The Time Was Yesterday: Activism in Urgent Times

The Time was Yesterday: Activism in Urgent Times
By: Irene Sanchez
Xicana Ph.D.

The time was yesterday that something needed to be done about the U.S. government holding children in cages and separating them from their parents. The time was yesterday that something needed to be done to support the lives, health, and well being of indigenous peoples of the Americas and prevent them from being further displaced and forced off their lands by corporations and colonists. The time was yesterday to protest mass shootings in schools, demand clean water, equitable funding in our schools, a living wage and an end to police brutality.  The time was yesterday to impeach Donald Trump. The time was yesterday to say Ya Basta! and do something about it. The time was yesterday to stop being apart of another hashtag co-opted by corporations, the rich, and yes the petit bourgeois. The time was yesterday to move from being another name on a petition and calling it enough.  The movement for social change and justice must be bigger than individualistic acts.

What are we going to do now?  If we are to truly change all these things we say we despise about living under constant war, capitalism, imperialism and the greed of the top one percent and their empire, where do we go from here? How much worse does it really need to be?

The time was yesterday to take action, I believe action needs to be pushed  beyond the movement for self care that I was told by several who I now believe to be misinformed people was all I needed to survive life and the academy after they attempted to convince me that I was the problem and my problems were all the results of my own bad choices, well that is not true. These are our problems although I know some just hide them better than others. You have loans from school, other debt, no living wage, no retirement to fall back on, or lack health care. You worry about your kids future, you don’t have child care funds often, you too are working multiple jobs pieced together to get by, you too were promised if you just worked hard, you would succeed and you knew that is simply not the case, but you thought maybe just maybe it can be true. It isn’t.

We need to start caring about each other more and especially this earth we live on. This self-care philosophy is not revolutionary and nor will it ever be because it is individualistic and those of us who claim to be anti-capitalist should also be anti-individualistic because the drive for individualism and accumulation of private property and wealth is the basis for this poision that we live with on a daily basis.

The time was yesterday, but I believe we can still catch up to today, but with each passing yesterday, we are getting closer to what is inevitable, which is more inequality, more destruction and more oppression and if it isn’t ours right now we need to remember that whatever comfort we do still have as people living in the U.S. has always come at the expense of those living without beyond these unjust walls and borders.  This is why we need to remember who are we fighting against and more importantly what are we fighting for?

In order to do anything now there must be a sense of urgency yesterday. Change doesn’t happen without constant work towards it.

We can not just simply sit by and watch anymore. We can not just repost an article, or tweet out these stories of injustice and oppression. The time was yesterday to do something before there comes the inevitable day there will be no more yesterdays to regret not doing something more.

The author. Many yesterdays ago at a Chicano Moratorium commemoration (2010)



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