The Rise Up October 24 meeting was held and the room was filled. Those sitting in the room understood when Dr. Cornel West said, “Time is Up! Are you on fire for freedom?”
This meeting was held ten days after nine church members were shot as they took part in bible study. A female survivor who was told by the gunman that he was letting her live so she could tell others what happened, told family members that the gunman initially sat down in the church for a while before opening fire.
In order to fight against the institution of hate we must bring together those who hate the system. Those numbers will create the Love Train. Brother Cornel West an intellectual stated, “When you are on fire for everyday people. When you fall in love with the people you step up and begin to fight for the people. If you do nothing the rocks are going to cry out.” He continued by pointing out that, “The younger generation has broken the back of fear.”
Cornel spoke about Angelina Emily Grimké whose father was a slave owner. She fell in love with everyday people. She fell in love with slaves. The most hated people. She was among the first American women to act publicly in social reform movements, and was ridiculed for her abolitionist activity. She became an early activists in the women’s rights movement.
Carl Dix also stood in this room packed with individuals from various organizations in New York: Revolution Newspaper, People’s Power Assemblies, Artist for Justice, and Mothers Against Youth Genocide”.
“You cannot end oppression by forgiving your oppressors,” said Carl Dix. “You cannot heal unless you diagnose the disease. It is time to challenge people. There is no room to stand in the middle. Responding to the outrage with forgiveness and love is perplexing. There is a strong desire to see these horrific actions stopped. “The young people in Baltimore did not get it wrong,” replied Carl. “They drew forth people who did and did not experience the horror of Baltimore.”
Do not ask if you are getting on the bus? Ask if you are coming with me.
The institutions hold us back. Beaten down! Lied on! Decrepit schools! Minus the arts! Divide the community! Folks are Overwork and Underpaid! That is business as usual. “I will go down swinging” said Dr. West. He continued and addressed the shooter being forgiven. Dr. West stated, “Premature forgiveness is not the answer.” He reminded us that the mother of Emmett Till once said, “I don’t have a minute to hate because I am fighting Justice for the rest of my life.” This is not a time to hate. We are in it together. We are not looking for unanimity. But when it comes to fighting for my people and against you need.
You must be ready!
Nkosi Anderson is currently a PhD student in Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, NY. He has been committed to youth education and human relations work for close to 20 years. Nkosi is excited about bringing this passion and experience to his efforts with The Roots Project, Inc. Nkosi remains active in a number of movements for social justice. Nkosi said, “Unjust Police Terror has always been a tool used to oppress people of colour. A public manifestation of violence.”
What are we going to do to fight back against racism? Unite!
The meeting came to a close with a student who graduated in June. He addressed the audience with confidence. “It is not that racism was not happening. Folks were not talking about it. What the problem is right now is the fact that there are millions of organizations that has yet to come together to put every single skeletons on the table. These people ruin lives. A new and different Civil Rights Movement will end this madness,” words spoken by Mojique Tyler graduated from Bard High School last month.
Time is Up! Are you on fire for freedom?