Socialist Party USA Presidential Candidate
How did you first get politicized? Radicalized? Active?
It’s been a long process, man.
I went through a lot of trouble, enough substance abuse to damage my health, and ultimately, I hit rock bottom.
I was at a point in my early-thirties where I realized that I didn’t feel like I knew how to learn anymore. It was surreal.
I had vague memories of being a small child, feeling hopeful about life. But damn, if there was a mistake to make, I was going to make it.
So, I suppose I had a choice to make. I chose to clear my head and figure out what I was here for. I had a lot of catching up to do, I felt.
Starting in my community, in Los Angeles, I started to connect with folks, hearing their stories.
A few of us started to organize things like bicycle drives for children in South L.A., and clothing drives for survivors of human trafficking. The more we dove into that kind of work, the more it became apparent to me that, while the organizations were engaged in much-needed work, these cycles of oppression weren’t going to break with topical measures.
Remember, at this point, I hadn’t begun to dig into socialism, so I’m sort of figuring this stuff out without really knowing much about systems, causes, etc. But, eventually, I got to that place. And once I got there, I really dove in.
Life moves by so fast, man.
Damn thanks for sharing that… Did music play any roles in this for you? I think I’ve seen a few things from you and interviews about you mentioning music as a key influence in your personal/political development?
I’m not sure it played a role in my political development, although I suppose all of our experiences contribute to who we are.
It was certainly an escape for me, like trying to reach another world where everything was going to be okay.
But, I’d be lying if I said that my definition at the time of “okay” wasn’t misguided and somewhat fucked up.
What was your definition of okay then, and whats it now?
“Okay” at the time mostly meant not being able to feel and not being held to account for much of anything. “Okay” today? Revolution.
I asked Mimi for his favorite song so that I could embed it into this interview.
Mimi chose “Masked Laughter” by dälek.