Shaming or Shading is Not Organizing

GarzaA social media [re]post from Oakland-based organizer and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza (Dec 27, 2017):

I’ve been traveling the last two weeks, meeting people from many different places in the world. The number one question I’ve been asked—besides the questions about my hair, which we will definitely talk about later—is this:

What is your country doing about Trump?

And I have to be honest and say:
We have a resistance movement but it is very divided, and lacks a path to power.

And then I sit with the shame of that. I live in a country that does terrible things around the world. And those of us who know that lack a path to power.

So in 2018, my simple resolution is this: to work to contribute to building a movement that takes its work seriously and is clear about what the work is and what it is not. The work isn’t to like each other and be besties. The work is to do something about our country—for and with the oppressed people inside of it and for and with the people oppressed around the world—and that requires building a movement in the millions with people who may or may not have your same approach or even the same political line but certainly share the same interests.

That means the Left needs to learn from its errors and become a different Left that does the work of organizing. Shaming or shading is not organizing. In a nation with more than 323 million people, our movement cannot be comprised of a few thousand people who think the same way and feel good with each other. A path to power means taking power and building power. We can’t build power if we aren’t taking power, and power isn’t just about our feelings or what is in our minds.

So I’m making a resolution to take that mandate much more seriously. I hope others will join me, and I’m gonna work to make it so.