I was able to join the protest called by the revcoms at the very subway station where a white Marine and others lynched Jordan Neely. I’m sharing some things I saw and learned talking to people there.
Within the stream of people not looking up, shopping, buried in their headphones, there were those who could not go on with business as usual. People who felt the lynching was intolerable. Carl Dix was on the bullhorn. The revcoms were getting the WE ARE THE REVCOMS broadsheet into people’s hands and raising money to put revolution on the map. Telling everyone there is ANOTHER WAY the world could be.
I talked with a white mental health professional who was on her way to work but stopped to join the protest. Why? “Because it was a lynching. It happened on the subway in this city and no one did anything. And the fact that people are in that position in the first place.”
I asked for her insights into the mental health crisis, and if she might bounce off the messaging from the revcoms about a whole different kind of society?
“It’s a two-tier healthcare system. The wealthy have access to fantastic mental health support in this city but it’s $250 a session to see a therapist privately. The not-for-profit sector is starved and massively underpaid. So, the best and brightest minds are often going into the private sector, and poor folks who can’t afford that are left with very little access to any kind of quality mental health support. And that’s not even beginning to touch on the question of why so many people are suffering with mental illness in the first place, because this society is sick itself.”
We paused to listen to the messaging from the bullhorn for a bit and she added, “Mental health support is one of the aspects in which we are going to help move things forward and towards a better society where people enjoy a sense of well-being. That’s not the only answer, but it’s part of the solution.”
I talked to a young Black guy who follows the revcoms on social media and came to check out the action. He wanted to go right to “where is everybody?” And had a lot to say about that. “A lot of the youth are afraid, especially minority youth, because if they are arrested, they will be put through the system and they know what happened to the previous generations—people were murdered and put in jail. Like the Panthers, the Civil Rights Era.”
He spoke with specificity and pain to how the youth, particularly Black youth, are being programmed by the lyrics of rap songs, being denied a real history of this country, and how the system relies on that. “They have no hope, they don’t see themselves as humans, sadly, with drugs, mass incarceration, and the system loves that. Eric Adams, Obama, they don’t do shit about that… And even the ones in college, they just gotta get that degree, try to get an apartment, but you can’t even afford that. It’s an all-American nightmare.”
I strongly encouraged him to engage with the revcoms’ strategy to go from small to a critical mass that can pose the challenge of a whole other way that the world could be to these youth. And shake them out of the life they are in. And what impact that would have?
He said, “In that picture, I could definitely do more. I’m not gonna lie. I follow NYC revcoms on social media. We think we know everything but we don’t. People try looting but that don’t do shit, they just shut down the stores and a bunch of people get arrested. New York City could be one of the places to kick it off because New York City is one of those places where protests and revolution start. Even going back to the protests against the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.”
Shortly after I talked to him, I saw him in deep discussion with the revcoms about the difference he could make in this picture.