Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Revolution Has To Be Well Informed

We're mad. We're angry. We're frustrated. We're ready to get down like Three Six Mafia.

Mychal Bell. Robert Bailey Jr. Carwin Jones. Bryant Purvis. Theo Shaw. Jesse Ray Beard. Genarlow Wilson. Sean Bell. Yeah, we've got plenty of reasons to be pissed off right now. But people, if we're gonna channel our pissed-off'ness into making change, we've got to be well informed.

Now, I know me and a couple others kinda tripped on what seemed to be fashion statement protesting. In hindsight, I can't be too mad at people giving a damn and at least being somewhat aware and proactive, kudos. But, we have to realize, that if we are going to change anything locally, nationally or globally--WE HAVE TO BE INFORMED!

Today, an email was swirling around about Shaquanda Cotton, a teenage girl in Texas who was sentenced to 7-years imprisonment for shoving a school teacher. The uproar over this case came about because the same judge tried a 14-year old White girl for arson and only gave her probation. The email was based off a press release about this injustice...that was made in March 2007. Shaquanda, similar to Mychal Bell, had already served a year in jail.

However, followers of this story would know that Shaquanda was released from jail in April 2007, weeks after the story broke. So yes, there is a shining example of what proper media coverage and voices of protest can do. But we have to be better informed!

This email, which urged to write Shaquanda letters and protest for her release came to me from at least three different people today, not to mention, it also came in the form of a Myspace bulletin from one of our more politically-minded MC's.

To the best of my knowledge, and based off my latest readings, Texas declined her appeal in July. Its not yet clear as to if she will be sent back to jail. But one thing is for sure, she is NOT currently incarcerated, she is STILL free. However, it looks like since the appeal was declined, this blemish will remain on her record.

Don't get me wrong, I don't write posts like this to make it sound like I'm saying "I know more than you!" or "I was protesting before you!" All I'm asking is if we are going to start a revolution, movement, change or whatever you want to call it, WE HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THE HELL WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!

I remember when I was really just starting to get my feet wet in writing, I had a chance to interview Chairman Fred Hampton Jr back during the whole VOTE OR DIE craze. Off top, he told me he was happy that I went through the trouble of hunting him down and contacting him for an interview. But, he also told me that he was a stickler for information and that he wasn't gonna allow me to make broad statements or ask half-informed questions during the interview. And I tell you, the couple of times that I did say some lame shit, he let me have it. (Hold on, now that I remember, I wasn't the one saying the lame shit, it was one of my bosses who was listening over my shoulder feeding me their lame-ass questions every 10 minutes) The bottom line is, those couple of times Chairman Fred got on my ass, I know it was coming from a place of love. He knew that the key to evoking any kind of change is being well informed.

So to all of US, who are about ready to start stirring some shit up and change our lives and the lives around us...STAY INFORMED! We can't afford to bring plastic knives to the gun fight.



YaBoy Po said...

niggas dont watch the news

R.E. said...

Man, hell nah! They're trying to turn off my lights right now, cuz. Don't you see the injustice in this. It's cause I'm black. I'm sending out an email blast tomorrow.

Stay informed!!!

Gabby's World said...

Excellent piece.

jacinta said...

you're right the revolution does have to be well informed. but trust, what is going on now is NOT A REVOLUTION. it's just people taking baby steps toward finally being aware and giving a rat's ass.

as i said in my blog a few days ago, i don't give a damn why people were concerned about Jena, or if it was the trendy thing to do... how can those terms-- "trendy" "fashion statement protesting" "bandwagon protesters"--be applied to any social/political movement???? do you seriously think that everyone who was involved in the civil rights movement of the 50s and especially the 60s were 1) well informed of the specifics of each and every case and 2) were not simply latching on to the bravery of the people who were well informed and had been there, in the trenches from day one??

yes, people shoulda doubled checked the story before blasting (myself included) but i'm STILL glad, months later that people did make some attempt to let folks know what was going on-- even if there were developments in the story that were left out. the point is-- it's unacceptable. people need to know those kids in Jena (and unlike the King blogger, i don't give a damn whether folks know their names or not) are not the only ones being raped by our criminal "justice" system. it goes on, and on and on. instead of people complaining about how or why people are being concerned/protesting/trying to raise awareness, just be glad that they are. if they weren't doing anything, people would be whining about that. we finally have people showing legitimate concern...stop criticizing and capitalize on it.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

they shole dont read newspapers