From the BA Everywhere Dinners:
People Respond to the Dialogue

February 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


These are some of the responses to clips from the new film of the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, from people at the February 15 BA Everywhere fundraising gatherings in different cities.


Comments from a group of folks from a neighborhood of the oppressed: "It was a tag team, they weren't trying to tear each other down, like so many people do today." One man commented on how direct and firm BA is in his stand and analysis and how in hearing him it was "hard to believe a white guy is saying the things he said." Another man--who has been running with the revolution ever since he heard what BA had to say in the Dialogue about the imminent grand jury decision on the cop who killed Michael Brown and the urgent need to act--said, "I thought the man was right."

A young Black man, college student: "We've gotta get people's eyes open, see this whole system for what it is. Like they say we have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, but we really don't have that. You can't even protest anymore without them throwing tear gas and horses at you. I thought we were supposed to have the right to assemble? Unless you're what they want you to be, you're no longer part of the society. And they jail people for certain things they don't like. All these rights are shrinking, and they give excuse after excuse as to why it's all happening. So everyone has the same excuse in their mouth. It's the same bullshit they give to everybody. This Dialogue, getting it out there, would help open people's eyes to that, help people understand not to be drones just going along or being afraid. It would let people see they don't have to accept things the way they are. Enough is enough, we don't have to accept it."

A young Latina woman: "What struck me about the clips? I guess it would be that Cornel and Bob are coming from totally different spots, and I feel like one of the bigger issues in the world right now separating us is religion, and seeing the Dialogue and showing it to a lot of other people, people from all different generations could relate. And it's true that things from like decades ago are resurfacing and coming back up, because that fight was never won, nothing was really changed. I don't know if people gave up or if people thought things were fine, but things aren't fine and the same things need to be changed, and I really feel like this Dialogue is a really big stepping stone and if we could get it to a lot of people, we really could change something, I feel like this could be what changes a lot of people's minds, revolutionary change that's what we need--a drastic change. It’s not going to be easy, I've only been involved in revolution actively for maybe six months, I'm very new to it, but all of these ideas, it's been inside of me already."

A young non-profit administrator was impressed that the speakers were really talking about the possibility that the world could be different, and how positive it was that the two speakers who differ could sit and talk with civility, and he contrasted it to Fox TV or MSNBC.

A Black woman who had gone to the November 15 Dialogue said how she and her son watched the video of the Dialogue and how watching it through made quite a difference. She said now she much more deeply understands what BA and Cornel West are saying, and it has made her much more consider revolution as the answer.

A college student who was very inspired by watching the clips said, "This is really what we need. I want to join this revolution."

A minister who had attended the Dialogue expressed appreciation for the points of unity and difference between BA and Cornel West in the film clips. He said he is continuing to work on the role of religion and religious (people) in revolution. He teaches liberation theology at a seminary and is considering how to include the Dialogue in the curriculum this spring.

A young filmmaker was struck by the morality of the speakers, BA and Cornel West, and that they are fighting for a different world. He hates the police murders going on, has gone to the protests and is making a film about it. He is looking for a life with meaning, and after seeing the clips, wants to watch the whole Dialogue.

A professional cook who had watched the whole Dialogue twice on video said he found himself in tears after the first time "because I've never felt such a kinship and like-mindedness as when I heard Bob Avakian speak."

An older woman described how when she grew up in Europe, her father was very anti-communist. She had known something about BA for some time, but she was surprised to learn when she saw the film clips that he is not Black!

A young Latino college student: "It's very spectacular to see so many people gathered from around the U.S. to see the historic dialogue."

A university student said that he couldn't say what he thought of the whole thing, but that he really connected with what BA was talking about. He said that it's true that the masses of Black people don't have the rights that others in America have, or think they have. He went on and talked about how he sees how what's happening to Black people today is like what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany and how the genocide didn't suddenly happen, but it was step by step, and today, the middle class people have hope in the illusions and promises of this system and don't see what's happening. He said that they need to wake up and come together with those who are being brutalized and oppressed before it's too late. He said that he could see how this film could make a difference in that.


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