Did yall know you can find our gear in Chicago's Silver Room? YUP. The Silver Room is a Black owned boutique that will soon be celebrating it's 20th anniversary and we're blessed to embark upon our business relationship with them.
BUT THEM GUNS THO...
Then one day on a followup call with a Silver Room employee, we discovered that some people have been returning our gear because they take issue with the image of a sniper rifle (a component of our iconography) - and to a degree, I can understand that. I can understand because America has a serious gun issue. This country is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere to experience 10,000+ gun homicides per year. The other countries that hold that disheartening distinction are all considered "3rd world" (Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, and Mexico). This is a problem of epidemic proportion.
SO GET RID OF IT!
Uhhh, no. We aren't going to get rid of it. EVER. And here's why: the image is militant and we are unapologetically trying to promote militancy (wait whuuuut??) - but not in the way you might think. We want to promote the discipline of militancy. Militancy is rooted in discipline and it is actually more important than violence as it pertains to revolutionary conflict. Discipline makes you maintain your equipment. Discipline pushes you to train harder. Discipline prompts you to overcome your personal weaknesses. And if a people are to obtain the fruits of revolution, then they must be disciplined.
So what do you think when you hear the word "revolution"? Many people panic because the word instantly conjures images of armed combatants fighting among explosions, blood pouring from open wounds, and the rubble of fallen buildings. But did you know you can have a revolution without firing a single gunshot???
Refer to the picture at the top of the page and if you can't see it, it's an image of Professor Angela Davis emblazoned with some of the most important words she ever uttered:
"The real content of any kind of revolutionary thrust lies in the principles, in the goals that you are striving for - not in the way that you reach them."
You get it? It is the end goal of revolution that matters - not necessarily the means. You see, when a people come out of the other side of an armed revolution, they do so with the belief that their lives or the lives of their descendants will be fundamentally better. However, history has shown that armed conflicts do not always precipitate improved living conditions. BUT, if every Black person in America boycotted businesses in their neighborhood that weren't owned, operated, and controlled by people in their neighborhood while simultaneously supporting Black owned, neighborhood controlled businesses - thousands of jobs would be created and wealth would begin to circulate and benefit Black people. That's revolutionary (without a single shot fired). IF Black people came together in unity and strategized to police our neighborhoods, children and families would be safer. That's revolutionary (without a single shot fired). IF Black people took control of the media we produce, we could propagate art that edifies and then we wouldn't have to worry about bus drivers playing music that celebrates the consumption of mollys and percosets on the radio to our kids while they are on their way home from school. That's revolutionary (without a single shot fired).
And speaking of music, my musical tastes have changed over the years, probably in positive correlation to my spiritual growth. I've rejected a lot of pop music because I find the messages toxic. I can't stomach the glamorization of side-chick/side-ni##@ status as the music I like celebrates commitment, sacrifice, and kindness - you know, REAL love stuff. I can't stomach the glorification of criminality because the music I like celebrates the advancement of my people. It does NOT encourage me to put my liberty in jeopardy for something petty.
The removal of toxic music from my mindspace has helped me live a better life. I think it would do the same for everyone. So I want to suggest something revolutionary for you. This evening, instead of sitting down with your family or your bae or yourself to watch your favorite show, watch the NPR Tiny Desk Christian Scott concert (link below). You'll get a couple of amazing performances and you'll hear Mr. Scott talk about the inspiration of his song, "Ku Klux Police Department" which he created after having his civil rights violated by New Orleans "Finest".
BUT WHAT'S REVOLUTIONARY ABOUT THAT??????
Sun Tzu said, "Every battle is won before it's ever fought." This is true. Our mind and spirit are our greatest weapons and the clash between forces will be won by the side who best reflects that axiom. The side whose spirit is the most clear. The side whose troops are the most prepared, and the most stalwart and whose minds are strong and focused. Protect your mindspace. Fill it with media/ideas/notions/thoughts that reflect the positive conditions you want to see in your life and in your community. Consume light and life. And you can start (or continue) with the jazzy exhibition of melanated magic below. You will be glad that you did.