Revolution #270, May 27, 2012

In Sanford and talking with the people

This is from a May 24 posting at

We've arrived in Sanford, Florida where it truly feels like ground zero. I did not have to look, it did not take investigation or research or really any effort at all to connect with and learn about the very raw very traumatic reality of what it means to be Black in the deep South in the United States in 2012. On the porch in a Black community on a stifling hot Florida afternoon the very first person I talked to opened up about growing up in Sanford, going to an all-Black high school in the Jim Crow South, about the white-only and Black only bathrooms, about a movie theater where Black people had to go downstairs to a separate theater. Then they talked about more recent history, how the Black kids get chased out of the parking lots when they gather and socialize at night like at a fast food place, while the white kids do the same all the time. One time a group of white and Black people went into a store together and they came out and the white kids had stolen all this stuff and didn't get caught and the group asked how they could do this and they said, "It's easy when you're around because they always go after you all." A young woman maybe 12 years old explained how in school the dress code doesn't get enforced for the white kids, but for Black students if your shorts are too high or your shirt is too short, you'll get an in-school suspension because it's much more strictly enforced.

The stories came out one after another of three deaths of young Black men at the hands of the authorities in very recent history. The second woman I talked to listened to me tell the story of this bus tour traveling to the South bringing this banner and I read to her the "No more generations of our youth…" quote from Bob Avakian and talked about how the youth all around this world are suffering and have no future, and the tears rolled down her face before we could even introduce ourselves. I wasn't sure she wanted to talk then, but we stood next to one another for a moment with tears in our eyes and I said we could talk about whatever she wants. "I'll talk, I'll tell you," she said with bitterness spilling over in the sound of her voice, and she opened up about a very painful experience of a loved one having been killed by the police. She let us know she would be a part of the "We say no more" speak out this Friday right here in Sanford, in her Trayvon Martin T-shirt.

Bus riders, this tour has touched down in Sanford where we travel and we work with you in our hearts and minds… all those who have made this bus tour possible and in doing so have themselves become not just a supporter but a part of something that truly matters… all those who have signed this banner that we plan to deliver to the people of Sanford… all those who yearn for a better world. We look out to the world and the great mass of humanity grinding under the exploitation and oppression of this system, and we look to Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA building a movement for revolution that can make good on the declaration that another generation need not suffer in this way. We carry this with us, and with great joy and determination we get to work in connecting this up with the people as we prepare to join Carl Dix to speak out at the Sanford Police Station tomorrow at 4 pm. Stay tuned.

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