Localism in a Globalized World…
Like most black males in America, in 2015, I’m fed up with the way we are constantly under the thumb of the government, subject to police brutality, and used to peddle a system that profits off of our incarceration. While we all can’t be on the front lines, in the face of congress like Michelle Alexander, we can do as Kanye instructed and “TAKE THE POWER IN OUR OWN HANDS”. I’m starting to realize that this power comes from localization. As much as we are aware that change, although I prefer REVOLUTION, is greater in numbers; that in itself is a gradual process. We can’t organize anything unless we’re organized within ourselves. To me, that is localism on the prime level. Being satisfied with yourself and where you come from is the first way you can begin to support others in your immediate community. It’s easier said than done, since we battle our self-esteems from time to time (some on a daily basis), but your inner strength always lies in how you see yourself. Self-perception is key to progress localism. How do you see yourself? Are you an agent of change, steadily working toward progress — or are you just out to line your own pockets and fulfill the system agenda…
How we eat greatly determines our attitudes, interactions, and physical appearance. So much can be said about what we put into our mouths. Corporations know this, and have held a strong grip over poor communities for decades now with rancid food products. Alternating eating fried food from the chicken shack and the Chinese restaurant everyday can cause serious nutritional problems overtime.
That’s the longterm, on the short-side of things not eating right builds up negative energy inside you. We transfer this “hangry” (hungry+angry) energy to other people and add to the cycle of unnecessary bullshit that we do to each other. Support your local farmers’ market, cook in the house more, eat more fruit. Eventually I’d like to grow my own produce. I’ve watched my neighbors, a couple from Arizona only a year or two older than me, during the past two summers maintain a garden of tomatoes, eggplants, strawberries, among other things, and grow them right in our backyard. Growing your own food is complete sovereignty over what goes into your body. I don’t agree that each man should own a farm, but I do think we should work toward establishing community gardens where the public can grow food to be used in community events. We can also build more co-op supermarkets that can sell the produce we grow, and feature special homemade dishes, that in-turn circulates proceeds back into the community. Co-op supermarkets also provide a source of employment.
As I mentioned before, we’re all subject to battles with self-esteem. At some point we all get the need to feel better about ourselves and the best way to do that is through our appearance. Maybe you get a new haircut, possibly a tatt, but more often it materializes in material. Shopping is the ultimate soothing to feeling out of touch. Even if you just came out of a 20-year stint in jail, if you go shopping it renews your appearance, that’s common knowledge. That said, there are ways to stay in style without having to commit to any particular one that will delocalize you. Being known for a style, or brand, that is not your own is taking attention away from you, or your role, and is delocalizing you. For example, you don’t have to marry a brand like Louis Vuitton, who has no connection to you and does not care about you, in order to feel fresh. Know yourself. Once your in touch there, and you know what pastels and patterns suit you, you’ll dress to that instead of dressing to the brand. Our money gives power to brands like Balenciaga and Margiela to set their crazy price points. Feeding into the hype that the beast keeps us tuned in with. There are local designers all over that fill a niche for every style of consumer. Start seeking out brands on the underground and keep that capital circulating. I don’t think we should abandon corporate clothing, cause at the end of the day some of those brands have been consistent with good product. But fuck high fashion, deadass.
Lastly, I think that we could put more effort into localized community events. The produce in the community garden that I mentioned before can be used to supply the food for these ventures. This gives another opportunity for people in the neighborhood to set up stands, and collect profit from food, crafts, and whatever you’d find at a street festival. This is a direct show of POWER because it takes profits from the stores that won’t hire you, who depend on the constant flow of your business, and again circulates money within the community.
This definitely takes a certain level of unity and selflessness, but anything is possible. LOCALIZE = POWER!