Revolution - The Jose Vilson

Revolution

by Jose Vilson on October 1, 2007

in Jose

Malcolm XYou say you want a revolution, well you know we all want to change the world.

My annoyance right now stems from the idea of leadership, and how my definition of it has changes vastly everyday. On the one end, I wanted to believe I was a leader. I do my part as a teacher and motivator for my kids, and even the students who’ve graduated and tell me how much their lives have changed as a result of my teaching. That’s all well and good.

Yet, I’m at a struggle with the term leadership because unfortunately, we often have people in leadership positions who are more concerned with how they look than the actual cause, and that can only spell disaster for our movement. Everyone can instantly point to the very top like Dubya and Co., whose company seems to get smaller by the semester. It’s bad enough his party often complains about the lower class being lazy; their leader takes vacations like they’re going out of style.

I even throw shade at people like Al Sharpton for his backing of Bill O’Reilly of all people. I’m having a hard time with the idea that he’s so ingrained in the history of the African Diaspora that it’s like the man can diss everyone but Malcolm and Martin and still be a point of discussion.

After all, the younger version of himself, along with Jesse Jackson, Nikki, Lennon, Gil-Scott, Cesar, Che, and the like all call us back to a time when people really looked at themselves and decided to make a conscious decision to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others. My girl once said we should be ashamed at the complacency we’ve reached in our society. Yet, that self-sacrifice isn’t always a prosperous journey: some of these very leaders came to the point where they gave in to their own vices, thinking they had lost their souls after so many losses.

So in some ways, I guess it’s only right that we have a form of revolutionary talk that’s self-aggrandizing. It’s easy if you don’t have to do much to look revolutionary, speak it, dress it, or play the part, so long as you don’t get hurt or it doesn’t interfere with your business, whether that business is women or profit. If you could write a poem about how you are the conduit to the aforementioned greats, get a bunch of points from random people not based on quality but performance, and become popular all over America for it, wouldn’t you? If you could write a blog about how evil Republicans are, win a bunch of web awards, and continuously point at how revolutionary you are, couldn’t you? If you could sit down and spit blurbs with a media head so you’re made into the saving face of a major incident, would you take that chance?

This isn’t to say that anyone with communication skills isn’t tempted to try it. I’ll admit to having forgotten my purpose for writing sometimes, but that’s only led to trouble. In my former weblog community, that’s exactly what happened. Many of us were a little more concerned about comments and responses than thorough feedback and honest writing. Not to say that weblogs should be these awesome pieces of literature, but I do think they need to be fresh and real.

That died though, and now no one’s writing as much for it anymore. And a lot of the writers who I considered thorough either left or just stopped blogging. The movement I thought was building up there slowly drifted, because there was more concern about rank and pomp than real dialogue. So in this new age of communication, I wonder how much more concerned we are with the actual movement we’re trying to create instead of rankings, listings, and widgets, for the only purpose that serves is really ephemeral. A real revolution will come from the peoples’ hearts and minds.

Until then, peace is what I’m after more than anything. The road to the revolution is paved with good intentions, too, but too many people are quick to dishonor the bodies that went with it.

… because you know it’s gonna be, alright …

jose, who’s honestly disenchanted with a lot, but I keep on keeping on …

p.s. – Check my “about me” page. If you know me personally, it might even be about you.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Frumteacher October 2, 2007 at 1:53 am

Don’t you think that deciding to become a teacher is a decision of self-sacrifice? Of nót caring about rankings, media, salary, ‘coolness’? It strikes me how in the edublogging sphere (as far as I can see) bloggers don’t care about rankings or number of comments (although I must confess it makes my day to see I have comments), and how there is a lot of sincere communication going on between the edubloggers.
When I talk to my friends who went into business or into publishing, or are doing some other 21st century shiny job, I sometimes wonder if, below the superficiality of it all, they take true inspiration home at the end of the day. I know I do. It takes courage to be revolutionary ;-)

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pissedoffteacher October 2, 2007 at 3:05 pm

The ones at top do not care about anything but how they look. You are too young to be so cynical. the kids need people like you to fight for them. I am at the end of my career. I’m ready to give up. Please, I beg you, keep up the fight.

I got yelled at today because the tutoring program in my school is a farce. I asked my AP to do something about it to make it more accessible to the kids. He told me to transfer (as if a school would take a teacher on max salary). When I tried to explain that the current set up was actually better for me, he threw union stuff up in my face.

I’m old–you are not. From reading your blog I see you can be an ins[iration. You might be the one to get a change made. You never know.

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Eddie Griffin October 2, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Jose, During the Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, we realized that not all black people were cut out to be revolutionaries. We are just tickled to death that you wanna be and applaud your generation for trying to be. Getting caught up in popularity, fortune, and fame aspirations are typical of young go-getters. True revolutionaries, I assure you, are the ones most unpopular, because they cut nobody any slack.

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Jose October 2, 2007 at 5:19 pm

@ Frumteacher: I agree that teaching has the potential to be the greatest revolutionary position on the face of this planet, but as history / social studies programs have proven, they can also be the most damning. After all, so many of our textbooks aren’t exact and make the figures that so many of us look up to non-existent footnotes. Your comment made me think. Thanks.

@ pissedoffteacher: I know I’m too young to be cynical, but I too have been through my fair share of protests. I’m not being cynical, but realist. I’m glad you like me as a teacher figure though. I do my honest best. I’d ask you to keep on the struggle, too, as we need your wisdom.

@ Eddie: I totally agree. People from your generation really need to disseminate more of your wealth of knowledge, and maybe those same people will join up, maybe they won’t.

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Bam October 3, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Often I read others comments before I compose my own, but you were right, I like this blog, so I didn’t bother.

I feel this. This sentiment is what keeps me from writing on my site sometimes. I could give a shit about a comment, I just want the people to think. About any damn thing really, just think! When I don’t feel a blog I created is capable of producing thought, then I don’t publish it. Writing, like living should be for a purpose. Anything done with purpose should be very cerebral.

I love Jose. :)

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