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  • dearabi

#Occupy Front Street

When I was in college I went through what I like to call my “Earth Tones” phase. It was when I used to wear a shitload of brown, green, beige or similar like colors. From the headwrap on my head to the cowrie shell choker on my neck, to the skirt I wore OVER my jeans; if I could lay against a tree and disappear against it, I’d wear it. During this time in my life, I was heavily involved in social activism, spoken word, and underground hip-hop. I’m talking small section to the right on the back wall of Amoeba Records underground. I’m talking Planet Asia, Aceyalone, underground. I’m talking if it looked like they spent more than $50 on production and distribution I ain’t buying it underground.

And then I realized that I didn’t like half the shit I listened to. But more than that, I didn’t like half the people who listened to it. These were the people that thought Mos Def would be a “sell out” if he wore an expensive watch, mind you this was long before his movie career. The same people who would rather have sickle cell anemia than listen to the radio. The same people all for the struggle that have never had a job and drive home from school in the Mercedes their parents bought them. The same people who would raise their fist in the air to the conscious sounds of Dead Prez, then fuck someone that wasn’t their girlfriend or have a one night stand with someone else’s man.

While I did enjoy a good amount of the music, I was swaying to the rhythm amongst a crowd of walking contradictions, music snobs, and hip-hoprocites that were the very essence of what they hated only on the flip side. When really, I didn’t mind the radio (except for commercials and techno), and I loved shaking my vivrant thang to Vivrant Thang.

Nowadays, people are quick to be down for a cause just because. So quick to write a righteous FaceBook status or Tweet in hopes that their peers will “like” or “rt” it, because that’s what they expect them to say. And while all the support is needed and appreciated, when you really don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, it’s almost counterproductive. Now that the Occupy movement isn’t on the front page everyday or headlining the 5 o’clock news, I wonder what their bandwagon supporters are doing. Surely, they’re using this time to secretly convene and think of the next plan of action right? More than likely they’re at some coffee shop drinking over-priced lattes with their laptop blogging about how how heartbroken they are, or getting shitface at some elusive new hotspot that they’ll be too cool for the next day.

I don’t voice my opinion about a lot of issues not because I’m ignorant, it’s just not my forte. And when it comes to subjects as emotionally charged as politics or religion, I carefully and humbly choose my battles. But just because someone doesn’t have it plastered on their foreheads, it doesn’t mean we are not taking action. Be proud of the things you stand for. Shit, go ahead and be boastful if you feel your cause deserves it. I ain’t mad, I think it’s admirable. But educate yourselves first. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. And NOT just on Facebook for fucking God. Know all sides of a proposition before you vote to pass it, know what that whistle hanging on your neck means, know WHAT THE FUCK EXACTLY YOU’RE OCCUPYING.

Then, if you still feel that passionate about it by all means support. Gloat. Boast. Network. Reblog. etc. etc. etc. I still support social activism, I still wear Earth tones, I still like spoken word, and I love almost all music. I just make sure to support shit for the right reasons now. Because I learned at a very young age that if you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything. But I also learned that if you fall for anything, you’ll fall for anything.

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