A lot of my writing lately has focused on the the actual crafts that I practice, mainly because that's the main thing going on in my life. I’m mostly talking about artistry and bettering ourselves because I really think that's the way towards bettering the planet. And it's gotten me some criticisms that might be justified. Originally I was very social awareness oriented, and I still am. As a black kid in North America, the system makes it so that you have to be. We are all unwitting spokespersons for our race and continent in every field and industry.
That's why there’s so much pressure on celebrities like A$AP Rocky or Lil Wayne who say the “wrong” things when it comes to social issues. They’re just rappers, they are not politicians or public servants of any sorts, and yet they are still asked about the sociopolitical and systemic affairs of their country. Personally I don’t think anyone should have a socially conscious platform if that's not what they do. If you do not care about social issues, are not invested in the well being of the people and are just interested in making your own money and living your own life, I don’t think you have a responsibility to speak out. If those people don’t say the “right thing” then it's the interviewers fault for even asking because that's not what Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Young Thug or any of them have presented themselves as. It’s only if you have created a platform through speaking out that I feel as though you should be asked questions pertaining to social issues and you should be held responsible for what you say.
And for some people that drive to speak out is ingrained in them. There’s people like Tupac, XXXTentacion, even outside of Hip Hop or black culture there’s artists like Bob Dylan or Chuck Palahniuk (The creator of fight club) who feel the need to put their truth into their art. And these are the people I grew up idolizing so I wanted to be another martyr for truth. I feel the need to speak out in me and I wanted to follow in the footsteps of all of my favourite artists and speak out against the system. And I started this platform when I was 19.
When you’re growing up, it's easy to view the world as binary. It's easy to see the world as competing factions like WWE. Red vs Blue, Black vs White, Liberal vs Conservative, Rich vs Poor. That's how I saw the world and that's how our system programs us to see the world because it's easier and faster. Seeing the world as binary gets things moving quicker and more efficiently. Its easy to view all conservatives as stupid, racist hillbillies slinging their guns and riding the tractors, and its easy to view liberals as pretentious idealistic hippies who have a problem against freedom of speech. But that's not the full scope of circumstances, quite literally ever. Having a systemic understanding of circumstances is great, but a lot of times there’s moving parts and individual conflicts, conflicting cultures, beliefs and paradoxes that impact every tiny detail of every system to the point where every system has a mini system of operation, where it's ultimately a kaleidoscope that gets deeper and more intricate the further you step into it.
We can have opinions on blanket issues and the resolve will always be simple and seem like it's common sense. Of course nobody should be racist, and many Trump supporters (aside from the lunatics) actually agree that not everyone should be racist, but there’s a laundry list of things that they believe he will provide for their families specific circumstances. Billy Bob Bixby (hypothetical person from Mississippi) loves Black people, Gays and Mexicans, but Trump promised to bring back manufacturing to America which is gonna put food in his children's mouths, so he’s gonna put on that red hat. Because to us that red hat represents evil, hatred, racism and bigotry, but to Billy Bob it represents sustenance, hope and a better future for his children.
And maybe to you Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton represent a return to stability, but to me they represent a more sadistic camouflaged bigotry. At least now the bigotry is in plain sight, but Joe Biden is openly whitewashing history and ignoring things like the crime bill and many other openly anti black policies he has inflicted and supported, racist statements he has made and rapey things he has done. That's not to say Trump is better, but Trump is putting all of his baggage in the open for the world to see and critique. But ultimately neither one of them matters that much. Because they don’t affect everyone's lives directly, the business interests that control their policy making affect the world directly. Different corporations, industries and lobbying organizations control the actual policies put into place on all levels. And all of those industries, corporations and organizations have different cultures and beliefs, paradoxes and systems within them. To the point where the person running the organization may not fundamentally agree with the mechanics of operation, but they ultimately need to feed their kids, at the expense of going to another war for the sake of profit.
A system like the police in North America is a good example. The police as an organization has its own convoluted history, culture, fraternities and details that surpass any orders from the state, they have their own loyalty to the point where black cops stand in solidarity with white cops that murder black people, because their loyalty is to their badge, jurisdiction, position and identity that they have held for 20 years. There’s multiple stories of cops speaking out against other cops but they’re seen as a traitor and are fired for speaking out. The police is clearly a flawed system of operations but its roots run deeper than just policy change, because the police don’t abide by policies outside of their own rules, regulations and culture, which is why they openly kill people on camera. And even that is an oversimplification of a deeper issue.
I say all this to say that none of these issues are as simple as I wanted them to be. The older I got the more outspoken I got, the more outspoken I got, the more research I had to do, the more research I did, the deeper the wormhole got. It's easy to tweet out blanket statements and Marxist revolutionary remarks, it's actually difficult to put all of your beliefs in a real life context outside of our idealized Utopia. We have to ultimately break it down to what do we care about the most and how much effort are we going to dedicate to solving the issue on an individual level, and if you’re not willing to put substantial effort into the fixing of that issue, then you shouldn’t speak out on sample size information, cause there are people dedicating their entire lives to the tiniest details of our systems of operation.
The only things I stand for are self betterment, community betterment and empowerment. Other than that I am willing to consult with the experts of different fields and read about the experts in different fields and industries and the opposing opinions on those topics and problems. Because nothing is as simple as we want it to be, and Twitter has fueled a generation of activists, which is a positive thing, but oversimplification is what leads to frustration and unrest. And it's even worse if the oversimplification has hints of truth in it.
It is true that there is an uneven distribution of wealth in the world, it is true that capitalism and everything negative it incentivizes (like prison slave labour, high and disproportionate incarceration rates, child sex trafficking, drug crimes and more) are a big source of whats harming the planet. It is also true that capitalism has lead to the western worlds higher rates of innovation, efficiency, literacy and more.
It's also true that no communist country has ever operated under the idealized means that Marx and Lenin talked about. Even our immediate focus on communism as an alternative is a part of the binary thinking model that we have been assigned. Every communist state went on to become authoritarian, use slave labour, they withheld information and privatized the distribution of information. And that is also what's going on within our capitalist world, specifically in the west, but there’s relative levels of freedom and systems that operate efficiently enough that a lot of us are actually okay, for the most part.
That's not saying this system is perfect by any means, but I can get a good grasp of information, I can educate myself, I can start my own organizations, I can speak out against the systems of governance, I can work to change things in my community and even my level of “poverty” is relative and circumstantial. I am “poor” in comparison to people wealthier than me in the land mass I occupy, but to a low income person in Ethiopia or India, I am rich. If I go anywhere else, my dollar holds a lot of weight and so does my passport. Obviously relative poverty is still not preferred but I’d rather be in Canada with running, clean water coming out of the sink, functioning indoor plumbing, sufficient healthcare, energy and education systems, and I’m not starving. Once I start with the gratitude for all the things that do work, which is by no means the case for the rest of the world, I can go on to critique the things that don’t work and try to find out the reasons as to why they don’t work and what we can do to change those circumstances to make it work in the most optimal way.
I think we should focus on specific problems and start thinking of disruptive innovation models to fix the errors in the current system instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances. For every existing marketplace we can innovate ideas that can make society run in the most optimal way. And if we’re creating it we can look at all the ethical and moral ramifications that the last regime didn’t think of. “We” being the youth vying for change. Instead of moral posturing and tweeting, we can actually cause radical change. And our radical change can’t be tried, tested and failed methods of operation based on an idealized version of reality. If our aim is to eradicate poverty, world hunger, slavery and environmental issues, we should read and consult with the experts that specialize in those fields, read the opposing viewpoints, and try to innovate different models of operation that weigh the ethical ramifications of the different systems of operation. Because none of these are simple issues.
My whole point is that the protests are a good start, but next we should educate ourselves on the specific issues we care about, further than the binary thinking model that has been programmed into us, and actually look at the details of each circumstance, that's the only way to solve any problem. I know none of this is as cool as a communist revolution or a Tupac interview but it's the conclusion that I’ve come to. I’m not an expert by any metric but I know for a fact that every system is deeply detailed and the only way to actually crack the code of the matrix is to learn the codes, and then you can program your own operating system that runs better and more efficiently. And maybe that's the baton that Pac was passing on when he said he knew he wasn’t gonna change the world but he was gonna inspire the minds that will.