Short Notes: Build Your Own Independence v.2010

Jose Vilson Short Notes

Malcolm X, "Our Freedom Can't Wait!"

A suggestion on building your own independence in the new decade, but first, a few notes:

Today, many of my compatriots celebrated the 45th anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, or commonly known as Malcolm X. His legacy and works still penetrate and influence so many of us who strive for true equality in this country. While so many remember what many consider his angry and rebellious side, people also need to remember the peace he advocated for, and the man he eventually came to represent later on in his life.

One of his central points of his legacy was his advocacy for independent ownership. Much of his body of work existed precisely because his constituency supported him outright and financially, and that’s an important part of his legacy. When the people who you wish to address support your most revolutionary work or when the monies you’ve earned support your own product, that’s following the compass in the direction of freedom.

In 2010, succumbing to ease of use and style for a small fee of one’s own person has become easier than ever. Free services have a great way of bringing the most random people together, especially ones with a common interest. However, these corporations have a bottom line, and the minute you mess with that bottom line, like asking for a little privacy with your activities or making sure your material belongs exclusively to you, they take a little back. They change your privacy settings. They block your site for “questionable material.” They change the terms of service on you.

So what does someone who wants liberation do? Get their own .com.

That sounds simplistic enough, but let me expound. Not only do you get your own .com / .net / .wtf, you pay for your own hosting, and you get some open-source software, and voila! You’ve established some sense of independence on the web! Now, the next logical step is for those of us on sites like Ning to get our monies together, buy a bunch of great servers, and start our own hosting, but the hosting world, unlike Blogspot / Facebook / etc. are much more beholden to their customers since we’re paying and our ratios are far more favorable.

Whatever your background, we who have Internet access have to consider our roles in assuring that access and equity still exist and that we’re represented in as many arenas as possible. Once we can say we own, we’re truly understood what independence means.

And none of this is free of cost. But freedom is not either.

Jose, who wonders where people get off dissing Black History Month …