Seeing Jalil: The Hopeless Optimist

There can be few places more unlikely than Attica state penitentiary to hear someone say they are a “hopeless optimist.” But there i was sitting in front of Jalil Muntaqim as he shot that big sincere smile as he said it. He was assuring me that we will figure out the problems facing us - broadly speaking, the endless shifts imperialism makes to sustain itself - organize around that clarity and make the world livable for everyone. “I may not see it in my lifetime,” he said, “though i once thought i would. But we will win.” It may indeed need more than his lifetime but no one can say he hasn't spent that lifetime trying to make it happen. And paying a heavy price for it.