the surgical strike mentality

Malcolm said don’t spend time asking a slave what he wants. If you wait until a majority of slaves, still on the plantation, within sight and earshot of the master, and still dependent on him, say what they want, expect real freedom or self-determination to not come up. And if you wait on that before “going Nat or Tubman” and striking out with freedom action, you’ll never get started and will be having the same meetings and talk a decade from now. Everyone pick one or more projects where you are, that you see are needed, that you can do, and get on them and commit to helping projects other conscious people are working on. A community agenda will not develop without communal consciousness and the latter, in turn, will not develop without the collective experience of working together and accomplishing mutually beneficial results for the community and the individual. One must show to prove. Conceptualization without manifestation is of no account. Faith without works…

 

I am suggesting that given the current structure of our communities, we are going to be aided more by strategic individual projects led by dedicated individuals and then potentially aided by the people interested outside. I don’t think there is going to be a collective agenda writ large because the collective of activism that would undergird such an agenda is just now being built. I know its hard for those of us who love the community and are devoted activists to hear this, but we are those people that got those coveted tickets to the front row of the Indianapolis 500. We get there and we see an old tire, a steering well, a helmet, and a few lawn chairs and the boss man says, “you’re going to need to get all this set up by Saturday. 500,000 people are counting on ya’ll.” We have to build the arena, the track, the cars, train the drivers, and then we might be able to take a seat. That’s where we are. And all the while, the Negroes are going to launch mines and bombs to try to disrupt us because they know if we succeed, they are no longer useful and lose their positions and wealth and status. In response, I suggest we each identify 10 projects that you think are worth your labor for collective benefit and then connect with those people who are working on those projects and share your energy and resources with them. Once we begin to own things, run things, and work together, then we will be back in position for some of the larger agenda setting and timetable setting. Think of the “black” community as a thriving place that got an atomic bomb dropped on it. While the immediate blast is over, the mental radiation poisoning effects still show. I’m not pessimistic. I believe everything can and will be rebuilt, but I have to be realistic that before we can talk collective infrastructure, we have to talk collective consciousness. When you are having a community meeting and the majority of the community doesn’t come because they don’t consider themselves part of the community, you have a sense of what I mean.

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