Who We Are

Gil Scott Heron penned “Winter in America” in 1973, with the release in 1974. He was, and remains, a prophetic voice on the plight of many of us in the United States.

Some of the lyrics:

And now it’s winter
Winter in America
And all of the healers done been killed or sent away
Yeah, and the people know, people know
It’s winter
Winter in America
And ain’t nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows what to save
And ain’t nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows, nobody knows
And ain’t nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows what to save

We are getting lost. The dimensions of our experience are collapsed into simplified Fox News quips, and Justin Bieber doesn’t provide a language to describe our struggles to survive.

Many of our organizations once dedicated to struggle have been overtaken by their bureaucracies, overtaken by concerns over proper accounting and being accepted in the club of organizational bureaucracies. There is no voice arising from too many of our organizations arising out of our union, communist, and civil rights struggles that can synthesize our anguish.

For me, the words “¡No Pasarán!” — the call of La Pasionaria in drawing the line across which fascists could not pass — express my outlook. Enough of exploiters. Enough of bureaucratic fantasies of packaged revolutions, neatly wrapped in plastic wrap.

At the end of the day, it is us workers, farmers, students, the elderly, asking why it has to be this way, seeking what is wrong with the structures of our society, that will change this society, setting aside exploitation for private profit for once and forever.

We want to be free
Yet we have no idea why we are struggling here
Faced with our every fear
Just to survive.
— Gil Scott Heron

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About rico49

Writer, progresive activist, open source software developer. Working to meet the needs of under- and un-employed people globally and in the United States.
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