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Boston and New York
United States

3474706071

​musician, educator, artist, community activist

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Rioting: An Emotional Response During Justifiably Angry Times

Nedelka Prescod

Some folks won’t appreciate what I’m going to say. 

I prefer not to riot.

Quite honestly, the energy excites me.  I’m absolutely all about the idea of a revolution.  I absolutely want change NOW.  It’s been too long and too many.  I am the mother of a brown son and the aunt of three brown nephews.  I am determined that they shall become Elders in their community.

I just don’t think rioting works.  Because it’s usually done at home.

Its not the same as protesting.  Or boycotting.  Or sit-ins.  Or straight fighting for your life.  It is an emotional response.  Which is absolutely justifiable.

We have every right to be angry.  Better yet, enraged.  Its been centuries of the same persistent, unflinching racial injustice against melanin rich people since we were stolen and dragged into the inhumane and barbaric, institutionalized hate and fear, greed-driven culture SOME get to call “the land of the free….”.  Free as in safe.  Free as in unlimited opportunity, privilege and access. Free as in never having to contemplate those supposed life-preserving, passive and humiliating rules of engagement young brown children are taught almost at infancy on how to daily leave their homes and return alive.

But can we NOT destroy our own communities? 

How does burning down and looting in my own neighborhood affect the one my anger is aimed towards as they watch from the behind the walls and comfort of their gated community?

Yes, historically we’ve witnessed change boldly ride in on the energetic and fearless backs of our Youth.  But those were times when Youth were trained in the ways of organized, disciplined and effective strategic maneuvers by their respected Elders.

Somewhere along the line the ball was dropped leaving our Youth to fend for themselves like a scene from “Lord of the Flies”.

Can we consider organizing our Youth and our resources with a focus on building our community?  Self-sustainability.  What we give attention to, thrives.  What we starve, dies.

Even now in the midst of the turmoil we can turn things around.  ORGANIZE NOW.  Get into our local community centers (churches, halls, homes…), sit with our Youth, group them by their skills and interests and lets begin to edify our community.   Build.  Plant.  Teach (spirituality, history, craftsmanship…).  Heal.  Pool our resources and keep them at home.  Bridge the generational gap that can create the space for Wisdom to flow.  We can do that NOW.  It’s an empowering feeling that creates immediate results.  We witness this in various communities that we financially support.  INVEST IN OURSELVES.

A disciplined approach has greater lasting effects than an emotional one.

I pray that my plea be received with sincere love into the Spirit of our Ancestral Greatness and that we will be inspired to rebuild our Temples (minds, bodies, souls and spirits)… even now.

Blessings and Light