HR 40 Hearings a TREMENDOUS VICTORY For ADOS — And Where to Go From Here

Image via iStock

So, you literally just went “This b is crazy,” right?

“Those hearings were a farce. Those hearings were a complete failure!”

Hey! Yes, and yes.

“This title is just clickbait. There was NOTHING victorious about today.”

Okay, let me tell you: I grew up in DC. I grew up going to Congress on field trips, learning about bureaucracy and lobbyists, meeting ambassadors and lawyers (… I lived in the nice part of DC with the Black bougeoisie). I’ve lived in areas where construction will be done on the same street for 15 years while contractors milk funds out of investors, where I’ve watched laws get jammed up then fade quietly away while no one was paying attention, and where the upper crust Black lawmakers and business leaders exchange hands-in-pockets with lawmakers from around the country to do them special favors.

DC is a place where laws are slow, attention is expensive, and nothing gets done because no one is being pressured to get anything done.

And ADOS, you have pressured them.

There are not enough words to describe how monumental that is.

There are not enough words to describe my immense pride and joy in us for breaking through the corruption and pay-to-play through hard work, grinding, and grassroots work, led and galvanized by the incredible Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore, to force a congressional hearing on a Reparations bill.

And not only that, but to have all eyes and ears on US.

YOU did that, ADOS. And you may not feel how MONUMENTAL that is because you haven’t grown up around the lawyers and lobbyists and corrupt bureaucrats. You haven’t watched your leaders literally sell you out in front of your face, with you basically standing there.

THIS IS NOT A SMALL DEAL. Press coverage is gained through clout and financial gains. The people in this city that get media coverage are the white people with deep pockets that live in the million-dollar mansions in upper NW and the suburbs. Access to the Capitol is gained through friend of a friend of a friend and we RARELY HAVE THOSE FRIENDS so we RARELY GET THAT ACCESS.

Normally? No one wants to hear you, see you, or talk to you. You don’t have to live here to get that, we all get it everyday. You’re invisible. You weren’t invisible today.

People who were not suitable to testify were chosen to testify — and you took to social media immediately, tearing them to shreds. That’s a win.

Your lawmakers that have ignored ADOS concerns for YEARS were forced to CONSIDER you today. That’s a win.

And the press is writing about you, and talking about you. That’s a win.

Listen, we all deserve better than what we got today. It was an insult, and it was a farce. They didn’t take the time to consult or bring in the founders of ADOS to testify, they didn’t have economists, historians, social scientists. They had a few people from the media and some celebrities that have nothing to do with Reparations. And they did that because DC is corrupt as hell.

But clearly, times are changing.

Personally, I didn’t expect for ADOS to get here until only after we had all been through 5–6 years of steady, persistent work.

I’m just. This is really amazing, y’all. You’re forcing the mouth of the lion and it’s being tamed right before our eyes. Y’all are so dope I can’t even describe it.

Where to Go From Here

So, in a corrupt, terrible town like this, what’s the next step look like? We forced their hand and they’re clearly using their evasive maneuvers.

Three suggestions:

  1. Keep their butts to the fire.
  2. Build power structures.
  3. Build those grassroots efforts and keep going!

Keep their butts to the fire — In the media, we have what are called media blitzes. Do you ever turn on the news and you’re hearing about the same issue for the fifth night in a row? Or you can’t seem to get away from a story regardless of what newspaper or magazine you open?

Public Relations (PR) professionals will put together a press release packet. These packets are filled with the statements that news anchors should read on air, or the fact sheets that reporters should refer to when writing an article. And the high-priced ones will blast every media outlet over and over and over again. The better the hook, and the better their connections, the more often they will be covered. (If it’s not clear, I’m not supposed to be telling y’all all of this. … Did I mention I grew up in a corrupt city?)

If I were our PR professional, I’d be doing the media blitz right now.

There are two problems with this — one, we don’t have the cash to really hire anyone to do this and it is full time work. Two, the media outlets out there may not take our packets because we don’t have the high-priced connections.

My suggestion? We need grassroots media blitzes. Make your short info videos — under 1 minute long — this sort of thing, and we’ll share it. And that’s all it is. Info that you repeat over and over to as many places as possible.

Build power structures — grassroots work is absolutely essential. That’s what we’re doing now. Making phone calls, tweeting, writing letters, going out in the community. It’s roughly half (or even more) of how anything gets done.

The other half is power structures. And we ain’t got any.

Power structures looks like a real Black ADOS Congressional Caucus to address our specific tangible needs. The Congressional Black Caucus has failed on that and don’t fight for us. But we do need someone to fight for us inside of Congress.

Power structures looks like an ADOS lobbying group here in DC to do the work of meeting with the power players — the journalists and big money interests, bill writers, congresspeople and so on outside of the halls of the Capitol — to get our interests in the ears that matter.

And power structures looks like Black ADOS candidates who can win their districts, possibly replacing the congresspeople that have failed their communities for decades.

All of that will take fundraising, dedication, and a ton of energy. But that’s how the big power players all do it, and that’s what we need. Skin in the game.

Build those grassroots efforts and keep going! — I mean. Look at everything y’all have done already. Jesus. I’m in awe.

The ADOS movement is like an unstoppable tidal wave, a force of nature. We will not be denied. It’s admirable as hell.

Keep bringing in your friends and family. Keep those tweets up. Keep the phone calls going. Do more meetings in your cities. Start some formal structures at those meetings. Start some local fundraising. Get petitions going. And so on. All of those day to day efforts make a huge difference. Clearly we won’t be turned down. Know your power. It’s really something.

Salute, to you ADOS. You’re amazing.

ADOS Politics + Reparations 2020

Written by

Examining ADOS Politics and Reparations 2020. On Twitter at ashscheherazade (ADOS + my shamanism) and BlackPayDay (wealth creation and nurturing).