Remington Alessi is one of my favorite local troublemakers. He camped with Occupy Houston in 2011-12, hooked up with the Harris County Greens and ran for Sheriff in 2012, ran for Sheila Jackson Lee's Congressional seat in 2014. His wife Valerie Alessi ran for Texas Land Commissioner in 2014.
Between Rem's occasional arrests, his law studies, Val's graduate studies in art, and their team-parenting a beautiful child, they have added some youthful energy and sabor to the HCGP.
I'm not going to run down Rem's entire list of direct actions and confrontations with law enforcement over the years. As the song goes, he has "been to jail for justice" a few times. But he has been put in Facebook time-out, including 30-day bans, all too frequently. He doesn't post graphic nudity or violence; his oft-controversial posts repeatedly get reported by overly sensitive white folks who don't or can't acknowledge their own racist tendencies. During these probationary periods, Val has been kind enough to let Rem use her account to post messages, as long as he keeps them free of reportable material.
As is often the case with social media warriors, Rem is far more personable in person than online. On Facebook, sometimes he does step on some toes, rhetorically speaking, in an effort to get well-intentioned white people thinking about the privilege behind their speech and actions. Sometimes this toe-stomping is called for, sometimes not so much; he is willing to admit when he has crossed a line unnecessarily.
On the occasion of Rem's latest unblocking, he posted a note that I thought worthy of including here in its entirety. He has granted permission to copy & paste his words. I present them unedited, adding only extra space between paragraphs.
We all need to "do the work" as Rem did. And the work is never completely done. Your friends on Facebook may provide links to articles that can increase your "wokeness," but beyond the reading, we need to do the math: i.e., to recognize how issues intersect, sometimes adding together, sometimes multiplying.
As I come back from thirty days of being involuntarily silenced by Facebook’s rather arbitrary community standards, I’ve decided to open up a bit more than I usually do.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.