Monday, November 2, 2015

Harry Belafonte: Activism, Unrest & Making People Squirm

The people who turn away from radical thought are people who don’t like to be uncomfortable. And radical thought at its best is supposed to make people feel uncomfortable. We talk about the uprisings in communities like in St. Louis and Baltimore, and it is what protests are supposed to do. The fact that some niceties are inconvenienced and people can’t get to work on time because there are protests in the streets, well, hello, that is what we do. That is what we are supposed to do. That is what Dr. King did. I pointed out in a strategy session we had in Baltimore, when the state teargassed, machines of oppression showed up, and then applied a curfew. Everyone kind of bemoaned that fact. I said, “Those of you who are caught up in protest, this is a golden opportunity. If the state says you go to bed by 10 o’clock, then you should make sure that by 11, the streets of our cities are filled with human protest and bodies!” The fact that some might have a restless night with the noise downstairs or find it inconvenient because people blocked traffic, well that’s the point — to snap you out of your indifference! So those who are turned off by radical thinking, or radical behavior, well, as a matter of fact, in many ways, you are our target.


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