Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Revolutionaries or Terrorists: Who Decides?

to misquote Barry Goldwater (of whom I watched a pretty good documentary and no longer hate as much) Extremism in the pursuit of Liberty is no vice.
Anyway I don't know why exactly I thought about it* but last night for what must have been about an hour while lying in bed half asleep all I could think about was the notion of who decides a revolutionary from a terrorist. The acts of a revolutionary can often be confused with the methods of a terrorist. Is it because revolutionaries are thought to be following a more political ideology and fighting for a "more rational" end and terrorists, at least in our present conception of the idea, follow a more religious path which is irrational just by its very nature.
Are the Sons of Liberty thought to be terrorists, even though many of their acts can be considered terroristic? No they're thought of as patriots and revolutionaries?
Were not all of those who took up arms against the Crown in the Revolutionary War terrorists/insurgents/ and Al Qaida in America?
Was the bombing of the King David Hotel the act of terrorists or patriots?
The 26th of July Movement- revolutionaries or terrorists?
The May 1968 student protests?
The Black Panthers/ Weather Underground/SLA- where do they fall? Will their public perception rise or have they been painted with a tar that can't be washed out.

I realize that history is written by the winners, often in the blood of the defeated, and I kind of wish I had written this this morning when I woke up and was still full of thoughts and passion, but will if the "terrorists" achieve their aims, as amorphous as they may seem, will Al Qaida be recognized in a greater part of the world as a modern day band of revolutionaries. Or must we agree and support with their goals before we bless them with the more heroic title of revolutionary. I guess maybe I thought of this whole subject and argument (which was weak and full of repitiion and no solid evidence) because I was thinking about the PKK and how they have been branded as a terrorist organization, even though by the Kurdish people I'm sure they're thought to be fighting for freedom, extremist in pursuit of liberty and that that title has only been given to them by those who are against their ideals and goals and beliefs and to label someone with such a title is to strip them of any dignity and credibility and legitimicy.

And so while I was thinking about that and thinking of maybe trying to figure out how to use that for BBE* I thought of some songs that kind of remind me of revolution. So here are some poems from the 60s when revolution was really in the air

Imamu Amiri Baraka- Our Nation Is Like Ourselves

The Last Poets- Wake Up Nigger

The Last Poets- Niggers Are Scared of Revolution

Gil Scott Heron- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The Last Poets- When The Revolution Comes

The Last Poets-Run Niggers

Sometimes I think I was born too late...

* I just remembered. I was thinking about an animation parody for like youtube, or whatever, of what would have happened to the "indians" in the Boston Tea Party if it had taken place in today's climate. I figured that they would be sent to a Gitmo or a "black site" unless they were able to watch the brown from their skin and be seen as white men. Something like that.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: