Popularity Contests, Red Privileged, Social Capital, Activism Careerists, Celebrity Activism, are just some terms being used to define the frustrations of those within our grassroots circles who feel their voices are not being heard or valued when attempting to seek accountability. Yes even the circles we think are to be representative of humility and spirituality have hierarchy, positions of privilege and same toxicity we find with Government Indian Structures.
This rant is an attempt to stir the pot and create a dialogue as a result of some things that have spilled out on to social media recently and periodically when those of us on the bottom of the societal ladder are denied accountability from those on top and have to call things out publicly. While not to name names I only intend to create an awareness on the issue as we need to start a dialogue to help us unlearn such colonial behaviors controlling and hijacking our movements growth.
There has always been an attempt to neutralize our movement by the invader in which there will always be divisiveness within our grassroots organizing where we can guarantee colonial agent tactics will always be at play however; learned colonial behaviors has made it so that agents are not always needed to infiltrate such movements. Those leading our communities and movements and those put up on pedestals most times unknowingly do the job of the colonizer or are so programmed that they manipulate our values and teachings in such a way that pacifies the spirit of resistance which is even more dangerous then the agent as they are major “influencers” to our people.
In this social media era Facebook has become predominantly a tool that is used to organize our movements and to create awareness and mobilize the people as witnessed in the #IdleNoMore campaign that birthed a new generation of activist and organizing style; With this studies show that social media has been creating a type of mental disorder referred to as narcissism which is bleeding over into our movements. Social Media has created issues that intensifies ego and self gratification of instant activist credibility in our movements. This is akin to those who do not always know popular “fly by night healers” and give their trust up to them because they play the part but eventually end up getting hurt.
Social media has also created a sense of “slacktivism” and “virtue signaling” in which posting a hashtag or engaging in activist tourism; touring a camp for selfies gives one social capital and an image of being involved but only fills one’s ego at times. It’s easier to partake in social justice by posting a hashtag a selfie or showing support by saying you donated to a cause.
How often does the Youth Suicide Crisis get the same support and financial donations as some of these Celebrity Activist who are always visible on Social media popping up all over Turtle Island each week or constantly asking the people for financial help while sitting on healthy grants? Warriors are to provide and eat last no? Some have made pretty good careers off the back of our impoverished people donating to the cause. Go Fund Me Sovereignty is an oxymoron that has come to help define these “Warriors” with their perpetual handout. We need to be self sufficient not only in talk but practice and live it if we are to preach it to others no?
What is Social Capital? Social capital is defined by the value of your social networks. It informs the opportunities and resources you have access to, including who you know and what opportunities you can access. Social Capital is not always afforded to those on the bottom of the social totem pole where Popularity Clubs arise as a result. Those more visible and popular exploit their privilege to attain more resources not afforded to those in poverty and less popular just as in the capitalist world.
These Popularity Clubs and Movement Celebrities with their Fan Clubs enjoy the privilege to silence those who seek accountability and in turn discredit those with valid concerns who are not as popular. Many of us “nobody’s” have these stories.
Resistance Incorporated? We are now seeing those profiting off our collective movement and becoming a form of capitalist and benefiting individually or for their own individual cause and forgetting about the collective fight. Social capital should always be used to uplift folks not because we feel guilty, but because the work of liberation and genuine love for our fellow comrades involves reworking societal norms.
Support and Attention also needs to be redistributed to other individuals and causes if one is seeming to constantly benefit from support and donations of the people. Merchandise I noticed also is creating a BRAND for individuals and individual causes and I feel some activists are blurring the lines of BRANDS and an Authentic Movement.
Government Funding through Social Service Organizations and Programs also is a tool being used to pacify and hijack our movement. We need to be vigilant that Social Services Orgs and Programs are not in the business of social change but to perpetuate the status quo with the illusion that they are creating change. Social Service Organizations and Programs are implemented to create dependency on the System we are fighting the same System that creates much of our social ills. Being Funded by Governments and NGO’s compromises the integrity of our grassroots movements.
Many of us do have imperfections and myself do struggle also at times and take responsibility for any of my bullshit to be accountable whereas others however choose not to even address their own toxicity and hide behind their fan base. It is only by reemergence of our clan/family council fires within our communities where we can find true accountability when we need to call out certain concerns. Pan Indian Movements prevent this where anybody can come and go and where anybody can be uplifted without fully knowing who they are.
It is from my vision the we invoke and what I am working on to relight our CLAN COUNCIL FIRES in our own communities. This is where “call out culture” needs seek accountability rather then online but most times we need to do this publicly as those who hide behind their groupies are not being held accountable. Medicine and Warrior Societies and Grassroots Movements are not exempt from same colonial behaviors we see in the Band Office or Tribal Government Office.
The Indigenous Resistance Movement it seems is now a Fad and big business created by the Pan Indianism and Social Media that hijacked the true essence of our long history or resistance. We can see the same attack waged on Hip Hop Culture which started out as the voice of the grassroots and is now Celebrity Puppets controlled by the industry. Many activist and camps and groups who claim sovereignty also have side accounts where they get thousands of donations from private funders.
One of the biggest pieces of understanding social capital is that you may, at times, be unaware that you have it. Being unaware of your social capital may result in hierarchies in organizations that you may not notice.
The goal is to always step back and listen to folks who may be dealing with the harsh end of these hierarchies and uplift those in ways that are progressive to the work being done.
If you see yourself becoming the focus of a movement and you know folks who haven’t been given an opportunity to do an interview, facilitate a workshop, or organize a community meeting maybe it’s time to step back and allow others to be placed into that role.
If this hit a nerve and you consider me wrong well fine. I am just another everyday nobody not a part of the Popularity Clubs so this rant shouldnt matter to you and your cool kids club
OUR MOVEMENTS BEEN HIJACKED.