Pseudo-revolutionaries won’t change the world

  • Iconic image: An indigenous Mapuche from Chile walks under a poster of famed revolutionary Ernesto

    Iconic image: An indigenous Mapuche from Chile walks under a poster of famed revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 2005 (AP Photo/Marcelo Hernandez)


There is nothing wrong with being in style or doing what’s popular or fashionable, but there are some areas in life where it truly has no value or one could say it becomes pretentious. There are some behaviours and etiquettes that have a show of purpose but upon examination are hollow and possibly even a contradiction of the stated values.

Many of us can remember the days of the Black Panthers and the posters of Huey Newton with his prominent black cap neatly laying to the side along with the black leather jacket The style became iconic and there were many variants, but all essentially saying “I am a militant” and proponent of the black struggle if not revolution. Aside from the Panthers, there are other symbols, whether they be Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela or labourite — they are all in some way trying to convey that same message.

The irony is not in the display of the symbolism; it’s more so in the lack of follow-through, which reveals a character deficit.

A man that dresses like a Rambo militant but is as harmless as a lamb, who will tolerate injustice committed right in front of his face, who will be a party to tyranny as long as it’s not against him, who will remain silent and withhold his own criticism about the group or party just to belong.

The word for those types should be pseudo-revolutionary, and there are too many. What I find so amazing is persons sending me information, much of which I once consumed as a daily diet back in the early Seventies, the type that many of us as black Muslims stood for in those days when so many were afraid to be seen with that kind of information. Now those same people who yesterday were frightened are trying to inform me about this old news.

It is good to be informed, but the true dynamic is to act with what you know. If you see a wrong, fix it appropriately, either with your hand or your mouth. It’s about being alive and responsive as a full human being; not looking like a Davy Crockett but with an empty pistol.

It’s about being that foot soldier, whether he be a Davy Crockett or Nelson Mandela. It’s not about being violent or disruptive either, although admittedly at times it helps. It’s about being real in every context.

If anyone knew Hakim Gordon, they would know what being real means. If we had 100 real alive human beings, our politicians would not dare hoodwink the public. That all they see is pseudo-revolutionaries gives them the comfort to do as they like.

Back in the Seventies, the authorities spent an inordinate amount of resource containing real revolutionaries, which were then in abundance.

We have seen the death of real revolutionaries and have had 50 years of responsible government, and nearly 60 years of political parties. yet we complain today of economic disparity. Why? Why are our young men shooting themselves on the streets? Upon whose shoulders do we lay the responsibility for where we are?

There is a real answer for that, but, more importantly, who will get us out of the mess and how?

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Published Aug 13, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 13, 2018 at 12:00 am)

Pseudo-revolutionaries won’t change the world

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