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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Feb 25, 2018 Tony Hammack

You will not be able to stay home, brother You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip Skip out for beer during commercials Because the revolution will not be televised


These past few weeks have been something else. Have you guys read the news? Another school shooting happened in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students are dead.

What is extraordinary about this shooting is not the shooting in and of itself, but the response to it. Stoneman Douglas High School students and other Florida schools have organized protests, lie-downs, and an influential social media campaign. They are demanding action, and for the first time in years, young people have a voice.

Our country has been rocked by controversy and issues for years. After World War II, we began our decades long Cold War with the USSR. We involved ourselves in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and proxies wars in Afghanistan and Latin America. September 11, 2001 happened; we declared war on terror.

These are just the military skirmishes that America has been a part of in the last 100 years. But, these were acts of strength. It was America being America, protector of democracy and liberty everywhere.

Except at home.

A divided house cannot stand.


The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox In 4 parts without commercial interruption The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary The revolution will not be televised


In the past 50 years, our nation has changed dramatically:

The Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment freed black people in 1863 and 1865 respectively.

The 14th and 15th Amendments protected the citizenship and the right to vote of black people in 1868 and 1870.

Women were granted the right to vote by the 19th Amendment in 1920.

In 1925, 50,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue promoting white supremacy. Yet in 1963, nearly 40 years later, the Civil Rights movement gained major victories.

After World War 2, our nation was tired of war. College students marched on Washington, D.C. in 1967 decrying the Vietnam War.

Women stood and fought against discrimination and sexism. There were multiple feminist marches on Washington, D.C. during the 1960s through 1980s.

In 2015, homosexuals were granted the freedom to marry.

There has been much progress in the past score and century, yet things are still contentious.


There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down Brothers in the instant replay There will be no pictures of young being Run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts in a red, black and Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving For just the right occasion Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant and Women will not care if Dick finally gets down with Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day


History is history, written in the annals of textbooks. We view those contentious issues as things of the past. But, has the present rejected those victories?

African Americans are still being persecuted and discriminated against. Each year we hear about another black guy being beaten and shot by the police. Government policies hold hostage those in low-income neighborhoods many black people live. Housing prices are keeping those low-income earners in downtown governmental housing. White nationalists bomb and gun down church goers.

Women, for the first time in years (well in centuries), have the ability to stand for themselves. With #MeToo and all the those courageous women who have stood against their current and former bosses, those who sexually harass and assault women are fearful. Between the high profile sexual assault and harassment victories against Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Larry Nassar, women are no longer powerless.

Kids also are speaking up for themselves. No longer are we forgetting those involved in school shootings, those students are speaking for themselves and not their local politicians. How many school shootings have there been that caused national outrage that we have soon forgotten?

  • Columbine - 1999
  • Virginia Tech - 2007
  • Sandy Hook - 2012
  • Parkland - 2018

Just in these massacres alone, 81 students were murdered.


There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock News and no pictures of hairy armed women Liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth


As a millennial, I have grown up in the age of terror. We were young children when two airplanes flew through the Twin Towers, into the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania in 2001.

Those who lived through the Cold War lived through fear and panic. But, I live in the age of terror. We are terrified of change. We are terrified of homosexuals marrying, women speaking out, kids being adults, gender equality, religious tolerance, and the list goes on. We have been bred in this sea of terror.

Change is not on the horizon. It is not in the future. It is happening now.

The Baby Boomers' influence and power are waning. These Millennials are taking power and a new wind blows from the East.

While a lot has happened over time, these issues still remain: racism, sexism, and inequality. Even with the nuclear and information ages, our societies still operate by the same unwritten societal laws that have been disseminated through posterity.

But, change is happening as we speak. People are no longer sitting idly by and twiddling their thumbs because they feel like they have no voice.


The revolution will be no re-run brothers The revolution will be live


The song that is written throughout this post is by Gill Scott-Heron. He was a prominent voice in the Civil Rights movement and he was on the CIA’s and FBI’s radar for organizing student protests on university campuses.

This song is about how change is happening in the moment. True change happens when we actively create it, not when we passively view it on the television.

The revolution will not be televised. The revolution is live.

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