Outside of my reading material and a couple of Google searches done under “Jose Vilson,” it’s pretty hard to find any real inclinations of my deep political thought. But after reading Assata Shakur’s latest statement about turning 60 (July 2007), I feel the need to say something most of my readers know but I haven’t really expressed outside of my personal realm: I believe in a revolution. I can’t really limit myself as to how left of center I can be: one day I’m socialist, then I’m straight anarchist, but by the end, I just decide to turn up the music high enough to drown out the thoughts I’m having about the state of the world. I essentially think that this system uses its populace as pawns.
But that’s the Jose from Syracuse, the one who was the education chair of La LUCHA, the member of all those left-leaning and activist organizations on campus. Even into my prime days on Xanga, when I cursed out everyone on Earth (entitled “Fuck Bush,” available upon request), I still had that political lean where I’d snap at anyone who so much as let loose an inaccurate and ignorant comment. As awesome as that sounds, I also started to recognize the necessity to understand other people’s perspectives and accept that they may not change their position on things. Not everyone’s an oppressor and sometimes the very people you consider allies can backstab you for their own narcissistic agendas.
And of course, when you have an understanding of how a government doesn’t really hold the proletariat’s interest at heart, then you start becoming conscious of everything you see, read, buy, eat, breathe, drink, cheer for, vote for, or even wear. Unfortunately, we can’t get away from reading the tags, seeing the foreign countries there, and wondering how many American jobs were lost or what little boy or girl is out there getting pennies a day for getting this item done. I can’t walk down the hallways without thinking how lucky I am to have a union that once protected my right to healthcare, due process, and feed my family. I want to have the power to stop bombs from killing innocent lives all over the world, and heal the wounded mentally as well as physically, even when a very small percentage calls this kind of activity population control.
For all of that, though, I still love the New York Yankees, probably the most vainglorious franchise in the world. I still dress well, no matter how “corporate” it might look. I watch Sportscenter, buy CDs, and enjoy a little political jabber with people who actually have a strong desire to vote for one of the 3 presidential candidates they know of. I’m subscribed to Men’s Health and Rolling Stone. In other words, I’ve at least got one foot in the mainstream. It’s a weird feeling, but I’ve come to accept it.
One of my friends said recently that I had “toned down” that angry part of me. I countered that I wasn’t exactly toned down, but I just had some good examples of what to look forward to as I mature into “grownup”-hood. The biggest inspiration for this revelation of what the future might look like is Malcolm X, who, after visiting Mecca, seemed to back off from his stance of racial separation some, and really, that’s what I aspire to: finding that inner peace where I can still be as activist as I want to be, but find peace in my day, where war persists constantly.
But this is not the time for martyrs, and this is one of the few things I admit I don’t have quite figured out yet. ‘Till I do, I guess I’ll just keep wearing this straight face of mine, neither giving away too much nor being a yes man to the powers that be.
jose, still in the struggle …
p.s. – I’m still mad people assumed I was thinking of blowing up taxis. I swear people are trying to get me red-flagged by government officials …