Comes a revolution to change the circumstances of our dehumanization. That revolution begins with a more dynamic sense of our potentials as human beings. At some point it falls to each person to make a decision as to whether he or she will continue to permit the kind of victimization that robs one of one’s true humanity. This is the seminal moment in which every true revolution begins. It begins with the idealization of the notion that one can own and control the circumstances of one’s life. It begins with a rejection of victimhood.
The culture of oppression takes root with the imposition of ideas that limit the rights of the oppressed to a life characterized by the essential qualities of liberty. A life in which the pursuit of happiness is claimed as a human right. Thus liberation must begin with the rejection of ideas that limit one’s right to life fulfilled. The clash of civilizations has its genesis in a clash of antagonistic human ideals… A clash of opposing aspirations. A revolution is inevitable when the hopes of a determined group breeds despair in another group which is equally determined to claim and live out their perceived potential. Every struggle begins as a clash of ideas competing for supremacy in the common experience of peoples. First the ideas… Then the fists.
The conscientization described in the preceding paragraph leads to the determination to get rid of the spiritual, cultural, and physical shackles that weigh down the dispossessed. It expresses itself in the determination to collectively work for the change necessary to live into the new reality of a life liberated. This new consciousness is powerfully articulated by Marley when he declares: “You can’t educate I For no equal opportunity: (Talkin’ ’bout my freedom) Talkin’ ’bout my freedom, People freedom (freedom) and liberty! Yeah, we’ve been trodding on the winepress much too long: Rebel, rebel!”. Marley, in the powerful anthem called “Redemption Song”, calls us to live into a revolutionary consciousness. He reminds us of the responsibility that we each have to personalize the work of personal redemption when he channels Marcus Mosiah Garvey: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds… “.
The Season of Rebellion Beckons
The Season of Rebellion comes. It is inevitable. The contradictions inherent in the perpetuation of hope and despair in our social and economic relationships must be resolved. The societal dysfunctions bred by this antagonism cannot be wished away. That resolution of which I speak must necessarily lead to a better world in which the hopes of some do not breed despair in the lives of others. The prophetic vision of a more just society fuels the fires that burn in the hearts of displaced and dispossessed people everywhere. That vision is the tip of the burning spear that threatens the old status quo of the cultural and economic domination of the many by the few.
Those who have ears to hear can hear even now the voice of the prophet Amos as he declares: “… let Justice roll down like a river, and Righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” An economic culture in which CEO compensation increases over nine hundred fold while the average worker barely sees a five percent increase must be rehabilitated. A political culture that perpetuates the cult of vampires must be obliterated by the cultivation of enlightened self interest in all our economic relationships. We cannot continue to accommodate corporate greed while people are left to subsist on a less than livable wage. The militarization of the police to suppress the just rebellion of people against the brutality of law enforcement must end. The use of the police as enforcers for a parasitic political culture must cease. The injustices that find expression through racism, sexism, and genderism, must be exposed for what they are… Injustices.
The Season of Rebellion beckons us into a new, more liberated sense of ourselves. It calls us to be the definitive architects of our destinies. As architects we reject the world imposed on us. We claim with our every breath the responsibility to build something new with our own hands and hearts and minds… Something more in keeping with our own needs and aspirations. As the prime movers in the new, more hope-filled world we desire, we look forward to that more fertile earth in which we can realize a greater rootedness. And so we live in anticipation of the showers that will “water” our just aspirations. By the same token we rise up in affirmation of our own fecundity, and against every dried out idea that would suppress our innate abundance.