Thoughts on a Recent Experience—Building for the BAE Dinner on February 15—In the Moment!

“A Whole Section of People Who Are Decisive to This Revolution Was Standing Right in Front of Me.”

February 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The BA Everywhere Dinner on February 15—“Getting Ready for a Spring of Putting Revolution in the Air”—raising funds to spread the new film of the powerful Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, “REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion”—really presents a depth of going at, and going up against, all of the ways good people are wrangling with “what's the state of things, what's the way forward?” and all too often ending up in dead-end programs and worse.

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A BA Everywhere Fundraising Dinner

Getting Ready for a Spring of Putting Revolution in the Air

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A couple of us went to a panel discussion and a powerful exhibit at an important African American art museum on the New Jim Crow. It was a thoughtful audience of all ages and people were deeply moved by the art and photos. There were numbers of Black college-age folks there. The panelists raised questions in relation to police murder, like “is this what you want your democracy to look like? There is a democracy that looks different than this that we should be fighting for.”  Selma was raised in this context of fighting for a better democracy. We worked at engaging in sharp exchange that brought out important differences in a principled way, but uniting with the deep outrage people felt at the way the system does the people.  We brought out how this country's “democracy” is a slave-owners' democracy, and we need to, and can! overturn this whole setup and bring something far better and liberating into being.

I felt in this room—and this is multiplied in so many places right now—that a whole section of people who could be—and need to be!—connected with BA in this moment; who could be—need to be!—a decisive part of this whole real revolution—was standing right in front of me. A number of people spoke with us after the formal discussion was over. One young woman was seething beneath the surface. There were big questions she didn't articulate outright about why things are the way they are and how they can change. There was deep outrage and it was deeply personal, as she described experiences in her life. She didn't have solutions and had not thought about the possibility of getting to a different world. When asked, What do you think we need, she answered “more diversity.” I asked her, “If you were able to do what you're saying for people of color, how would that change the world? Even if it were to mean something in this country, what about the people of Nigeria, what about the people of the world?”

I posed that in a real fight for a different kind of world, you could end national oppression, there could be a real fight around the environment, around the brutalization and degradation of women, around all these horrors. This was new, but intriguing to her.

Watch NOW!
Re-broadcast of the November 15 Simulcast

I told her that you'll see in the livestream [at right] of the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian a way that it all could change. That millions should see this—there is a historic battle going on right now over standing up and bringing something new and emancipatory into being, or settling back into the horrors of what this system does—and you can be part of this revolution.

She said she wanted to go meet up with some of her friends after leaving the program. I asked if I could join them. We went to her campus and another friend joined us. They called around to get other friends to come. There was discussion of the art work at the museum, and the approach to art in the socialist world that BA talks about in this film. They were excited by this. They invited me, or maybe other revolutionary leaders, to speak to their group, their friends, people at the school, this week.

This young woman is doing a project interviewing people in prison. I told her we know so many people who have been in prison.  “Oh, can I talk to them?”  You could see how things can come together—not just in the future, but now—crossing lines, breaking down the barriers among the people.

They asked, “Can a white man represent everybody—most especially Black people?”  I referenced what BA said about how if he was Black and male, he wouldn't be female; if he was Latino and gay, he wouldn't be something else …  More importantly, that BA's work has contributed to the emancipation of humanity, and getting at understanding reality—there's not a “brown reality,” a “Black reality”—there's different experiences, but we all confront reality that we all have to collectively change. You'll see that BA in this Dialogue has contributed a huge amount to getting to a place where there is genuine human liberation. 

One of the friends said that they were going to watch the whole Dialogue in the next two days.  They took a book of 5 tickets for the BA Everywhere dinner. They were excited about bringing their Black Student Union to the dinner.

We all left each other with a lot to think about—and a lot to move on right now.


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