Monday, October 12, 2015

Justice or Else: What's Next?

Justice or Else: What's Next?
7 Experiences of a Five Percenter

It's 3:09am and I'm up reflecting and writing on the 10.10.15 Justice or Else Rally in Washington DC I recently attended. Although there were many things I saw and heard, here are  7 Experiences I wanted to share with all of you. Before I do that I want to first give a shout out and thank my brother Keith Muhammad of Luv4Self for organizing our trip and the other members of our entourage for travelling down.

  • I loved seeing the numerous vendors utilizing this entrepreneurship opportunity to provide goods/services for the people. It was definitely an example of cooperative economics. Aside from the economic stimulus to the city's economy via food, lodging, transportation and etc., I'm already working on something to address and redirect some of that revenue to neglected communities/commercial zones when gatherings like this take place, regardless of the City/State.
  • The "Justice or Else: What's Next?" National Community Forum I participated in focused on various grassroot programs, projects and initiatives we're engaged in that already addresses "What's Next?" We discussed the political process, displacement/gentrification, education models, cooperative economics and etc. The best part about grassroot forums such as this is people don't simply leave encouraged. We were there working and we left with tasks. For example, during a segment we took a moment to come up with a vision statement and #hashtags to start tweeting a public official to begin using our social networks to mobilize around a specific quality of life issue. Click the highlighted link so you can check it out.

"Justice or Else: What's Next" National Community Forum

  • I'm glad I had an opportunity to connect with so many people in the flesh who are working towards bringing about a better world for our present and future generations. I'm also glad that I was able to connect with my Queens and Howard University students Asiyah and Aziza and share some time with my eldest Asiyah because her 20th Born Day was also 10.10.15. In addition, 10.10.15 marks the 51st year and formal Born Day of the Five Percenters so it was also beautiful to celebrate that with some of my Universal Family. One of my best highlights was finally meeting the young sun my God Brother and his Queen gave me the honor of naming "Khemel." That was indeed love to the highest degree!

  • By the time I arrived in DC I was running on fumes: the last full meal I had was a day earlier and I hadn't slept in 60 hours. Although I ended up eating some of the food/water donated by Author D. Scott I still hadn't slept taking turns driving back. Not sure if any of you have experienced this before but lack of sleep can make you hallucinate. At one point the white vehicle in front of me turned red and looked like a Dumb & Dumber version of Clifford The Big Red Dog. Lol I say this to say: when you're travelling, make sure you get some rest first and possibly when you arrive somewhere, before you travel back.

  • Of the many positive things people said to me, one of the things that struck me was a brother saying how proud he was of me for the way I represent Five Percenters worldwide. It wasn't a back handed compliment and he was sincere about it. I appreciated that because it's not often that brothers put their EGO aside and honestly give another brother credit like that without wrapping it up in joke or mumbling it. Herein lies a greater problem with that mentality: When we're not sharing our love, support and appreciation for each other, we're not showing our younger generations how to love, support and appreciate each other. One of the reasons we don't see it in our millennial generation is because they don't see us doing it. I've not had an issue sharing love, support and appreciation for what others are doing and willfully that gesture symbolizes a growing sense of unity and cooperation we need as brothers to effectively address the problems that are plaguing our families and communities.

  • The "or Else" means many things to many people. To me it's an unfinished sentence that represents the consequences of apathy, disunity, egotism and blind consumerism. So for example, "Justice or else... we're going to see the continual deterioration of our families and communities." Sometimes in order to build, some things must be destroyed. In this case, and among other things, it's apathy, disunity, egotism and blind consumerism that must be destroyed in order to transform our present conditions.

  • If we're participating in a nationwide blackout/boycott to not support certain businesses and services we also should blackout/boycott promoting and advertising certain businesses and services. For example, not buying Polo gear for a couple of days yet simultaneously posting pictures on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook wearing Polo gear defeats the purpose of participating in a blackout/boycott. Even though we didn't buy anything, we may have encouraged half a dozen people to go buy something. Lol Just something to think about. Here's a video I did entitled Advertising and Self Determination where I further elaborate on this.
In closing I had an excellent time building and networking with others, seeing the beauty of our unity and leaving with more ideas to continue my work at home and abroad. Regardless who was there, who spoke and etc., people will ultimately take away from this event what they brought to it and willfully what they gained while being there. The above video visually documents part of my experience there. The background music is a track called "Pressure" which was also produced by me.

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