(Follow AmericaWakieWakie)

america-wakiewakie:

Cop shows are just PR for a racist, classist institution that enforces the criminalization of non-whiteness and poverty. Turn that shit off.

One more time!

Show of hands: Who here actually reads and understands the content I post? Who uses the search option?

I am either failing at making content digestible or a lot of folks fail at reading.

transistor-subsidal:

america-wakiewakie:

I can’t fuck with liberals anymore. Seriously, it’s like smelling shit and calling it cake.

I believe the phrase you’re looking for is “democrats”. by definition, you’re a liberal. very very far leftist liberal, much more so than the liberal establishment, but still liberal.

^^^ Can’t tell liberals from anarchists and communists. SMH.

I can’t fuck with liberals anymore. Seriously, it’s like smelling shit and calling it cake.


“If I should steal something from you, you can call a policeman and have me arrested. The law will punish the thief, and the government will return to you the stolen property, if possible, because the law forbids stealing. It says that no one has a right to take anything from you without your consent.
But your employer takes from you what you produce. The whole wealth produced by labor is taken by the capitalists and kept by them as their property.
The law says that your employer does not steal anything from you, because it is done with your consent. You have agreed to work for your boss for certain pay, he to have all that you produce. Because you consented to it, the law says that he does not steal anything from you.
But did you really consent?
When the highwayman holds his gun to your head, you turn your valuables over to him. You ‘consent’ all right, but you do so because you cannot help yourself, because you are compelled by his gun.
Are you not compelled to work for an employer? Your need compels you, just as the highwayman’s gun. You must live, and so must your wife and children. You can’t work for yourself, under the capitalist industrial system you must work for an employer. The factories, machinery, and tools belong to the employing class, so you must hire yourself out to that class in order to work and live. Whatever you work at, whoever your employer may be, it always comes to the same: you must work for him. You can’t help yourself You are compelled.
In this way the whole working class is compelled to work for the capitalist class. In this manner the workers are compelled to give up all the wealth they produce. The employers keep that wealth as their profit, while the worker gets only a wage, just enough to live on, so he can go on producing more wealth for his employer. Is that not cheating, robbery?”
— Alexander Berkman | What Is Communist Anarchism?

If I should steal something from you, you can call a policeman and have me arrested. The law will punish the thief, and the government will return to you the stolen property, if possible, because the law forbids stealing. It says that no one has a right to take anything from you without your consent.

But your employer takes from you what you produce. The whole wealth produced by labor is taken by the capitalists and kept by them as their property.

The law says that your employer does not steal anything from you, because it is done with your consent. You have agreed to work for your boss for certain pay, he to have all that you produce. Because you consented to it, the law says that he does not steal anything from you.

But did you really consent?

When the highwayman holds his gun to your head, you turn your valuables over to him. You ‘consent’ all right, but you do so because you cannot help yourself, because you are compelled by his gun.

Are you not compelled to work for an employer? Your need compels you, just as the highwayman’s gun. You must live, and so must your wife and children. You can’t work for yourself, under the capitalist industrial system you must work for an employer. The factories, machinery, and tools belong to the employing class, so you must hire yourself out to that class in order to work and live. Whatever you work at, whoever your employer may be, it always comes to the same: you must work for him. You can’t help yourself You are compelled.

In this way the whole working class is compelled to work for the capitalist class. In this manner the workers are compelled to give up all the wealth they produce. The employers keep that wealth as their profit, while the worker gets only a wage, just enough to live on, so he can go on producing more wealth for his employer. Is that not cheating, robbery?”

Alexander Berkman | What Is Communist Anarchism?

Cop shows are just PR for a racist, classist institution that enforces the criminalization of non-whiteness and poverty. Turn that shit off.

Could you give me a (longish) list of anarchist books or things to read so that I could start from the most basic theory and work upwards? — Asked by the-vile-inn

ask-an-anarchist:

Anarchism 101:

Anarcha-feminism:

Communist anarchism:

Green anarchism:

Individualist anarchism

Mutualism

Post-left anarchism:

Queer anarchism:

Christian anarchism:

Please feel welcome to reblog and expand! 

FYI, you cannot have a dialogue with students and then REQUIRE them to give responses. That’s antithetical and clearly displays you don’t understand what safe space means.

america-wakiewakie:

Educate. Agitate. ORGANIZE! | An Anarchist FAQ
Educate, agitate, organise. The phrase has been around for years but the ideas it encapsulates are still radical. We live in a world where we are encouraged to be passive. We are all consumers. We watch, we read, we observe, and some of us wait, hope and dream. These words go against the grain. You can’t build a revolution by watching from a distance. There comes a point where many decide that they are tired of sitting on the sidelines.
This is a big step, we decide we want to change our dreams into reality. We want to be part of the process, participants in the struggle. Revolution changes from being a ‘nice idea’ to being a concrete activity. This is the point where we start thinking about what revolution means. No longer do we wait for things to get better, instead we start creating the conditions we want. There are a number of alternative ways we can go. Some throw themselves into activism, committing themselves to various campaigns. Some become demoralised and revert to being observers (and often bitter observers).
An additional option is to join a revolutionary organisation. There is no blue-print available to revolutionaries, letting us know the steps we have to follow to achieve our aim. There are many ways in which a revolution may come about, but this is not to say that we can say nothing now about the process of creating revolution. Without revolutionary organisations, much of the work we do, as activists, can only be for the short term.
'Don't mourn, Organise', Joe Hill said before he was executed by the US state. It's nothing more than common sense to say that two heads are better than one. The more people working together, the more that can be achieved. But organisation is more than the coming together of kindred spirits. As well as co-operation, organisations provide a framework, a strategy, a way of linking all the work we do, of maximising its effect.
Capitalism is a pretty big system, we must also organise on a big scale. With organisation we can cut it down to a more manageable size. After all what is revolution but the culmination of many successful struggles. No revolution happens overnight. Sixty years passed between the first anarchist ideas arriving in Spain and the Spanish Revolution. Successful revolutions do not occur spontaneously.
Without revolutionary organisations that have built on and expanded on the skills and information gained in struggle, there would be no successful revolution. In Spain anarchists organised together. Together they learned from their experiences on the ground and used their knowledge to help others win the campaigns they were involved in. Before the revolution of 1936, there was the Barcelona Rent strike of 1931. Nothing is inevitable, it could have been otherwise. Early victories could have been forgotten, instead they led to later ones. Why? Because anarchist organisations were there to link these struggles.
Being in an anarchist organisation means more than having friends to help you out in your day to day work. It means being part of creating history, of knowing that the work leafleting today, is laying the foundations for a future society. Organisations help build links between different campaigns, between different areas and communities. One campaign won’t topple the system, but a network of struggles, supporting and encouraging each other, can spread and grow to be a formidable opponent. It is the role of an anarchist organisation to weave all the threads of opposition together.
The WSM is a small anarchist organisation. There is much we cannot yet do. But there is much we can do. We do have an influence, and we can use that influence to help build towards a revolution based on freedom and equality. We can help people win. We’ve written much about the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charges Campaigns. Along with other groups and individuals we worked very hard in this campaign. We believe that people have power to change the world, and until they use this power we’ll be stuck with the present system.
Most don’t buy into the system, yet unfortunately they don’t change it. People will only take risks, stand up and fight if they believe there is a good chance they will succeed. This sort of self confidence doesn’t grow on trees, it grows out of winning. The water charges was such a victory. Some people in Dublin now know, that even if the state threatens them with the courts and jail, even if they’re condemned in the press and in the Dail, they will not be defeated, if they stand together.
It is of such things that revolutions are made, but it’s important to remember that initially the imposition of the charges was unopposed. Things could have turned out very differently. The water charges could have been just one more tax, unquestionably accepted. Initially only a handful of people were involved, meeting in small rooms, leafleting huge housing estates. But because those people were willing to give their time and commitment a massive campaign was eventually built and happily victory was ours.
It doesn’t take many people to make a difference. You don’t have to be a superman or woman, a genius or a supreme leader to change society. There are many many examples of how a few people, organised together can have a large effect. Our strength comes in our numbers and everybody makes a difference, in the short term, and in the long term. We all have to start somewhere. Take the next step, organise, agitate, and educate.

america-wakiewakie:

Educate. Agitate. ORGANIZE! | An Anarchist FAQ

Educate, agitate, organise. The phrase has been around for years but the ideas it encapsulates are still radical. We live in a world where we are encouraged to be passive. We are all consumers. We watch, we read, we observe, and some of us wait, hope and dream. These words go against the grain. You can’t build a revolution by watching from a distance. There comes a point where many decide that they are tired of sitting on the sidelines.

This is a big step, we decide we want to change our dreams into reality. We want to be part of the process, participants in the struggle. Revolution changes from being a ‘nice idea’ to being a concrete activity. This is the point where we start thinking about what revolution means. No longer do we wait for things to get better, instead we start creating the conditions we want. There are a number of alternative ways we can go. Some throw themselves into activism, committing themselves to various campaigns. Some become demoralised and revert to being observers (and often bitter observers).

An additional option is to join a revolutionary organisation. There is no blue-print available to revolutionaries, letting us know the steps we have to follow to achieve our aim. There are many ways in which a revolution may come about, but this is not to say that we can say nothing now about the process of creating revolution. Without revolutionary organisations, much of the work we do, as activists, can only be for the short term.

'Don't mourn, Organise', Joe Hill said before he was executed by the US state. It's nothing more than common sense to say that two heads are better than one. The more people working together, the more that can be achieved. But organisation is more than the coming together of kindred spirits. As well as co-operation, organisations provide a framework, a strategy, a way of linking all the work we do, of maximising its effect.

Capitalism is a pretty big system, we must also organise on a big scale. With organisation we can cut it down to a more manageable size. After all what is revolution but the culmination of many successful struggles. No revolution happens overnight. Sixty years passed between the first anarchist ideas arriving in Spain and the Spanish Revolution. Successful revolutions do not occur spontaneously.

Without revolutionary organisations that have built on and expanded on the skills and information gained in struggle, there would be no successful revolution. In Spain anarchists organised together. Together they learned from their experiences on the ground and used their knowledge to help others win the campaigns they were involved in. Before the revolution of 1936, there was the Barcelona Rent strike of 1931. Nothing is inevitable, it could have been otherwise. Early victories could have been forgotten, instead they led to later ones. Why? Because anarchist organisations were there to link these struggles.

Being in an anarchist organisation means more than having friends to help you out in your day to day work. It means being part of creating history, of knowing that the work leafleting today, is laying the foundations for a future society. Organisations help build links between different campaigns, between different areas and communities. One campaign won’t topple the system, but a network of struggles, supporting and encouraging each other, can spread and grow to be a formidable opponent. It is the role of an anarchist organisation to weave all the threads of opposition together.

The WSM is a small anarchist organisation. There is much we cannot yet do. But there is much we can do. We do have an influence, and we can use that influence to help build towards a revolution based on freedom and equality. We can help people win. We’ve written much about the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charges Campaigns. Along with other groups and individuals we worked very hard in this campaign. We believe that people have power to change the world, and until they use this power we’ll be stuck with the present system.

Most don’t buy into the system, yet unfortunately they don’t change it. People will only take risks, stand up and fight if they believe there is a good chance they will succeed. This sort of self confidence doesn’t grow on trees, it grows out of winning. The water charges was such a victory. Some people in Dublin now know, that even if the state threatens them with the courts and jail, even if they’re condemned in the press and in the Dail, they will not be defeated, if they stand together.

It is of such things that revolutions are made, but it’s important to remember that initially the imposition of the charges was unopposed. Things could have turned out very differently. The water charges could have been just one more tax, unquestionably accepted. Initially only a handful of people were involved, meeting in small rooms, leafleting huge housing estates. But because those people were willing to give their time and commitment a massive campaign was eventually built and happily victory was ours.

It doesn’t take many people to make a difference. You don’t have to be a superman or woman, a genius or a supreme leader to change society. There are many many examples of how a few people, organised together can have a large effect. Our strength comes in our numbers and everybody makes a difference, in the short term, and in the long term. We all have to start somewhere. Take the next step, organise, agitate, and educate.

So many of you have found my girlfriend’s blog, reached out to her, and have better relationships with her than I have with you all! I am grateful this blog has served as a portal to connect good people to each other though. Back home I had a real knack for bring groups together, even though I never intended on it really—just happened. Being in a new city, that’s been difficult, but seems like a lot of that networking has already been done, I’m the one plugging in. That said, I’m sure I will meet more of you. To the ones I have met, you know who you are, much love :)

Corporate “Give Back” weeks are such as facade. Exploit your communities and the planet for 51 weeks out of the year, “give back” for one, but not really because all “giving back” with these multinationals is meant only to paint a rosy picture of the “good” exploiters versus the “bad” exploiters, to create positive social capital with the intent of obfuscating destructive social and ecological footprints.

Substantively speaking, a few hundred affluent people flooding a community for a week does not constitute any sort of tangible solidarity WITH the community. More often than not it creates the work of engaging a bunch of clueless fuckwit “volunteers” who want to get out of the office for a day rather than working to dismantle oppression.

To quote Eduardo Galeano, “I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.” Corporations are never interested in learning beyond the ability to better, more efficiently exploit, while making us love them for it.

america-wakiewakie:

What if I told you trying to eliminate poverty through “education” is bullshit? | AmericaWakieWakie
June 2nd, 2014
“Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.”
— Malcolm X
We live in a time when more people, far more than ever before, are educated far more than ever before. Yet capitalism’s use of low wage labor persists as the gap between rich and poor becomes an insurmountable chasm. Such trends are likely to continue. History tells us, from colonial genocide to slavery to now, that capitalism has always been and will continue to be a system predicated on exploitation. Education’s purpose within an oppressive system then is not to enhance the lives of the exploited, but to structurally replicate and facilitate their exploitation.  
How is educational inequity structured through class?
“Poverty, the existence of the poor, was the first cause of riches.”
— Peter Kropotkin
Contrary to the accepted dogma that (any) education is the great equalizer in American society, it has been structured in a way that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In other words, working class students are structurally disenfranchised from the upward mobility education is believed to provide.
It is true, however, that more educated folks have, on average, done “better” (relative to the poorest of us) than those with less education. What happens though to education in working class communities where capitalism has siphoned wealth most?
As Jacobin magazine recently stated:  “[T]he growth in inequality over the last three decades has not been mainly a story of the more educated pulling away from the less educated,” but “rather, it has been a story in which a relatively small group of people (roughly the top one percent) have been able to garner the bulk of economic gains for reasons that have little direct connection to education.”
In part, this is because the essential accruing of profit dictates either an ever expanding market, which, framed within the scope of limited resources, is impossible, or ever increasing exploitation of working peoples, which is happening. Such is the reason for the erosion of high paying working class jobs through mechanized industry, globalization, anti-unionism, and stagnant worker’s wages while still accounting for record productivity/efficiency and profits among corporate giants.
Jacobin elaborated:
“[I]nequality is not a question of the more-educated gaining at the expense of the less-educated due to inevitable technological trends. Rather, it has been a story in which a small group of especially well-situated workers — for example, those in finance, doctors, and top-level corporate executives — have been able to gain at the expense of almost everyone else. This pattern of inequality will be little affected by improving the educational outcomes for the bottom quarter or even bottom half of income distribution… [I]t… is not the case that plausible increases in education quality and attainment will have a substantial impact on inequality. This will require much deeper structural changes in the economy.”
Because education funding is buoyed by state and local tax revenues, disparities between affluent and working class communities are inherent.
A study conducted by the advocacy group Public Citizens for Children & Youth determined wealthy communities are well situated to absorb state cuts in education funding by marginally increasing local sales taxes or raising property taxes to ensure students receive the support needed for success. Poorer communities, on the other hand, “[W]ith a weak property tax base are not able to raise taxes enough to have a significant impact because the local tax burdens are already proportionately high.”
But there is more. When we take into consideration that often the limited revenue of our taxation is diverted to corporate welfare instead of our community needs, we come to understand the working class is forced to finance those fleecing our communities. Literally, the wealthy can afford higher taxation for their children’s education because with every subsidy and tax loophole we, the working class, supplement their incomes with our financial poverty.
How is educational inequity structured through white supremacy?
 “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free.”
— Assata Shakur
White supremacy is a hard bug to kill. In the American South white supremacy has burrowed deep beneath the region’s skin, firmly rooting itself within state-sanctioned methods of discrimination.
Though school desegregation has faded as a national issue, nearly 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision the reality of its presence — however different — is still painfully clear. Few places more than impoverished Mississippi, with its racially tattered past, demonstrate better that when education is underlined by the pervading social and economic trends of an exploitive system it will replicate the same disparities and biases of that system.   
The Brown decision meant that Mississippi’s segregated schools were now illegal, but it did little to placate white Mississippians’ ambitions to maintain separate school systems. When groups of black Mississippians pressed for adherence to the law, they were halted immediately, repeatedly, and often violently. Where they were not successful in blocking black efforts, white Mississippians simply left.
Enter white-flight, or re-segregation. In 1960, as reported by the Census Bureau, Jackson, Mississippi’s population was 64.3% white and 35.7% black. By 1990, with the winds of desegregation having been stymied by white exodus, population demographics shifted to 43.6% white and 55.7% black. By 2013 white Jacksonians have dwindled to 18% of the city’s total population.
Mississippi’s history (read Jim Crow) of denying black people access to the resources needed for socioeconomic stability considered, re-segregation of the greater Jackson area has robbed black youth of the necessary tax revenue for a thriving school system. As a result, the Jackson Public School District ranks in the bottom 25 percentile of the state’s school systems while its neighboring districts, the Rankin Country School District and the Madison Country School district, rank in the top 25 percentile.
Maintaining the social and economic power of re-segregation afforded the state’s white majority has been the fruit of constant labor.
Gerrymandering is one method employed, or as editorialist Joe Collins described, the act of “distorting the way votes are counted in order for a party to stay in office, or stay more in office” by “moving district lines, splitting up groups, and sending their votes elsewhere to be counted — or wasted.”
The ramifications of gerrymandering are far-reaching. Because electoral politics in Mississippi are divided on racial lines, largely facilitated by white flight, voting districts mirror segregated communities — on purpose. Such a strategy seeks to mitigate the voices in opposition to white supremacist domination. As Collins perfectly stated:
“Packing the majority-minority districts is like stuffing a few more clothes into a full laundry bag – you can put more stuff in there, but it still just counts as one bag. The more black votes that go into a majority-minority district, the fewer blacks there are to contend with in other senate races statewide.”
Framed in terms of education, this means less marginalized voices to champion the programs needed to lift impoverished communities, especially black communities like Jackson, at every level of government. Still further, it means black students in Mississippi schools will rarely, if ever, be empowered beyond poverty by a curriculum engaging them in their true histories so long as power is structurally rigged into the hands of whites.
How do we begin to educate through common struggle?
“Without dialogue there is no communication, and without communication there can be no true education.”
— Paulo Freire
Moving beyond the race and class structured barriers placed before America’s most exploited will require deep changes in society. In the face of such barriers we know “education” alone is not a plausible answer to poverty when capitalism has reduced it to a commodity in service of the wealthy, racist elite.
Because of this we know we cannot depend on those oppressing us to educate us of our real potential. Our education must come from each other, from our joint struggles. We must develop a new kind of education — an education that itself is living resistance. To do this we can begin by framing it within revolutionary context — that is, we must ask each other education about what exactly, how will we engage one another differently, and in what new ways shall we henceforth cope.
By asking these questions we come to understand that degrees of any kind in any field do nothing to eliminate poverty without knowing and addressing the underlying fundamental that capitalism breeds it. The only education that challenges and sets out a path to abolish poverty is the radical re-education to dismantle our current mode of living and to redefine/re-center it around our local communities.
All else is treading water. 
(Read Part Two of This Series Here)

america-wakiewakie:

What if I told you trying to eliminate poverty through “education” is bullshit? | AmericaWakieWakie

June 2nd, 2014

Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.”

— Malcolm X

We live in a time when more people, far more than ever before, are educated far more than ever before. Yet capitalism’s use of low wage labor persists as the gap between rich and poor becomes an insurmountable chasm. Such trends are likely to continue. History tells us, from colonial genocide to slavery to now, that capitalism has always been and will continue to be a system predicated on exploitation. Education’s purpose within an oppressive system then is not to enhance the lives of the exploited, but to structurally replicate and facilitate their exploitation.  

How is educational inequity structured through class?

“Poverty, the existence of the poor, was the first cause of riches.”

— Peter Kropotkin

Contrary to the accepted dogma that (any) education is the great equalizer in American society, it has been structured in a way that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In other words, working class students are structurally disenfranchised from the upward mobility education is believed to provide.

It is true, however, that more educated folks have, on average, done “better” (relative to the poorest of us) than those with less education. What happens though to education in working class communities where capitalism has siphoned wealth most?

As Jacobin magazine recently stated:  “[T]he growth in inequality over the last three decades has not been mainly a story of the more educated pulling away from the less educated,” but “rather, it has been a story in which a relatively small group of people (roughly the top one percent) have been able to garner the bulk of economic gains for reasons that have little direct connection to education.”

In part, this is because the essential accruing of profit dictates either an ever expanding market, which, framed within the scope of limited resources, is impossible, or ever increasing exploitation of working peoples, which is happening. Such is the reason for the erosion of high paying working class jobs through mechanized industry, globalization, anti-unionism, and stagnant worker’s wages while still accounting for record productivity/efficiency and profits among corporate giants.

Jacobin elaborated:

“[I]nequality is not a question of the more-educated gaining at the expense of the less-educated due to inevitable technological trends. Rather, it has been a story in which a small group of especially well-situated workers — for example, those in finance, doctors, and top-level corporate executives — have been able to gain at the expense of almost everyone else. This pattern of inequality will be little affected by improving the educational outcomes for the bottom quarter or even bottom half of income distribution… [I]t… is not the case that plausible increases in education quality and attainment will have a substantial impact on inequality. This will require much deeper structural changes in the economy.”

Because education funding is buoyed by state and local tax revenues, disparities between affluent and working class communities are inherent.

A study conducted by the advocacy group Public Citizens for Children & Youth determined wealthy communities are well situated to absorb state cuts in education funding by marginally increasing local sales taxes or raising property taxes to ensure students receive the support needed for success. Poorer communities, on the other hand, “[W]ith a weak property tax base are not able to raise taxes enough to have a significant impact because the local tax burdens are already proportionately high.”

But there is more. When we take into consideration that often the limited revenue of our taxation is diverted to corporate welfare instead of our community needs, we come to understand the working class is forced to finance those fleecing our communities. Literally, the wealthy can afford higher taxation for their children’s education because with every subsidy and tax loophole we, the working class, supplement their incomes with our financial poverty.

How is educational inequity structured through white supremacy?

 “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free.”

— Assata Shakur

White supremacy is a hard bug to kill. In the American South white supremacy has burrowed deep beneath the region’s skin, firmly rooting itself within state-sanctioned methods of discrimination.

Though school desegregation has faded as a national issue, nearly 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision the reality of its presence — however different — is still painfully clear. Few places more than impoverished Mississippi, with its racially tattered past, demonstrate better that when education is underlined by the pervading social and economic trends of an exploitive system it will replicate the same disparities and biases of that system.   

The Brown decision meant that Mississippi’s segregated schools were now illegal, but it did little to placate white Mississippians’ ambitions to maintain separate school systems. When groups of black Mississippians pressed for adherence to the law, they were halted immediately, repeatedly, and often violently. Where they were not successful in blocking black efforts, white Mississippians simply left.

Enter white-flight, or re-segregation. In 1960, as reported by the Census Bureau, Jackson, Mississippi’s population was 64.3% white and 35.7% black. By 1990, with the winds of desegregation having been stymied by white exodus, population demographics shifted to 43.6% white and 55.7% black. By 2013 white Jacksonians have dwindled to 18% of the city’s total population.

Mississippi’s history (read Jim Crow) of denying black people access to the resources needed for socioeconomic stability considered, re-segregation of the greater Jackson area has robbed black youth of the necessary tax revenue for a thriving school system. As a result, the Jackson Public School District ranks in the bottom 25 percentile of the state’s school systems while its neighboring districts, the Rankin Country School District and the Madison Country School district, rank in the top 25 percentile.

Maintaining the social and economic power of re-segregation afforded the state’s white majority has been the fruit of constant labor.

Gerrymandering is one method employed, or as editorialist Joe Collins described, the act of “distorting the way votes are counted in order for a party to stay in office, or stay more in office” by “moving district lines, splitting up groups, and sending their votes elsewhere to be counted — or wasted.”

The ramifications of gerrymandering are far-reaching. Because electoral politics in Mississippi are divided on racial lines, largely facilitated by white flight, voting districts mirror segregated communities — on purpose. Such a strategy seeks to mitigate the voices in opposition to white supremacist domination. As Collins perfectly stated:

“Packing the majority-minority districts is like stuffing a few more clothes into a full laundry bag – you can put more stuff in there, but it still just counts as one bag. The more black votes that go into a majority-minority district, the fewer blacks there are to contend with in other senate races statewide.”

Framed in terms of education, this means less marginalized voices to champion the programs needed to lift impoverished communities, especially black communities like Jackson, at every level of government. Still further, it means black students in Mississippi schools will rarely, if ever, be empowered beyond poverty by a curriculum engaging them in their true histories so long as power is structurally rigged into the hands of whites.

How do we begin to educate through common struggle?

“Without dialogue there is no communication, and without communication there can be no true education.”

— Paulo Freire

Moving beyond the race and class structured barriers placed before America’s most exploited will require deep changes in society. In the face of such barriers we know “education” alone is not a plausible answer to poverty when capitalism has reduced it to a commodity in service of the wealthy, racist elite.

Because of this we know we cannot depend on those oppressing us to educate us of our real potential. Our education must come from each other, from our joint struggles. We must develop a new kind of education — an education that itself is living resistance. To do this we can begin by framing it within revolutionary context — that is, we must ask each other education about what exactly, how will we engage one another differently, and in what new ways shall we henceforth cope.

By asking these questions we come to understand that degrees of any kind in any field do nothing to eliminate poverty without knowing and addressing the underlying fundamental that capitalism breeds it. The only education that challenges and sets out a path to abolish poverty is the radical re-education to dismantle our current mode of living and to redefine/re-center it around our local communities.

All else is treading water. 

(Read Part Two of This Series Here)

If education isn’t built around a praxis of liberation, it’s not education — it’s indoctrinating, pacifying, and oppressive.