ClassActivist Comment

Praxis TV

ClassActivist Comment:

Because working class culture, experience and outlook are not represented or valued anywhere in mainstream media. Because the only time working class people are represented or included on TV now is through the distorted and disparaging eyes of those who see themselves as above us. Because sharing our discussions and experiences helps to heal some of the damage caused and hopefully brings people together through recognition of shared experience. Because it's educational, on our own terms. Because it is one way of putting back some of the things that we have been denied or that have been taken away by stealth. Because we have a lot to say after being silenced for so long.

Our anger about unfairness is legitimate. You may hear these interviews and not relate to any of it, or you might. Have a listen and see what you think.

Naming and making visible these common experiences and setting them in context is the beginning of taking them on. For many of us, it feels like we haven't been able to do that for a long time - we have been told that conversation is over, that class is irrelevant these days, that discussing it is divisive and all sorts of other reasons why this conversation should not be had (usually by middle class people).

Working class voices are rarely genuinely welcomed into more privileged spaces to take up positions of power and to influence systems to make them fair and class-accessible.

When working class voices manage to make it into spaces that are middle class-dominated, they are often isolated and sidelined. When working class people manage to be successful or create a platform, then use that platform to illuminate not only the path but also the invisible barriers for others, they have become a class activist, creating the tools to dismantle an inherently harmful system.

Because of their ability to drift into positions of status and influence with relative ease, this system is one that middle class people (including middle class people on the Left) often inadvertently sustain, through clogging it up and packing it out (Lisa McKenzie's term is 'colonise') with other people like themselves.

We need as a class to support each other, to develop a community, re-acquaint other classes with our voice. We need to work collectively to start taking up more space across all spheres of influence and we might fight also for better status for the work of those that have given and will continue to give the most to society through the COVID crisis.

Finally, we need to encourage our working class young people to take heart, band together and do the same.