I’m not going to die for the people. Why would I when the violence on our bodies is trendy? When our faces are adorned with graphic design reefs in a like contest on social, and our last words are purchased as masks and t-shirts in Comic Sans? When the commodity of our grief is sold to us as identity. When we are Reactionaries.

When Ms. Davis, our mother communist, is gracing the cover of Vanity Fair and Breonna is sold as a collectors edition. When Vogue’s “Activism Now” cover prances models in their Black Panther Party costumes worth thousands of dollars of leather and berets. When the members still incarcerated today didn’t receive free subscriptions or commissary as a thank you.

When Black Lives Matter is up for a Nobel Peace Prize as there is yet to be peace, prize, nor threat of actual justice. When we are tear-gassed, shot by rubber bullets, ran over, murdered, violated, jailed, and chastised in protest against police brutality over the summer and by fall claim Incarcerators as our commanders in chief. When “allies” have racism fatigue.

When mainstream “artists” pose in pop videos as Trayvon Martin and Huey while singing about sex or their wet ass pussies in the middle of protests. When we forget about taking a knee even after seeing one murder George Floyd because its super bowl and Tom Brady got a seventh ring. When Kimberly’s viral exclaim of “white people are lucky we only want equality and not revenge” is now sponsored by ciroc, and people think that revolutions can be instagrammed. 

When we complain to have no leaders as we spend hours editing tik tok dance challenges and are obsessed with being under the influence of influencers. When our culture is more concerned with representation and inclusion than its own survival. 

When we trust Hollywood to teach us our history, our education has yet to liberate, our attention spans become shorter as we become more apathetic with every swipe to our own strife. When we beg a system to include us that never intended for us to be free. 

When we refer to human beings as hashtags. When community is the answer but we fight harder to prove we’re divided than to unite. When “we are not a monolith.” When we think we can’t be racist because we lack the systemic power to oppress, but are doing great at oppressing ourselves with white-minded ideals.

When we know our people are more imprisoned than ever enslaved and we keep buying the products they make. When we don’t actually need said products but want them instead. When we are sick and stay sick as the remedy. When we focus on which blue or red cult to belong to instead of belonging to ourselves and each other. When we embrace survival of the fittest instead of protecting our most vulnerable. 

We’d rather hire the government to structure, control, damn and pretend to save the lives that God gave us. We treat spirituality as a meme in a head wrap we can buy and sell. We are in church but on jury duty. 

The system in our minds is blocking our souls like dams. I have made these same mistakes, getting in the way of my purpose and heart. I’m not going to die for the people. Killing my sponsored self will bring the beast to its knees. I will baptize in self-love until the system has nothing left to sell. It will crumble throughout my head and around my feet. 

We are connected like a butterfly to a hurricane. 

The world is lost and saved each day, by every single one of us.

- The People Assembly