July 13, 2018
The calls to abolish ICE are long overdue, though the how-to is far from being clear. And while some have audaciously placed themselves as the ones who have the answer(s), it is going to take substantially more than just talk to get where we need to be. When we operate outside of movement yet impose demands or otherwise try and assert "leadership," we replicate systems of oppression by negating the reality of the people we pretend to lead. Conscious or not, this arrogance is rooted in disdain for those at the bottom because it serves those at the top.
The people who don't get their hands dirty are the most presentable to the ones in the big house, but
Before we open our mouths about where we are going in the struggle, how we think we should get there, and what we think a win or victory would look like, we should imagine saying those words to the most stigmatized and marginalized people in whose names we are being paid or in whose names we get some type of "movement status," and imagine the looks on their faces, their responses to our plans. We can't always check in with everybody, but if we have our ears to the ground and the people in our hearts, we have to use all of our senses to stay accountable to them.
It gives strength to those who are still under the thumb, in the internment centers and in jails and prisons, to see and hear of the many who are in the streets marching and laying siege to the system. But the laying of sieges is among the least effective of strategies if the masses are unprepared to endure to the end. This does not mean not to siege, but rather that ample resources must be allocated to the besiegers. Legal, physical, and mental are among the most necessary resources needed. Now is the time for sincere leadership to engage the masses and guide them forward to not only the abolition of ICE and the entire prison industrial complex, but to the end of the white supremacist resurgence permeating this country and many others around the world.