates to cooperative development and solidarity economics. The greatest challenge we have is securing the resources to fully capitalize our vision. That is our challenge. But, we have thousands of individuals in our community who ready and willing to work to make our city a beacon of the cooperative movement.

Kali Akuno at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation office in New York. Photo: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

What are your thoughts on the growing global cooperative movement and what is Jackson’s place in it?

We are pleased that since the economic crisis of 2007–2010 that more forces within the cooperative movement are becoming more in-tune and intertwined with the local and global movements for social justice, particularly the struggle to eliminate the gross wealth inequities that exist in the world today. Our experience in Jackson is centered on strong social movements being the driving engine for economic transformation and government reform. Our experiences over the last five years, we believe, can be very instructive to cooperators all over the country and the world, and we are more than happy to share our experiences with everyone.

What’s the big picture vision for Cooperation Jackson? What would you most like to see?

We would like to see Cooperation Jackson reach a significant scale and scope in relationship to the economy of the city and the region. Thus far, no cooperative in the U.S. has reached such a scale. We think that we can and this is what we want to offer to the movement. We truly believe that we can become the Mondragon of the South and we fully intend on realizing this vision.

“an other gaza”

in chaos one man collects

his daughter into a plastic bag

   oh my god the bag is leaking

one kisses a cave was baby boy face just this

morning braids unplaiting phosphorous

wordless exhaust smoke shock

 

what is it that remains of us now

then what is recyclable in us

 

men’s beards carry their lineage

refracted memory drones

drummed ears echo frequency

children call for siblings reborn

skulls fracture eyes the color purple

here the steeliest doctors weep

 

the sea waves shelled boys

sirens post explosions

 

all is shrapnel and hunger

none is safe all are waiting

between wall and wait and sea

and wall there is no day

what are we

flares rain metal escalation

 

descent upon heads ladders of spine collapse

night eats sleep the people hold fasts

 

children of lightening no rain

sewage into water skin flamed to ash

the women’s faces track lifelines

grief upon grief astronomical

dust was people last night

tunnel is the people now

 

raising horizon in coffins

there is no recovery

                                                                                        

she says they light the night with bombs

she says that’s not the sun at all

she says this is a crime against my heart

she says nothing

   touch me

she says listen

 

we are shelter and target

we are stars exploded

 

the people run into themselves for refuge

they catch up to their ghosts

between devastate and displace

what is destroyed again is everything

what is created is a hole

an other

 

 

                           suheir hammad

(via thatonesuheirhammad)

"Do You, be good at it, but I’ll always stand By You"

I met By You today in St. Augustine, FL. He’s a frail older skinny white man who was wearing an oversized white Sherwin Williams shirt, a classic straw boat hat, and some blue jeans that done seen some shit.

"Wassup youngblood."

"How you doin sir?"

He looked strung out; He reminded me not to be afraid of people who look strung out.

He shared with me his experiences as a hurricane chaser and, under the gravity of his name, the racialized horrors of Hurricane Katrina during his time as a community rebuilder. Hurricane Katrina exposed to him in spectacular form the embeddedness of racism in our society - he recalled - from the de/valuing of certain lives to the discursive and practiced criminalization of the black and poor.

By You; Standing by the poor and hated and ignored and exploited; Touching lives one “Wassup youngblood” at a time. I appreciate you, By You, one love.

I salute By You, “Be good.”

"Naw, fuck that, I’m gonna go get drunk. Do you, be good at it, but I’ll always stand By You."

07-25 / 18:06 / 2 notes / reblog

Thinking of Mother Palestine who adamantly refuses to die despite the spectacularized attempts of extermination directed towards her womb, a phrase of NU Professor of English John Alba Cutler at once sits on my soul and lifts it: Imáginas!(?)

Imagine!/Can you?

I’ll tell you what is harder than dying in Gaza by an Israeli missile deluxe. What is harder is that you get a phone call from the Israeli army telling you to evacuate your home because it will be bombed in ten minutes. Imagine; ten minutes; and your whole short history on the surface of Earth will be erased.” (Post by Suhel Nafar.)

Imagine!/Can you?

Imagine, as a question and as a practice. A movement towards empathy: a politics emerging from fundamental questions of humanity, a politics of deconstructing humanity’s limits; Towards nowhere and everywhere: the infinity of divinity; Towards noone and everyone: the you’s and I’s lost in the mystifying, sanctifying embrace of the unsung collective.

Imagine!/Can you?

And one day we’ll sing out—in our own idiomatic ways—glory, Glory, HALLELUJAH: Another world is possible.

07-17 / 23:28 / 3 notes / reblog

PEOPLE ARE DYING. TERROR IS ABOUT.

People have been dying. Families buried. Under the rubble of a fallen house. Holy airstrikes. Victims of a game of battleship, and who has all of the destroyers? Gather for the spectacle, don’t forget your lawn chairs, look over yonder, fireworks darling.

Terror has been and continues to be.

07-11 / 9:18 / 2 notes / reblog

Remember. 'Patriotism' is too often used to coerce the body politic into consenting to war, invasion, and violence on the international arena, from native genocide to Iraq. Patriotism violently effaces indigeneity. It always has.

Remember; It’s not to get down. Let’s be with one another and love in the midst of it all. Lets love. Let’s celebrate the love that wakes us up — never without inaudible frustration — despite it all. Let’s love in spite of it all, above it all, underneath it all. Let’s love above it all because love is underneath it all.

Re-member.

07-04 / 15:50 / 39 notes / reblog

“The statistics of the dead are far beyond our comprehension. The sheer size of the numbers is dangerously numbing, as Vasily Grossman instinctively understood. In his view, the duty of survivors was to try to recognize the millions of ghosts from the mass graves as individuals, not as nameless people in caricatured categories, because that sort of dehumanization was precisely what the perpetrators had sought to achieve.”

Antony Beevor, The Second World War. (via thelivingthinkpiece)

PA