“I refuse to believe that the system that we’re in is the only option that we have.”

Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford

I don’t have faith in politicians. I don’t have faith in the electoral process. It’s well documented that that doesn’t work for us. No matter who you are. So my gaze is not toward politicians and getting them to do something in particular. I think they will change what they do based off of what I do, but that’s not my center. My center is using electoral politics as a platform but also agitating so much that people continue to question the system they’re in as they’re doing it, and that we start to dismantle it. Because I refuse to believe that the system that we’re in is the only option that we have. And so we hear people saying — Bernie supporters — “Well, he’s your best option.” It’s like, If he’s our best option then I’m burning this down. I think it’s literally blowing up — this is why the respectability thing is so important — is that you blow it up so big, and so un-respectably, that you can show people the possibilities outside of the system that they’re stuck in. And so that’s why I do agitation work.

So I’m not for any politician. But I’m definitely for anything that pulls people further left, anything that gets people asking more questions, and gets us closer to actually dismantling the system that has never, ever, ever, ever done anything for black people and never will. So I’m really trying to see my people get free by any means possible.

Listen | “Marissa Janae Johnson Speaks: #BLM, Sanders & White Progressives™” | Marissa Janae Johnson interviewed by Elon James White and Imani Gandy | This Week in Blackness

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