From a NYC Teacher:

Sound the Alarms on Mass Incarceration

May 18, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Sound the alarms. The time to act is now. Carl Dix and Cornel West will be meeting on May 20 for a conversation around the following equation: Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide: Act to STOP It Now. One theme that Carl Dix will be diving into and illustrating throughout the evening will be that under this system, there is no future for our youth. I want to support that idea by contributing some heavy realizations I have made as a community worker in the South Bronx these past few weeks.

I work in a community that has recently dealt with yet another youth who lost his life to gun violence, Alphonza Bryant III. The community is in mourning. This youth was a senior in high school—some people would say he had the whole world in front of him. Some people, like the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. The mayor has used this teen as a poster child for what is now stop, question, and frisk. He has recently been on the news glorifying the practice of stop-and-frisk, defending its racist policies, even making the listener feel as though more stop-and-frisk would have prevented the teen's death.

When the mayor uses the murder of a teen as a reason to ramp up stop-and-frisk, anyone should be alarmed. We don't need more stop-and-frisk. We need much less of that. In fact, we need none of that. Even more, in fact, we need a radically different world. A world in which youth like Alphonza have a future that can be filled with something worthwhile. We need a revolution and we need a leader like Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, to be known amongst all strata of people.

I know there are plenty of you out there when they hear of a young person's death due to gun violence, you think well, where are the parents? Shouldn't they be the ones to get the kids off the streets and in the home around the dinner table? Where are the schools? Shouldn't they be teaching these kids how to read and write so they have other places to turn to besides the streets? Where are the politicians? Shouldn't they be passing laws that get guns off the streets? Where are the people who we can hold personally accountable? Because when things like this happen, it has to be all about personal accountability. Well, I have another way of looking at it. It's not the fault of any one person, or group. It's the whole damn system! The whole system is to blame for the murder of this youth, and millions more around the planet and throughout history for that matter. But I want to keep this lens in focus in light of recent events. It is the system—capitalism. It is because profit comes before people. Have you ever looked at a situation and said: we know how to solve this, why can't they (politicians and leaders) just get it done? It's not able to get done because the solution in most cases that is best for the people isn't best for profit. It's not profitable to get guns off the streets. It's not profitable to pay people higher wages for less time so they can be home with their children and put food on the table. It's not profitable to have all students be strong readers and writers. We have a top, so we must have a bottom. We can never have a more personable capitalism. Those things are in complete contradiction.

Until we have a whole new system, until we can bring a whole new way of living life into being, there will be more youth without a future. More young people being funneled down the prison pipeline. No way out. Looks almost devastating, doesn't it? But the future does not have to go this way. We don't need more police presence on the street. We need more revolutionaries on the street. We need more people who have their hearts and minds set on a whole new way of living. We need to fight the power, and transform the people for revolution.

What does that look like? Fight the power—protest, march, speak up and get out when it matters. Support young revolutionaries like Noche Diaz—an amazing example of what fighting the power and transforming the people for revolution looks like. Go see Carl Dix and Cornel West on May 20. Transform the people for revolution: read Revolution newspaper. Read everything you can get your hands on written by Bob Avakian. Read, learn, wrangle, and then tell everyone you know. Donate all you can so the message can get out everywhere. Wear it on T-shirts, post it on Facebook, put palm cards everywhere you go... Saturate your neighborhoods with the messages of Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party. This is letting other people know there can be a whole new way of living. This is part of transforming the people. If anything above has interested you—get to your local Revolution Books store ASAP and get connected. I will leave you with an important quote from Bob Avakian:

"No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."—BAsics 1:13


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