Preparation is Necessary: Do Your Homework

For anyone who is aware of what is going on in the country, you know that something is starting to loom. We have conditioned ourselves to see pain and accept it as a normality, when we know if the races were reversed and white people were the victims of such crimes, they would not hesitate to harbor their rage for the party who did it. Today in 2015, in the generation of technology, it is so easy to look something up or take someone’s word because you found it on Wikipedia. Racism, oppression, xenophobia, islamophobia and other concepts of hate are not new by any measure. They hold a big chunk of American and European history, so clearly they have more than a few articles deconstructing them.

Coming to Duke, I fell in love with the libraries. They are so big you could get lost if you have a shitty sense of direction. But of all my time of being here and walking through the library, I rarely see people reading. I mean, for studying purposes, they have that down, especially around finals week. But I’m talking about reading for yourself, also known as pleasure reading. Coming to college, I realized that we have slowly been condition that reading solely for one’s pleasure and knowledge gain is something that should be frowned upon and is a sign of laziness. But there are so many issues with this.

In the past couple of years, we have seen ourselves protest tile we are blue in the face to no avail. We also open ourselves up to conversations and arguments with those who are asleep in hopes that we can get them to realize that the issues we are facing are real. I myself have definitely done that a few times. It drains you of your energy and leaves your more and more defeated.

Now, I am telling you we need to stop. Arguing and pleading with those who are the enemy will get you nowhere. To put it into context you might better understand, imagine this is the Matrix, and you and I have been unplugged. Sure, we can go back and talk to these people, but they aren’t going to understand because they are agents, programmed to shut down anything that is disagreeable with society’s norms. They are dangerous. Any one of them can come back and kill you. You need to arm yourself instead of attempting to engage with the cordially, because when they come for us, they are not going to be cordial, and you need to understand exactly what their foundation is and who they are working for, otherwise, you will not be able to take down the system as a whole.

Instead of arguing, read. In the time you have between movements and protests, and other activist events, get some books and read. Watch some lectures. Those leaders you looked up to from the 60s? get inside their mind, get to know them and see what they are really about. Get to know your oppressor, take these books and consume them, analyze them. Knowledge of course, isn’t going to help as a physical weapon, but it will help you wield and decolonize your mind. It is time for us to stop taking these whitewashed history books as factual, and go into the world of Marcus Garvey or Doctor John Henrik Clarke and Doctor Joy Degruy. We need this information if we expect in any way to take down this beast of white supremacy.

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