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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised -- Thoughts on the Election

Last night, I had a dream.  In the dream, I was visiting my mother in a foreign land, her home, where she lived.  In the dream, I found my thoughts and words were somehow heard from behind the closed doors and windows of her house.  This country where she lived was one you had to conform, you had to think as they thought, you had to live as they lived and somehow, I drew attention to my mother’s house by my thoughts.  At one point in the dream, a helicopter swooped down near her home and flew, very slowly, past her window.  My mother said “they heard you.”  I was astonished that my thoughts could be heard not only from outside my body, but from within her home.  I felt a foreboding feeling envelop me – this is not freedom, I thought, this is oppression.  Just because someone has feelings that oppose the current system should not be cause for attack.  I awoke wanting to leave my mother’s house and her country.

I awoke a couple of hours after going to sleep because it was meant for me to remember this dream.  It was also important for me to remember the feelings of oppression.  Then I thought to myself “that was Christine, she wants me to remember this dream.” 

Sen. Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said President Bush
Sen. Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said President Bush "had some coattails."

Just before settling in for sleep, I was petting my little “Diva Dawg” and telling her how much I missed “the other mommie.”  Because the feeling came from such a deep place within my soul, I knew to expect something.  When the soul leaves the body at sleep, it goes places only God knows where.  Mine, somehow, embarked on and landed in a place of truth – my truth.  It was time to go and do and say those things I’ve wanted to go, and do, and say.  I realized it was time to come out of my self-imposed exile.  Christine always said I needed to “write that down” when she heard me tell stories of fiction from off the top of my head, or when I expressed my feelings on the human condition.  Well, I guess it’s time because no longer can I contain my thoughts and feelings within my head or home. 

I did my last performance and poetry reading in 1978.  In or around 1974-75, coming from a place where Black men called Black women sister and the Black women called the Black man brother, the language of respect turned to something else – instead of sister, she became “my bitch” and instead of brother, he became “my nigger.” From Black Power, where the images to emulate were strong Black men and women, the new image to emulate was a pimp, a prostitute, or a drug dealer.  Today, nothing has changed.  Our pride has hit rock bottom and respect for one another has been thrown out baby first, then bathwater.  In 1978, I sat down and was silent.

Last night’s election results were horrible.  The sleeping giant was found, curled in a fetal position, sucking on his or her thumb and fast asleep.  We did not vote.  In my polling place, I was surprised to find the place empty.  The folks who did show up while I was there were those who probably marched with Dr. King – the older Black man and woman.  I looked towards the young and asked “where were you?  I did not see you at the polling place.”  Their reply was “my vote doesn’t count,” “I didn’t have time,” or “they don’t speak for the young people so why vote?”  Oh, I will grant you there have been times when I wondered did my vote count or was it thrown out.  Coming from Chicago, I know what it’s like to have my vote stolen or misrepresented.  But, I will go to vote if it serves no other purpose than to show, collectively and individually, we have power and our power should never be taken lightly. 

I rose this morning to turn on my television and find the war mongers and gang bangers of politics won yesterday’s election and now they have control of both the House and the Senate.  The sleeping giant needs to pull the finger from its mouth and rise.  Our supposed democracy was established to provide a system of checks and balances – where are those checks and balances now?  We will soon find our absence at the polls yesterday has placed us upon a slippery slope to the future – a slope where we will find ourselves taking a more defensive stance than offensive.  As the “War on Terrorism” mounts to insult the collective consciousness of the world, our rights, as we know them, will be whittled away, piece by piece.  Will the sleeping giant continue in its slumber? 

I am very angry, that is why I have opened my mouth to insert foot today.  “Weapons of Mass Destruction” were dropped on the people of Afghanistan.  500 and 1000 ton bombs, equipped with parachutes, were dropped from airplanes, which allowed our planes to get out of the way but not the innocent.  We, this country, manufactured those weapons of mass destruction and yet we seek to go after the President and the people of Iraq because we purport they are developing weapons of mass destruction.  We funded their endeavor; we gave them the credits to do so, as we funded both Iran and Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war.  We were on both sides of the conflict.  Collateral damage is too fast becoming the catch phrase of the day and don’t think we, in this country, won’t be considered collateral damage as well. 

Yes Christine, you are right.  I need to get up and say something because my thoughts have permeated the walls of my home.  If I don’t rise and say something, this country will soon become a foreign land to me.  The freedoms my forefathers fought and died for my benefit, will be taken away and my mother’s home, this land, will soon become like other foreign countries where freedom of speech, freedom of religion, women’s rights –at least I can sleep with a woman tonight without being taken out and shot according to law – all that exists today that is against the thoughts and/or beliefs of the war mongers and gang bangers of politics will slowly become non-existent. 

Arise sleepy giant, awake from your slumber – the revolution will not be televised. 




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