Brooks. A light is dimmed.
I feel confused, angry, and sick to the stomach. The notion that one can be here one day, and gone the next isn’t unfamiliar to me. Yet I’m still overcome by these feelings as I process the passing of a great man who we lost suddenly, and far too soon; Michael Brooks.
I was introduced to Brooks through his commentary on a culture-politics podcast where I found we shared not only similar politics, but a world view that indicated a love and empathy for humanity and a deep appreciation for history. It was not enough for Michael to just recite the current events – no! Michael put a lot of effort into tying any particular notable event to a greater historical context. It wasn’t enough for him to give you the outline; he sought to give you the picture in 3D, from all angles, with the right balance of gray, to black and white.
Over the short time I had closely followed him, he expanded my world view and made me challenge beliefs I’d long held, and even when I disagreed with a stance of his, it was always easy to understand where he was coming from – intentions to build a stronger left by uniting the working people, regardless of geography, race, religion or creed.
Michael had a clear and undying empathy for ALL people’s plight – his passion for the class struggle wasn’t just limited to our American brothers and sisters but it extended across the globe! This fact is abundantly clear from what events, and histories, that Michael chose to make central to the discourse: the wrongful imprisonment of President Lula de Silva and inhumane sanctions on Venezuela, to the legacies of great African comrades such as Kwame Nkrumah, Chris Hani and Thomas Sankara.
The absence of Michael’s voice will leave a void that will not soon be filled. His humor, love for humanity, and brilliance in interpreting the dialectics of today made Michael a champion of the left as a whole, and he will be honoured as such.