“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”
Morpheus, “The Matrix”
It doesn’t matter if you wear a cross, star of David, Ankh, Eye of Heru, or medallion of Africa. Whether you wear a tailored suit, traditional African clothing or Timberland boots with jeans and a hoodie. Whether your name is European or African. Whether you worship In a church, mosque, or temple.
Whether you follow Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Yahweh, Jehovah, Shiva or Shango. Whether you meditate, pray, chant, or visualize. Whether you are a vegan or carnivore.
You can burn incense, scented candles, receive massages or bathe in exotic bath salts. Whether you jog, do yoga, lift weights, bike, hike, swim or regularly recline on the couch. Whether you ski, surf, skate, or skateboard.
You might be heterosexual, gay, bisexual, transgendered or transsexual. Male, female or androgynous. Perhaps you’re socialist, nationalist, feminist, integrationist, or pan African. Conservative, liberal or radical. Self-taught or College-educated. Middle class, working class homeless, or formerly incarcerated. Perhaps you believe in conspiracies, think Tupac and Bruce Lee faked their deaths, believe you were abducted by aliens, were reincarnated, can communicate with animals and the deceased or can move objects without physically touching them…….
Our religion, sexuality, political ideology, faith system, and style are personal decisions that govern our individual spheres. They are all bubbles that we live in, per se.
But no matter what bubble of belief or behavior we choose to reside within, a minority of people in this world ( helped along by our apathy, ignorance and cooperation) own the majority of wealth and land in this world. This group (mostly but not exclusively white) creates and enforces the laws, declares unjust wars, defines “truth,” beauty, love, what’s legitimate, what you should buy, think, wear, eat, believe and obey.
If you’re cool with this scenario, stay in your little bubble of personal interest and may the force be with you. But if you truly want to change things and facilitate a safer, healthier and more empowered world for ourselves and our children, we will need to have compassionate hearts, flexible minds, and proactive spirits. We will need to push past rigid dogma, controlling and divisive mythologies, and cult-like thinking. As the sun shines on everyone and everything, so must liberation. Put another way, liberation cannot be segmented. Nor can it be a privilege for certain classes; Liberation must be TOTAL. A revolution that relocates class divisions and substitutes one form of oppression for another is an unsuccessful and wasteful project. “The revolution” must educate and organize Black folk to organize and unite around common areas of interest, despite large areas of disagreement and intolerance.
This is not some altruistic revolution in the distant future. The revolution has already begun. Your first steps are to THINK FOR YOURSELF, SEEK TRUTH, and GET UNPLUGGED from ideas, people, or philosophies that deceive, distract and cause disharmony, destruction and confusion. We need all responsible and committed hands on deck! Open your third eye, refuse to be distracted by side issues, and get involved in the Black Liberation Struggle!
“Either we’ll learn to live and work together as brothers and sisters, or we’ll suffer and die together like fools.”
Agyei Tyehimba is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak to your organization, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.