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EyeASage and Activism

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I had the pleasure of sitting down with (and interviewing) Ms. Krish (aka, EyeASage) and I thought I’d share some of her words of wisdom on being an activist which we both mulled over at length.

As activists on the radical left we tend to encounter a lot of contradictions (as does everyone in society at large) that tend to get amplified because we hold ourselves and others to higher standards.  Brownfemipower put it best recently:

There isn’t anybody in the *world* who is harder on themselves than organizers. They commit to far too many projects, they get angry and even semi-abusive towards themselves for missing a project due date or not being able to fully help, they organize and work on projects well beyond their ability to physically, mentally, and emotionally do so…OR, they go the other way. They take off at the first sign of conflict. They resign the first time they screw up, even though the screw up wasn’t that big, or even noticeable.

As activists we gotta recognize that we are human and because we are human we make mistakes.  But we gotta struggle with those mistakes, point them out (not in a divisive manner), and help ourselves struggle with those mistakes despite those mistakes.  We can’t tear each other down because of an off color comment or because someone doesn’t “live up” to our standards.

Krish states:

Activists can tend to be elitists.

And because certain activists write books, blogs, sing, rap, or whatever:

people think they can question you on anything…

If our story is genuine you can’t question that because you weren’t there to live that.

She doesn’t mean question in a critical and constructive way she means questioning in a destructive judgemental way.  Especially when it involves the dynamic between petty bourgeois college graduates and working class people or between white activists and people of color.

Haters are in every community, even in the activist community…and there are so many things you can’t be as an actvist…

Or else you aren’t considered “an activist.”

You need to be true to yourself.

Anyway.  She has a new album coming out within the next few months called Rocky Rivera (based off the character in the book The Gangster of Love) and she will be playing live at the Imix Bookstore (which you can watch live on livestream at the website) on January 8th.

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