Being progressive is supposed to mean that you’re moving forward. You are involved in the act of progressing forward.
I was once asked rhetorically as a part of a training, “Well who defines the speed of progress?”
Well, to really think about this, I need to consider what authentic, liberational organizing is. It’s really simple: Gathering people together who are most affected by an issue, system, or other injustice amplifying their voices, and supporting them as a community in order to get shit done.
The most important part of that is the people who want to be liberated run the show. They call the shots, and everyone else just supports what they want.
Because if your anybody else, all you can do is show some paint chips, floorplans and countertop designs, but these motherfuckers ova here are building the house, you feel me? (I just had a weird moment about “you feel me” and “Amen” being used the same way in different black spaces, and that we’re actually asking god if he’s feeling us when we say amen… i digress)
So if progress is happening, it should match the hunger, and speed of those who are most deeply effected, while adding fully developed weight to the whole thing. The hunger = the desire, the firmness, the resolve, like when you’re hungry! The speed = the desired urgency, the ability to say hey maybe we need to do some research, it’ll slow us down a bit but our results will be much richer. The weight = Gravitas. How you show up in the world. Your presence. Your influence. Your perceived power.
That’s good organizing, and if we follow the speed of our base (and most of the time as organizers we *are* our base. Like I mostly organize black people. I’m black. *curtseys*) progress should move ahead at a reasonable speed.
The problem that we’re having is that there are a lot of progressive minded white liberals out here who are just pumped that they can smell change in the air, therefore things must be moving swift enough for the base.
WELL I DONT THINK THATS THE MOTHAFUCKIN CASE
People are being murdered over melanin, and tortured because of our family tree. Y’all got me fucked up if you think that this is moving forward at an acceptable rate.
You’re not progressive. You are stagnant. The same conversations Stokely Carmichael and James Baldwin were having are basically the same ones I’m having with my friends only our clothes are styled differently.
Liberal stagnational people, get educated and follow the base, because you’re not it.