When Gil-Scott Heron said, “the revolution will not be televised,” though just a metaphor, it is a mantra of sorts that has been taken literally, figuratively, and skewed into different interpretations of the phrase. Some believe that because he said that, perhaps the revolution will be televised, while others take the term and twist it into phrases like, “the revolution will be live-streamed,” or, “your revolution will not happen between these thighs,” and even, “the television will not be revolutionized.”
I believe the revolution is happening right now, contrary to the belief of what it may or is supposed to look like. It all began with the inauguration of the 45th president, Donald Trump, then the next day the American people mobilized for a nation-wide Women’s March. It was reported that the Women’s protest in DC garnered three times the attendance of Trump’s inauguration ceremony. This is a small but significant part of what the revolution looks like.
Why is this only a small part of the revolution? Because ironically, it was televised (meaning not literally on TV but documented through various media). It is only a small part because we’ve seen protests before. For one to truly experience the revolution through acts like this, you would have to look deeper into what is really happening.
The revolution won’t be televised because the revolution is all in the mind. That’s right, the “revolution” is personal and requires a change of heart and a change of thinking. Contrary to popular belief, Trump may have been responsible for this change in people’s thinking. It takes a tremendous collective consciousness for people to mobilize the way they did for the Women’s March, and Trump played a large part in that.
Then, a week later, Trump encourages the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that people have been protesting for months, he cuts funding for Planned Parenthood, he attempts to keep vital environmental information hidden from the public, he tries to implement a travel ban keeping undocumented and illegal immigrants and refugees from coming into America. Oh, and of course, the wall.
Extremist terms and identifications began to emerge like alt-right, alternative facts, fascism, and neo-nazis. This is Trump’s America.
More protests, more riots, more people waking up. What Trump is doing isn’t right and it doesn’t take an idiot to notice. Hell, even people who voted for Trump are beginning to regret it.
When Trump was elected the President of the United States, people started waking up. Forget about voters for a second, especially those who voted for Trump. The approval rating for the president has never been this low and people are finally starting to pay attention and more importantly, they are realizing their power.
People are beginning to realize that the ‘powers that be’ don’t have all that much power over us, and with this realization comes a shift in consciousness and a mass-mobilization of the American people. This is how the revolution begins.
During these times of change, we CANNOT allow the media, Trump, or anyone for that matter to make us believe we are divided. If that is the case then you have simply fallen for the rhetoric of separation, which is how the ‘powers that be’ wins (divide and conquer).
Along with the nationwide march, public figures and celebrities have taken political stances. Shia Labeouf and Jaden Smith collaborated to launch a campaign entitled #HEWILLNOTDIVIDEUS which is an art installation that live streams people chanting the mantra, “he will not divide us,” as a direct response to the Trump presidency. It is said that the stream will last for Trump’s entire term (presumably four years).
The revolution is a change within ourselves. It is the realization that we as individuals are not as important as we as humanity itself. It is the shift in awareness from what was or what will be, to what is. And it is always moving forward.
When thinking about a revolution in terms of a movement, it is often a slow process, just as any movement would be. But to think of how far we have come in terms of bigotry, prejudice, capitalism, violence and hatred, we have made some pretty drastic progress.
The revolution is also in some way the vanishing of the ego; the shift from individualistic to holistic. From a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
President Obama played a huge role in this shift too. I think of the president as a practical representation of the country, America’s poster boy if you will (too soon, I know). Why I liked Obama so much is because even despite his politics, he represented America extremely well, and it was because of his holistic approach to the presidency. Barack Obama is the most selfless and charismatic president I have ever gotten to witness take office. The fact that he is black is a bonus and a significant indicator of our progress as a nation.
Now that Trump is in office, it looks like we’ve taken several steps backward. This isn’t necessarily the case. Because we had Obama for eight years, having Trump succeed him is an extreme shift in image, but the image of Obama will never be shattered.
All it really takes is empathy. Putting yourself in the shoes of a Syrian refugee who is risking their life in hopes to escape an already risky environment and realizing you are just as human as they are. It’s an indirect sharing of emotion and it is essential for the human race to thrive.
In the best case scenario for America, Trump will be impeached within these first two years. Until that happens, we keep living, we keep learning, we keep loving, and love always trumps hate. Love is the Law. Love is the revolution.
Love is the Law. Love is the revolution.