Our Revolution Will Be Live

Published in the Daily Illini November 1st, 2011

You will not be able to close your eyes, brother.
You will not be able to know the true primary winner
at 10 p.m. central time
because our revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be re-runs of Jack Bauer
saving the day in the final 24 seconds,
or Megyn Kelly acting as “fair and balanced”
as a fox telling a rabbit,
“Hey, let’s just be friends.”
She’d rather lie than see our revolution be televised.

As the revolution grows, it will become the true mainstream.
“The system is so broken that it can afford to be broken again”
is a story you will never hear on CNN.
Wolf is too blitzed to ever criticize a war:
When your boss tells you what to say,
you are in no position to lead.
You cannot be considered a reporter,
you are just an employee.

The revolution will not be brought to you
commercial-free by the warrant-less onlookers at AT&T,
or the other companies that will notify Homeland Security
if you’re watching a series too serious about democracy.
In our country, corporations will limit every chance to criticize —
and so our revolution will not be televised.

There will be no images of pigs gunning down brothers
on the instant replay.
There will be no sounds of a pig gunning down Trayvon
on the instant replay.

The revolution will not have laws like “three strikes and you’re out,”
and there will be no radicals suggesting that smoking a joint
deserves a sentence of 25 years to life.
A revolution is about the context
if it is about anything at all
and will not reduce a person’s life to a game of baseball.

The revolution will not be led by our first half-white President
because he left the other side in Chicago.
A revolution won’t break your heart
to gather votes for re-election
because principles shouldn’t change from the first term to the second.

A revolution is action when words can’t satisfy
and will begin when the halls of injustice become occupied.

Don’t be afraid of what you haven’t seen
because every revolution begins as a dream.
You’ll feel that it’s real as it builds up inside.
Never a re-run, brothers:
Our revolution will be live.

(Dedicated to the late Gil Scott-Heron)