Sunday, September 20, 2015

A matter of death and life: "Why we fight!"

When Charles Blow sought to explain the mutual incomprehension that manifested itself between Bernie Sanders enthusiasts and Black Lives Matter activists, he wrote:

This is not an esoteric, intellectual debate about best practices, but quite literally a flesh and blood struggle for equal access to liberty and longevity.

In this movement exists a kind of urgency that only proximity to terror can produce, and yes, that urgency can be extreme and discomforting, because it must be. The sedative of all normalcies and niceties are the enemies so long as lives are in danger. The movement is revolutionary out of necessity. Some people operating under those auspices will inevitably employ tactics and select targets with which you disagree. That too is understandable.

But, those who object must be careful not to become “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.”

I was reminded of another call to a society that didn't want to listen in another time.

The quality of this clip is not what we would now expect. Videography was primitive among radicals in 1988. I heard the film historian Vito Russo (1946-1990) give a version of this speech in Washington the same year. I've seldom experienced such a sense of seeing truth expressed in a person. This is certainly still worth watching.

Living with AIDS is like living through a war which is happening only for those people who happen to be in the trenches. Every time a shell explodes, you look around and you discover that you've lost more of your friends, but nobody else notices. It isn't happening to them. They're walking the streets as though we weren't living through some sort of nightmare. And only you can hear the screams of the people who are dying and their cries for help. No one else seems to be noticing.

Full transcript

When you are being murdered, you ask who is there with you.


Rain Trueax said...

The problem we face now, on both sides, is everyone needs to take a step back, some deep breaths and look at both sides of what is going on. That doesn't happen often. They can try to destroy Bernie, because he's available and nobody else is, but what will that really gain them? The violence in the young black male community is not to be ignored but what led it to this place? I see it that neither side wants to look at the whole picture.

janinsanfran said...

Hi Rain -- I don't see BLM as wanting to destroy Bernie. Rather, they are trying to get and keep in touch with the value, goodness and worth of black lives. Bernie is only one of many who need reminding that black lives are lives!

Rain Trueax said...

I think they don't understand what they can do with a country divided. I doubt they thought they would destroy him but if he appears weak to 'causes', they could-- and then who. That's the problem with causes. What BLM has to realize is some of this is due to the violence in the black community. What do we do about that? Did our culture cause it? So many questions and that's why it takes looking at 'both' sides. To me, it is an insane time. Try talking to right wingers and your head explodes!

unkmonk1 said...

I think BLM and Bernie deserve each other; they're right-how "progressive" can a man who moved to one of the Whitest places in the US be?

Related Posts with Thumbnails