Since the tragic murder of Mike Brown, I’ve been hearing this word “revolution” a lot. There are some people completely against revolting and prefer “reformation” instead. Personally, I believe we need both. Often times I see the word “revolution” accompanying a present-day focused plan, but nothing long-term. It’s not enough to merely acknowledge that the current system needs dismantling. We need to go beyond that thinking and consider what we need in place of it. That’s where reformation comes in. We need the revolutionary mind and the reformist mind. The challenge for my readers is not just to acknowledge the issues within the current system, but also to develop solutions. State not only the things you see now, but begin speaking on the things you want to see for future generations. I call mine’s “Angel’s Activist Wish List”. #ActivistWishList
My activism wish list
- I want people to be passionate about recording history accurately! I’m tired of erasure. It contributes to the very violence and dehumanization that we’re fighting today.
- For every 1 homeless person in America, there are approximately six empty houses. SIX! I want these people to finally have the access to shelter that they need. Why not? What excuse do we have for this? The houses are empty. We aren’t using them anyway. There’s this trend in America where we have an abundance of resources, more than we can use, but we decide that no one else should use it as well. That’s ridiculous and selfish.
- I want to end standardized testing. This inadequate system requires people to fit into one box, thus limiting our true capabilities. It’s pathetic that this system cannot determine the intelligence and potential societal contribution of an individual, without testing if the individual can correctly perform a series of questions regarding the Pythagorean theorem that they’ll never use in life or society. Some of the most famous serial killers in history have a high IQ and high test scores, so how’s that for your “societal contribution”. *insert a side-eye emoji here to your discretion*
- I want people working the same job for the same company receiving the same pay regardless of race, gender, beliefs, sexual orientation, etc. economic inequality contributes to the current issues of segregation we face today. Sure, segregation is technically “illegal”, but let’s be honest about the racial homogeneity we still see in neighborhoods and schools today. In 2015, I still hear people say stuff like “oh I went to a white school”. While no harm is intended, this statement exposes that we’re still operating under Jim Crow. A bitchier, passive aggressive Jim Crow. But Jim Crow nonetheless.
- I want large corporations to stop exploiting the labor and resources of “third world” countries. (I hate that term btw). Let’s be real without wars, invasions, and exploitation there would be no such thing as “third world” countries anyway.
- I want another term in place of “third world” that doesn’t make it sound like oppression and poverty is a fucking competition. A word that doesn’t sound condescending if I’m not from a country of that particular economic circumstance.
- I want to live in a world where laws are RIGHTEOUS and those RIGHTEOUS laws actually apply to everyone. Instead of leaders picking and choosing when they want to give themselves the benefit of the doubt. I recently read that a state is trying to pass a bill that makes it illegal for protestors to wear masks or hoodies. Honestly, I think it’s ridiculous and I certainly wouldn’t categorize this as “righteous law”, but I’ll humor them for a second. My issue with this law is it is being created to target one specific group of people. Why haven’t there been laws created to prevent the KKK from wearing hoods? What about the police still walking around without badges?
- I want there to be some major changes in the schooling system. I want resources to be spread equally amongst the children regardless of tax revenue in their respective geographic area. I want funds to stop being cut just because certain kids aren’t scoring high on standardized test. If anything those results expose who needs the most resources:
- More teachers
- Better books
- Access to technology
- Food—yes I said food. Because hunger is an issue that impacts the education of approximately 13 million children in this nation. Starvation impacts the cognitive and social ability of people. Public schools are an environment for learning and social interaction, but if we have kids attending without adequate sustenance, it’s counterproductive. Food y’all. FOOD!
Also, I want tenure to stop IMMEDIATELY. Tenure needs to end faster than Alexandra Shipp’s career for her roles in Drumline 2 and the Aaliyah biopic. This section is already lengthy so I’ll just leave it here.
- I want everyone locked up for marijuana charges to walk free. We are currently on a path to legalize it and there are multiple studies showing that it is not as harmful as alcohol and/or cigarettes. So, since our government is finally figuring out how they can pocket million dollar earnings from the object of Rick James’ affection, we need to free those that have been jailed for life over dime bags. It would just be disgusting for CEOs to become millionaires for the same product for which millions have been imprisoned.
- I want the NEED for food stamps and section 8 to become depleted.
- I want leaders in the justice system to actually have some common sense. I recently read an article about a young lady that was forced into sex trafficking as a kid. She is now in prison for prostitution. *insert blank stare emoji here and this is not optional like the side-eye was earlier*
- I want people to stop condemning those who have committed or considered suicide, but use their efforts to step in and actually help them deal with the issues. We have so much to say about these people and to these people, “oh my goodness suicide is selfish”, “but what about us? You’re leaving us behind”, but never “what can I do to help you carry this weight?” In the words of Charles, “Help or Hush”.
- I wish that earning profit on war and invasion was impossible. I haven’t thoroughly thought about how to actually work this one out yet. I just know earning profits on violence is apart of the problem.
- I want to live in a world where the labels, “savage”, “ghetto”, or “barbaric” are not used to describe cultures for simply being different. You can’t consider a culture to be “animalistic” just because their culture norm maybe drinking pineapple juice instead of coffee. Or their preference is to live in eco-friendly huts made of renewable resources, instead of damaging the environment with buildings made of materials and filled with products that pump greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere. No shade though. Just saying you can’t mislabel “different” as “barbaric”. This particular case of mislabeling is an ironic act of “barbaric” violence itself.
- I want the maximum speed limits in impoverished neighborhoods (which tends to be predominantly people of color), to be the same as they are everywhere else. I’m not saying this is a nationwide epidemic, but I’ve observed that when I travel, the speed limit in communities of color don’t match communities of non people of color. I know what you’re thinking, “this isn’t a big deal”. There are a lot of people of color that have outstanding warrants due to not being able to afford traffic violation tickets. Now some may argue “well they need to follow the law”, but for years my question is “why is our law in our communities different?”. Provided there’s on a 5-10mph difference, but it has a domino affect. Scenario: You’re driving down a major street going 35mph because that’s the normal speed for that kind of street, but once you hit a cross section nearing an impoverished neighborhood the limit decreases to 25mph. You’re pulled over for speeding. You can’t afford a ticket. You now have an outstanding warrant. You get arrested. now you have a record. and all of this because “the speed limit in poor areas are decreased. Can you say “micro-agression” for 500 Alex?
This list is intended to be a conversation starter. Let’s be real, it’s not long enough. There are literally HUNDREDS of things that belong on my #ActivistWishList but I want to hear yours as well.
Written and edited by Angel Carter, January 5th. All rights reserved. No reproduction of this work permitted without authorization. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. © 2015 Angel Carter
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