[A State of the Hammer speech from Commander-in-Chief Gazi Kodzo at the Weekly Tuesday Rally on 2/16/2021. Watch the Entire Speech Here.]
It can sometimes be overwhelming when you understand the truth of the impact of colonialism and your responsibility when you internalize that you are a revolutionary. You have decided to fight that! So no matter how big that becomes, you still have to be prepared to fight that. That is what cadre is because the task will always get bigger and bigger and you must grow with it, with the collective. Remember I said that, it’s about to get real.
If this is your first anti-colonial revolutionary, or even progressive organization, welcome. If it’s not, you understand that there’s one thing that is not really talked about. They all want to talk about recruiting people, recruiting the masses, organizing the masses. All organizations say that, right? What organizations don’t say is to recruit your family. That’s something that people will say is the hardest one.
You have to start with your family. I’m not saying that because I believe you can win all of them. The reality is you cannot, and I know y’all have issues with your family. Trust Gazi, I know family issues.
Through this process of becoming a revolutionary, becoming cadre, you understand that there is a larger battle going inward than a battle that’s going outward. The battle within is always much more vicious than the battle you are facing outward. Beating up the colonizer out there is easy, but beating up the colonizer in your head is really hard. Overturning colonialism in your head is really hard, but once you do that, all this other stuff becomes easy.
If you know, the battle starts with you and what’s going on with you, you have to understand that what’s going on with you starts with your family. Everything wrong or good about you started with your family. Because your family is the first and the most productive way colonialism messes with you, depresses you, tries to destroy you. It’s through your family first.
That’s why they’re always saying “there’s no such thing as a perfect family. All families are weird and have problems,” that’s because it’s all colonized. Colonialism don’t let none of y’all have healthy families.
What does that look like for colonized, oppressed, poor and working-class people? What does that even look like? I couldn’t even imagine what that looks like. That’s how colonialism has destroyed the nucleus for which we come into existence before we even reach the community.
You’ve got to get to that point. You have to unroot all of that stuff.
As anti-colonial revolutionaries, we are always searching for the core of the problem. We understand Capitalism, we get it. Patriarchy, we get it. Homophobia, transphobia, we get it. Misogyny, we get it. Where is the core—boom—Colonialism. So, we like to get to the root of the contradiction, so we can throw that thing in the mud and keep it moving, right?
So when you have to come and attack what’s going on with you, you’ve got to go to the core. And the core is hot. The core is filled with trauma, I know. The core is hell on earth, but you gotta fight it. You gotta go there if you really want to get some healing. You can’t ignore it anymore.
I’m sure a lot of you are like, “Gazi, it’s gonna hurt. Gazi, it may trigger me to get even suicidal.” I know that, too. Many of you know my family trauma, my childhood traumas, and when I was going through it, I would say that I wouldn’t wish what I’m going through on my worst enemy. This pain that is all-encompassing. It consumes every gene in your body.
If you think there weren’t times I was like, “I don’t want this life.” I put on these rose-colored glasses for so long, and I finally took them off, but what kept me going and struggling and fighting was y’all. The fact that I knew that y’all had me.
It was like, y’all were a rope around my waist, and as long as I was holding on to that rope, I could go deep down, down, down into the core. Where it got darker and hotter and more painful, but as long as I held on to this rope, I was gonna make it.
And if I didn’t do it myself, I wouldn’t tell you to do it. Y’all know how much these white trolls hate me and all the stuff they say about me out here. But the pain, the personal real deal pain that I have talked about and shared to y’all don’t come out their mouth because y’all have kept it right here.
Do you know how amazing that is to tell my story to hundreds of people around the world? And I don’t hear from any of my enemies’ mouths out there. That’s real love, REAL LOVE.
Do you know my own flesh and blood, not even 24 hours after I told them about my child molestation, that they used that against me? My flesh and blood, but that’s the colony, y’all. That’s how colonized our family is; they didn’t choose this sickness, pushed onto them. So, even though my niece did that to me, I show her unending faith, and I say, when you are ready, I’m here, but I’m going to need a self-criticism. I need you to know what you did and to promise me you’ll never do it again. I need you to come back to me.
I’m not gonna let colonialism take you away from me. I’m not gonna let colonialism take any of my family away from me without a fight, because I love them that much. Even when I’m trying to fight to win, y’all hurting me, I will not give up because they don’t get to win.
They don’t get to win. I want to tell each and every one of you Hammers they don’t get to win your family either. You fight. We’re going to be here fighting right beside you. And we’re going to be right here holding you; we’re going to be right here with that rope around you. We ain’t never gonna let you go.
You fight and get what family you can. I understand not all of them can be won, but you get what you can, you get into the fight, you get into the war, and it’s nothing but victory. I promise you the family you come out of that shit with is nothing but victory. I have a real relationship with my mother I never had before. It’s nothing but victory. I have a real relationship with my cousins and aunties that I’ve never had before, nothing but victory. Fight!
Fight, don’t let them take them. Fight. And you introduce them to criticism and self-criticism because you know you’ve done things, too. Show them what selflessness looks like. Show them what an unending faith looks like, show them what real love looks like, and just wait and hope and fight.
The ones that do come to your side and hold you you gonna realize that you never had a family before. I know what family is now because I fought. I fought for mine. How could you have a real family when there are so many skeletons underneath the rug? It’s like you’re playing like in a sitcom or something.
Destroy the colony by destroying the colony that has taken your family.
And just know the fact that you are in your family, a revolutionary that understands anti-colonialism, and if you are new here, if this is your first time, read those four points of unity on black hammer.org. Just use that, and go fight.
Be principled with them. Don’t lash out. Show discipline. That’s how you win your family, how I won my family, and that’s how I was able to see who’s not my family. When you overcome and do something like that, that hard in your core, ain’t nothing these crackers can throw at you can stop you. That’s why no matter what they say about me, it don’t faze me none.
How much they try to drag me and attack me—it don’t faze me none. I already got victory in myself. I already faced my darkest demons. What can you say to me? I already heard someone with my own flesh and blood say the most horrific things to me, and I’m showing them love. What the heck can you expose about me?
That’s how you become a willing, able, and humble servant to our people. They won’t accept nothing less. They deserve nothing less. You deserve nothing less. Don’t you deserve that life? Don’t you deserve that family? You can’t do it with lies. You can’t do it with secrets. You can’t do it by holding your tongue because you don’t want to break up the family.
You have to say everything that happened to you. That’s the only way they can start to know who you are. And for you to know who you are.
That’s the action item this week, Hammers. I know, it’s fucked up, but you have so much to win from it. You have so much to win from it, and just you choosing and deciding to go in there and fight, you already won. You’ve already won, with that family structure, that new anti-colonial revolutionary family structure. They don’t all have to join. They just all need to support and understand what you’re doing.
With that family structure, and with this organizational structure, then you are good. You are gucci. You can now go to the frontlines of the revolution and serve your people.
That’s the testimony, y’all. That’s the sermon.
And just wanted to say, land back, you got this, you already won. Go and get your family, child.
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