#MikeBrownNotes :: Movement, Media, Money

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.


The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.


The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.


There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.


There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.


Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.


There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.


The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.


The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Gil Scott-Heron, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox(1970)


In a lot of ways, I initially felt the events surrounding the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson patroller Darren Wilson was cast in the media to damage any movement from the start. When a person that grew up in an area has to double take, and asks themselves, “Wait, is there another Ferguson in Missouri?”, then you sort of have to question the art involved there. Media communication is nothing like organic conversation;media communication is the art of deceiving people to believe it is just like organic conversation. As I was attempting to figure out why anyone broadcasting to an audience of people that may have never been to St. Louis would call Ferguson anything but what we who are from St. Louis call Ferguson when addressing people that have never been to St. Louis–namely, St. Louis–the media was handpicking its leaders. The actual movers of the movement could not be trusted to be pristine and clean enough for cameras that disperse images and audio across air, land, and water. That might be dangerous for a media controlled by the same government that filtered all the images transmitted about the Iraq “war” and made FOX news a credible source after the events of September 11, 2001.


So, as the updates on Twitter began to multiply by the hundreds, and the possibility of a ratings behemoth became apparent, the “news” vehicles pulled up next to the domestic paramilitary tanks, and the narrative of Ferguson, Mo., a sharp contrast to Mike Mike Brown’s St. Louis, started to take shape. Anyone who has never slept with the City of Night might be misled into thinking the initial protesters needed attention, that they were crying out for a media hand strong enough to stave off blood thirsty pigs in slave patroller uniforms. I do not think this would be the proper analysis. That might be the accurate assumption with regard to Daddy Barry’s Ferguson, but not quite Mike Mike Brown’s St. Louis. For those three days prior to corporate controlled media outlets being shoved with guns and wondering where in the USA they had stumbled upon, those natives of that soil had already begun adapting and refracting the images shown via the corporate media lens.


I do not want to romanticize the events and movements, the ripples of pain that followed the slaughter of Mike Mike Brown. Ultimately, I feel as though way too much exploitation has occurred, and regardless of if I type the names or not, those reading this that I wish to reach with this writing know the names(hell, they are probably the ones that told them to me). I would like to not like the idea of people receiving paychecks and stipends for appearing on panels to discuss Mike Mike Brown. I am not even sure if Steve Harvey paid Mike Mike’s Mother to appear on that segment that was as tacky if not more than his eponymous suits (That would have definitely been one hard earned check). In my mind, there is always a necessary balance between the socio-political and the business associated. Due to the manner in which I understand what socio-political movements mean to businesses, anyone I see mixing the two becomes framed in my mind as a business only. When businesses give donations to candidates they are buying decision making power in favor of their business. When business promote socio-political movements, they are attempting to align the brand of their business with that of the energy and emotions of the movement and its most popular adherents. The business is always about the business and NEVER about the actual movement.


Even after typing the sentiments found in the last paragraph I am torn. OWL is not against acquiring funding, or even getting some needed bills paid. I do believe where I fold my fingers and proclaim my set is at the using of a business model as the sole effective means for addressing the murder of Mike Mike Brown. I do believe I have to pull my proverbial flag out my pocket and wave it in people’s faces when attorney’s of law hold conferences with the agenda of explaining how to avoid becoming “another Mike Mike” and yet sound more like advertising for their legal services. When PBS holds an impromptu “After Ferguson” town hall meeting, when all of a sudden Russell Simmons is interested in the lives of young Black boys in St. Louis, Mo, it begins to feel just a tad bit exploitative. And I do not want to be self-righteous from my wonderfully adorable and comfortable life hundreds of miles away from a hostile homeland, but it simply occurs to me that offered solutions to police murder in Daddy Barry’s Ferguson read more like a business plan than a political manifesto.


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