Plus 3 alternative wellsprings of revolutionary potential
by Isabelle Nastasia and Suey Park
Russell Brand “plays Indian” (aka appropriates Native culture) at ex-wife Katy Perry’s birthday party. – Photo via Indian Country Media Network
Over the past couple of weeks, actor and comedian Russell Brand has been praised by several blogs and social media users for his viral video and last week’s New Statesman manifesto calling for revolution. The headlines speak for themselves: “Russell Brand May Have Started a Revolution Last Night” and “Brand is Readying the Revolution.”
As young organizers and radical thinkers, the question on our lips is: why is Brand getting so much attention, while we – the “disenfranchised underclass” – been saying this shit for years?
Natasha Lenard articulately described why she does not stand with Brand and his so-called revolution: his complete lack of attention to dismantling patriarchy and sexism. Many other holes can be pointed to in Brand’s personal commitment to justice for oppressed peoples, from his appropriation of Native culture to his sexual exploitation of women. But the thing that stands out to us as particularly ridiculous is how corporate media is holding Brand up as a would-be revolutionary at a time when young people of color and women, queer kids, working class and poor youth are leading organizations that are building a robust movement across issues, strategies, and identities; a movement that is not looking to celebrities or elites for direction, but is informed from below.