Lawrence Guyot's Thoughts
 — Lawrence Guyot

Originally published in From the Desk of Guyot, September, 2012

To all of you students who started the greatest civil rights move ment that probably ever existed — the southern civil rights movement — I call again upon each and every one of you to repeat what you did decades ago. That is to begin again to organize from the ground up, everyone that you know to bring together the kind of government that we have made possible. You, the people I'm speaking to, changed America, the South, the country, and the world. I say that without caveat; simply read the history, it's there, we wrote it, and it's ours, now we must fight to defend it. We're faced with a challenge, the likes of which none of us have ever really experienced, because this challenge goes to the fundamental roots of what is humanity, what is the role of government, is it essential that government provide for the services and necessities of all of its citizens, or is self government to be turned into a narrow division of those very wealthy with those non-wealthy, thereby redefining America.

You can't have the America that is proposed by the Republican Party and still call it America. America to me is the totality of institutions set to serve, through division of power and self-representation of the governed by themselves. The government in my mind has always been the instrumentality of fairness, justice, and social need. The Republican Party is proposing something quite radical. They want the government, and I'm quoting them, to be small enough to be destroyed in a bathtub. What we have to remind ourselves is that the greatness of America is that nothing has ever been given to us. Everything we have from the eight hour work day, to the right of labor unions to organize, to the right of women to vote and participate on juries, the right of Blacks to feel that they have rights at all, the right of women to compete adequately with men in the work place, all of this came about by battle.

Now is the time for us to do five specific things: one, everything we can to organize victories for Obama, president of the United States, all Democratic candidates in the House and the Senate; if we do not include taking over the house and the senate in our campaign, it will only be one third of a campaign. Our political inactivity in 2010 has shown that the rabid right wing was ready and waiting to and has taken over the government, not to make it work, but to prove that they could force it into subjection. America as we know it is not only in question but that is the only question in the presidential election of 2012. This is not a time to talk about perfection or jobs, ad infinite. This is a time to say we will change the economy when we include the House and the Senate as well as the presidency in the government of the United States.

There must be a realignment that makes that a reality. As of this moment, we have the House of Representatives that are committed to making sure that the government does not work. The only beautiful thing about this is in November we decide this once and for all. So I'm calling on all of you to, through all of your skills, and the reason I'm calling upon all of you, those of you who have organized, is I do not have to explain to you the power of mobilizing, the power of empowerment. We changed our lives and changed the lives of millions. It is time for us to simply do what we know well and get into to motion to do some specific things: 1) re-elect President Obama president of the United States; 2) assist the Democratic Party in taking control of the House and the Senate; and 3) establish a nationwide hookup to serve several ends. We should support the movie now being developed about Fannie Lou Hamer, and also support Thunder of Freedom, a great book by Sue (Lorenzi) Sojourner and Cheryl Reitan about Holmes County. This book tells the story of Holmes County, it tells the story of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. It also tells the one classic story of the Freedom Democratic Party and the NAACP working successfully together in Mississippi.

The story of true American heroes: Hartman Turnbow, Ralthus Hayes, Mrs. Carnegie, Walter Bruce, is told. What we begin to understand is that is necessary for us to use this history. To make sure that we spread the word as wide as possible, such materials have to be integrated in the history curriculum of the nation's education system.

One other major area of concentration would be the promotion and selling of the SNCC tapes of the 50th Anniversary events and programs. With the exception of the Anti-Saloon League, there is no organization in American Political History that was as successful and had as much as of an impact on the American culture and on the bringing in of the powerless into political empowerment as has the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. I joined with them in helping write that history. I vouch for it. I will not join with them in helping re-write it. But, I do want the materials circulated, because I think it is the best organizing, mobilizing tool we have.

I hope that all of you will understand that this newsletter is your newsletter. I am joined by three great Americans in help making this newsletter possible, myself, Margaret Kibbee, Irvin Davis (of SETF). We're an indispensable team, and we're of equal rank, but we like this newsletter because this newsletter exists to empower people. This is not about entertainment, this is not about advertisement, this is about how do we galvanize people that we know to be organizers to do what they do best and that's organize. Now if you have any questions about any of these activities email Margaret Kibbee at, email Irvin Davis at, or call Lawrence Guyot at 202-332-5157.

Fannie Lou Hamer deserves our uncompromising support; Holmes County is just as deserving. Let's stop waiting on other people to promote and buy books written about our history that we can use to make sure our history is replicated and that our history doesn't simply sit on a shelf but these books become part of the body politic of the great country of the United States of America. Reading is a political act, especially when you have a rich body of literature which captures the organization history and the empowerment of the people who wrote it. In this history, we found ourselves and found each other and together created a different world. We must accept responsibility for passing on this collective information to as many people as possible, creating and developing organizers to organizing for action and not have them sit on the sidelines doing nothing. I ask all of you to join with me in what may be our final fight.

We must remember that in 1972 the Republican Party proposed canceling the congressional elections. Who knows what happens if we make the terrible mistake of losing the presidency, the house, and the senate in 2012. The reason I speak so grimly is I believe what the Republican Party has said it plans to do. I trust that they are about delivering an awful lot of pain to as many Americans as possible. I trust that their interest is that of the very very wealthy.

I look forward to this battle. I am glad to have lived long enough to be in it because I personally feel that everything I've ever done was prepatory to the fight we're in now. This is the fight to save and redefine the greatest country on earth, the United States of America. Join with me and to those of you who would implore you to be tempted to accept perfection over what is possible tell them not yet, not now, maybe never. God bless each and every one of you, let's get to work! on.

Lawrence Guyot — September 2012
(202) 332-5157

Copyright © 2012, Lawrence Guyot


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