Majorities don’t change
“I dream a world where no human
No other human will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a dream where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black and white
And yellow and blue and green and red and brown,
Whatever your race may be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every woman and man and boy and girl is free,
Where wretchedness hangs its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the need of all humankind –
Of such a world, I dream!”
‘I Dream A World’
The day before my birthday I had an unusual and insightful experience. I travelled back to a place by chance – Which I’ve not seen since my very early teens. It’d not changed. The paint colour even remained. I went down a memory lane where I could reimagine every student in the class. The overall feel. Compare the experience to all the other locations I’d been teaching. The full breakdown of behaviour, demographics and social lessons. I’d never appreciated how much I’d stored. Teaching arts and crafts. I was 12.
My beginnings in studying human behaviour. Reactions in learning environments.
It took a while for me to see what every supporter in 2016 had in common. It should have been obvious. It’s not an unusual theme for me. It was in that room at 12. None felt education was accessible for them. That’s for someone better. Even if that meant a fight their ancestors started.
Once more there only seems to be two options presented right now – again I see a third.
Do we wait until others are ready to come with us? If we don’t are we not just back with a new majority rule? It might have a new colour but does it really bring everyone together? And I’m talking blue, not black. This is the reactive way.
The active is so much more unpredictable – like throwing a bouncing ball at a wall. Trying to predict the trajectory it will take. And knowing that even beyond your control it’s path will be judged to death. They’ll do their best to just have the power die. Till even you think you can’t pluck up the courage to bounce forward again.
So crazy and all as it seems I think we need to lose the majority. I know you think we need it to win. But it never does fully – it leaves the residual in the sludge. Those souls that just feel forgotten. Uncared for. The ones who’ll rise again to judge, blame or merely just burn. They don’t care once the destroy it all. Neither skin or colour will matter.
Somehow you’ll need to forget the sides. And bring each lost one along with you.
James Baldwin was almost there –
“We must dare to take another view of majority rule… taking it upon ourselves to become the majority by changing the moral climate. For it is upon this majority that the life of any nation really depends.”
But if we’ve learnt anything in a pandemic – we are no longer pack animals. We are always selfish. Each for their own.
We need to be talking in ones. Not majorities. It’ll be my focus till November.
P.S. I’ve found him – Rev. James Lawson. The tactician of the Civil Rights Movement. The one who brought the Gandhian philosophy of nonviolent protest to the mix. I knew listening to his address at John Lewis’s funeral that he was a man to learn much from. I’ve started.
Naoisé 14th August 2020