I’m re-posting this article as part of this week’s #InclusiveJustice campaign. Instead of waiting for politicians to deliver change for us, how about we take it on ourselves to start a much needed dialogue and from dialogue see if we can start dialing back the animosity that is intentionally being flamed by the establishment. Read the article below about what #OrganizeAndUnite is about and join in the effort to start this dialogue.
One of the main reasons a decision was made to launch the Ghion Journal was to empower localities. The change we want can only come from the people; Ghion Journal has the faith to believe that we can make a difference in our communities instead of having decisions dictated to us by elites who don’t live among us. This core mission has many facets; not only are we intent on breaking the Corporate State Media model of depending on the largess of corporations (read our Mission), we also want to be a part of a movement where power is given back to communities instead of power being monopolized by corporate interests.
Part and parcel of this objective is to break the barriers between readers and the news sources; we want our readers and viewers to interact with our publication and be a part of the solution instead of being sideline observers. Though I came a long way from the days of being a party loyalist and a political organizer (this is my video where I ran to be a delegate for the previous president), I have nevertheless picked up many skills and insights in the ways the two bankrupt political parties energize their “base” and perpetuate their power. A politician I once admired said that change happens at the grass roots level and that we must work block by city block in order to realize the change we all keep looking for. Too often though, we keep looking for change to arrive from the top instead of empowering ourselves to advance our own interests.
Upon much reflection over the weekend, I realize that we at Ghion Journal have been lacking in this core area. Our focus on countering the narratives of the Corporate State Media has come at the cost of offering solutions to the false choices we keep being presented. A particular candidate made history and accomplished the seemingly impossible because his campaign was astounding when it came to empowering people in their localities to spread the message of the candidate by speaking to people in their neighborhoods and their communities. The bottom up organizing of the 44th president outclassed the top-down management of his Democratic candidate.
We are turning to this playbook of empowering people to speak to their friends, family and co-workers as they see best fits. We do so with the aim of not only furthering the message behind the articles that are presented at the Ghion Journal but to more importantly start dialogues that we desperately need as a nation and a people. A couple of months ago, I wrote an article titled “Have This Conversation” where I implored people to have dialogues about race and identity in America using the video at the bottom of this article as the kickoff with the aim of healing generational wounds which continue to fester.
The present paradigm makes it all the more imperative to have the much needed “adult conversation on race” we were once promised by a man from Chicago. No need to wait for the elites to lead this conversation, they rich and powerful have no interest in healing the racial wounds for they are making too much money from the current paradigm we find ourselves in (read Strategic Silence, Tactical Indignation and Playing Us for Suckers). Instead of waiting for politicians and pundits to start this exigent conversation, let us have this conversation among ourselves and within our communities.
Thus, in line with empowering the localities instead of managing from top down, I am writing this article to turn our mission into action. For the past couple of weeks, since I moved back to the Washington DC area, I’ve been scouting various locations to show the video at the bottom of this article and then have a group discussion among the attendees on the ways we can start to move forward and turn the page on the era of racism and systematic repression that has hobbled the lives of countless people without regard to race, ideology and identity.
Then the idea hit me like a thunder bolt; instead of organizing this “Conversation about Race and Identity” from within, what would happen if the readers and viewers of the Ghion Journal came together and organized this event organically from the grass roots level. Imagine if a person who is great with graphics designed the flyer, imagine if another person who is a cafe owner opened up his/her establishment to host this event, imagine if someone who is a DJ took it upon himself/herself to take the lead on the audio/visual component. Imagine if various people with various talents banded together to organize the first “Conversation about Race and Identity” event in the Washington DC area.
So consider this article a call to action. If you live in the Washington DC area and want to partake in an initiative to do exactly as outlined above this is a chance to contribute your gifts to a communal effort. If you are interested in taking part in a truly grass roots event and want to your talents to organize the inaugural “Conversation about Race and Identity” in Washington D, please email us at email@example.com with the subject header “I’m In”. It won’t take much to put this event together, the video material is already available, so the things needed to launch this event are as follows:
- Flyer for the event
- A dedicated event coordinator
Let us unite as a community and have this much needed conversation about race and identity and let this conversation be driven from us instead of waiting for the elites to lead us. I believe in my heart that we, the people, can do for ourselves what the establishment and the status quo refuse to do for us. Even if you are not in the Washington DC area, you can take it upon yourself to organize this event by reaching out to your network the same way I just reached out to you and using the methodology outlined in this article.
Let me just wrap it up with this. As I write about a lot in my articles, the divide is not between the masses but between the powerful and the rest of us. We keep fighting over identity, race, ideologies and religion, all of which are artificial constructs meant to cleave us apart from one another. We are a human family bonded by a common blood, common struggles and a common hope for a better tomorrow. The day we realize our lives are intertwined and as one suffers the rest suffer too is the day we overcome our differences and become all powerful. Unity is the only way we can overcome the greed and tyranny of a few who lord over all of us.
The revolution is possible when we realize that we are more powerful than the people who we love to adore and fawn over. Kris Kristofferson, a country singer, sang “If you die explaining that the things they complain about are things that could be changed”. The same way the establishment has used our energy and enthusiasm to continually foist false change upon us, we can use their playbook to organize and unite from the ground level. In the end, the changes we want are possible, let us unite and work for the changes we want for the world. #OrganizeAndUnite
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass
If you are love the idea of organizing this much needed conversation about race and identity in America and want to generate excitement for others to do the same, share this article on social media using #OrganizeAndUnite and make sure to watch the video below.
Please don’t let the jarring title of this video dissuade you from watching the video, within a few minutes you will realize that this conversation is exactly what is needed instead of the conversation that preaches separable grievances. This video will be the basis of the upcoming “Conversation about Race and Identity” event that we are aiming to organize in the coming weeks with the help of community empowerers.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.