American Samizdat

Wednesday, June 08, 2011. *
A mighty tree has fallen - Geronimo Jijaga Pratt
when i was a mere teenager men like geronimo & fred hampton were like older brothers to me - they were not icons or something exotic, their humanity(& in the two instances it was an extraordinary humanity)resonated then & now. when i think of them i wonder at the possibilities that flower in the most terrible circumstance, under the most difficult conditions & in their way these two men brought beauty in my life very early by revealing the utter naturalness of politics. my commitment to working in the community came from them. you have to remember fred hampton was just a young young man when he was assassinated by the fbi in chicago & the geronimo was also a very young man when he was falsely accused by the fbi & sent to prison for 27 years, 8 of those in solitary. when he was released he was not bitter because he said i understood they were attacking my community & i never confused that in my mind. an extraordinary fighter, a wise, wise warrior. be in peace

i was never seduced by the liberal lies from thatcher reagan onwards because in all the cultures i worked in as a writer i witnessed the unrelenting attack on community, the decimation of the organizations that had hitherto assisted them & year after year fought the destruction that capital laid waste until the present where it is in collapse & all its attacks on the poor have been extended to the middle class. they are now tasting the whip. in all that time i have never forgotten either fred hampton or geronimo. ever. today, their human example, is even more resonant

i think the worst moments in a life are when you don't think you are able to live up to that exemplarity & you explode. the self destructive key is always there which the culture allows & is glad that you have taken it. perhaps i took that route sometimes in my life but was always drawn to what was true in me & men like hampton & jijaga -were implacable in their lessons & i know what i have done in the last 30 years as a man & as a writer in whatever country i lived & worked in was to - serve the people. there are those who would mock that but i know it is my highest dignity

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:39 PM
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