As we enter the final days of the Grand Jury meetings, so many thoughts are running through my mind; many of which I express regularly. Recently I’ve come across messages that I feel like putting my stamp of approval on. The words mirror so much of what I’m thinking, it’s as if I said them myself.
That being said, I asked my fellow St. Louisan and sangin brotha, C Jay Conrod, if I could share what started as a Twitter rant, and turned into a soliloquy of sorts, with my readers.
I was part of so many conversations yesterday that made me realize there are a lot of publicly unspoken feelings regarding #Ferguson. However, the point that stood out most in my mind was there’s a mentality that this generation has that is wholly unique. The approach regarding activism and social justice is like nothing that we’ve seen before. The problem is mainstream media wants to make this movement analogous to the ’60s when it isn’t.
We’re moving into a completely different paradigm, if you ask me. The idea of a “great leader” of a movement, with masses following, is dead. However, media needs a compelling narrative with lead characters; someone to put on a pedestal. Putting a flawed individual (and we all are) on a pedestal is a set-up for disappointment at some inevitable point. This generation gets that and doesn’t want it.
Everyone is a “leader” in some capacity. We all have experience and abilities that are better suited for different things, and we find ourselves busy doing them. Everyone can’t be on the “frontlines” of protest. All of us aren’t built for that. Some work at educating others through various forms, be it social media, art, forums/discussion groups, etc. Some are excellent coordinators, making the “impossible” possible everyday. Some are providing funds and resources to push the movement forward, but it takes all of these people to make it work. It’s just community. We’re doing what we can, where we can. No role is more important than another. No name is more worthy of attention. It’s purely about the work.
Yes, the media will attempt to call out the “leaders” of the movement. They already have, but we don’t have to succumb to that. We aren’t an organization. We are an organism. A living, breathing, growing existence. It’s a conscious choice and change in ideology. Are you down?
Follow C Jay Conrod here.