The Value Of Agitation

“We claim for ourselves every single right that belongs to a freeborn American, political, civil and social; and until we get these rights we will never cease to protest and assail the ears of America,” Du Bois wrote in the Niagara Address of 1906.  The militant tone of the statement alarmed annoyed large sections of the press accustomed to the accommodating language of Booker T. Washington, and Du Bois was denounced as “an agitator.”  His reply came nearly a year later, and is as valid today as when it first appeared.

There are those people in the world who object to agitation and one cannot wholly blame them.  Agitation after all is unpleasant.  It means that while you are going on peaceably and joyfully on your way some half-mad person insists upon saying things that you do not like to hear.  They may be true but you do not like to hear them…

As a matter of fact, however, no matter how unpleasant the agitator is, and no matter how inconvenient and unreasonable his talk, yet we must ever have him with us.  And Why?  Because this is a world where things are not all right.

-W.E.B. Du Bois in W.E.B. DuBois Speaks

It is more than a little ironic to these eyes that Du Bois was arguing for the rights of black people, and now-a little over a century later-a person who is perceived* as a black man claims the legal right to murder or imprison ANYBODY without charge or trial.  He presides over a drone-filled, surveillance camera-laden, electronically surveilled police state, where privacy is but a fading memory.  He  denies life and liberty to people in Libya, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere, while he works for an elite that is bent on population reduction and control through any means necessary.

* Du Bois did not define race strictly in biological terms.  He said a race is a vast family of human beings, generally of common blood and language [patterns of language], always of common [perspective on] history and sharing “vividly conceived ideals of life” [philosophy].

Please watch the Aaron Russo video again, and see if you can find a significant issue to move you to AGITATE.  “Tomorrow?”  Tomorrow is not promised.


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