“Gangsta” is Not Revolutionary



In his 1963 “Message to the Grassroots” speech, Brother Malcolm X warned, “If some of you understood what a revolution really is, you wouldn’t use the word. Revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution destroys everything in its way.” I have reason to believe that many politically minded college students, hip-hop artists, and other members of our community, mistakenly refer to themselves as “revolutionary” because they confuse the term’s meaning.

One problem we face in discussing anything revolutionary, is that the term and its implications are not fully understood.

Naturally, this society’s elite benefits from our confusion in this regard. They have no interest in losing their power or prestige. Maintaing confusion within potential rebel forces helps to maintain power arrangements while compromisung revolutionary activity.

Language, which provides us with definition, clarity, and therefore direction, is a key tool used to misdirect our liberation movements. Many of us in…

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