“Be the change you want to see in the world”
That’s what one of my college professors told me when I challenged the idea that all these inconsequential protests wearing pussy hats, making snarky picket signs, staging “die ins” and generally disrupting other’s lives with silly immature stunts actually helped anyone’s causes, as well as complaining about it 24/7 yet doing no real work to change laws or pass legislation made any drastic impact. People may argue about how previous protests have made changes, or even enter a debate on the merits or detriments on civil disobedience in general. Proponents say that these stunts and such, kneeling, wearing pussy hats, defying rules, laying siege to various buildings, shouting down speakers and threatening people so events get cancelled, school walkouts and such, brings attention to their causes and gets the conversation going. That I will concede, is true, the more disruptive the stunt, the more attention to the issue, but for most who simply wish to carry on with their lives, is it the right kind of attention? Negative attention certainly draws attention to the issue, but it only alienates people who would be on the fence, or even have changed their minds if whatever was done was done in a more reasoned, levelheaded manner. Making oneself look like a complete lunatic with some vendetta stigmatizes any rational debate on the topic, as now it’s associated with the lunatic fringe who went too far! Many of the liberal movements are getting push back due to these inconsequential protests, whining and disruptions.
The women’s movement saying Trump is a sexist misogynist assaulter of women staged the major protest in Washington DC and elsewhere thought it would be a good idea to fight Trump by creating “pussy hats” and calling themselves “Nasty Women” based off things Trump allegedly said and did, in an attempt to “reclaim” his insults. The slogans on many of the picket signs contain vulgar swear words, images of the middle finger and other lewd gestures, and plenty of personal attacks on Trump. A few stood out as defining a more coherent cause, but many were simply petty comebacks and wisecracks any child could have come up with! Many of the protesters wore the bright pink “pussy hats”, there to stand in for the female vagina that they accuse Trump of “grabbing”. Some women even went all the way and dressed up in a giant vagina costume, complete with pubic hair (gross)! Also let’s not forget the speeches, such as the unhinged rant that goes off on multiple tangents by Ashley Judd, complaining about tampons and affirming she’s a “nasty woman”, or Madonna’s comment that she wanted to “blow up the White House”! I mean, who should say things like what Ashley Judd did and be taken seriously, or why is it even legal for Madonna to get away with threatening the President? Mainstream conservative women, and many moderates do not feel that those radical “nasty women” stand for women like them, or for women’s equality in a civilized and ladylike manner. Women like myself feel insulted and alienated by women’s rights being represented through people like those at the Women’s March.
Or what about the BLM movement? While kneeling in itself as I’ve posted about before does not bother me as much as other conservatives, and it is much quieter and peaceful than some other things, like the race riots brought on by the BLM movement in places like Ferguson, one cannot deny the fact it has polarized much of the country in the matter. The issue with their little stunt is that it has offended many Americans who feel it disrespects the country, and the people who served it, such as the military, police and first responders. People who would have been more on the fence about BLM now feel alienated from it, as they are offended by the BLM movement disrespecting what they feel is more important than partisan issues. The issue I argue about it is the protest is inconsequential in it’s too broad and vague. Kneeling before the flag at The Anthem does not directly address the issue of racial profiling and discrimination by the police. Their reasoning was that this country is racist and we can’t honor the flag of an unjust nation. However, many feel they insult the military and other first responders as well, not just police, with whom their main issue lies. Another thing is too, these are privileged rich football players earning millions each season! They don’t face any of the struggles of the poor black community! All of this hypocrisy and vague whining without any real concise target have pressured the NFL and other prominent figures such as our president and other politicians to denounce them and prohibit the take a knee movement.
Also, what about the school walkouts? Of course, where everyone on all sides wants school shootings and other gun violence to stop, but is walking out in the middle of the day with picket signs for 17 minutes really accomplishing anything? I believe students should be proactive and take a stand to make positive change in the world as much as they are able, but was disrupting the school day really doing much? They may have raised awareness, but what about doing more than just whining? Why not call their local legislators, write letters, write petitions etc… to pass laws? Look, I don’t personally believe that 17 minutes out of class for one day will derail their entire academic careers, but the issue with it goes beyond 17 minutes outside class time. First of all, is the idea of the immense pressure for the students to participate. Many schools have officially endorsed these protests and peers, teachers and administration are all in board, making it immensely hard for any student to think for themselves without great backlash. Imagine everyone in your school is going to do this thing, but you don’t want to and fear you will be labeled as callous and condoning school shootings and gun violence! The adults are goading the young people to do this. They provided the funding and organizing these events, and were able to get schools on board. They are the ones telling our youth this is the right thing to do. The students have little opportunity to think for themselves, and are getting swept up in the liberal anti-gun movement. You see, this is far from a bipartisan movement: the overarching tone is anti-Trump, anti-conservative and anti-gun and NRA. Opponents are painted as bad as “baby killers” and value guns over human life, which I know for plenty of gun owners is a complete falsehood! Sure, 17 minutes is pretty inconsequential in damaging academic performance at school, as some opponents said, but the reasons to oppose it are far stronger: brainwashing our kids into the liberal agenda. Perhaps if they were more neutral and bipartisan, more would join, as no one wants gun violence, but conservatives are barred from the cause, painted as gun toting “baby killers”.
One last example, more briefly, is now the immigration issues with children being taken at the boarder. Despite the picture of a sadistic president ripping families apart for no good reason, many of the children could be being trafficked, mules for drugs, or human shields for gangs. For their own safety, they ought to prove the adults they come with illegally are really their parents. Opponents though, have gone to some pretty crazy extremes to “protest” this! Sitting in tiny cages as propaganda, and showing pictures from (Guess who? The Obama administration!) of children in poor cramped conditions in uninviting warehouses and saying this is the current situation. Even some more moderate liberals have corrected their radical brethren pointing out the error! Many have even declared all over social media that they are no longer friends with those who point out the truth, as it’s a moral, not a political issue, demonizing their critics. However, the wackiest thing happened this past 4th of July when a woman climbed the Statue of Liberty to protest ICE and immigration policies! The stunt forced the evacuation of the island of everyone on it, and police had to make a daring rescue from incredibly dangerous heights, putting their own lives on the line for this “protest”! Sure it drew attention, but hopefully now people on the fence can see the lunacy of that movement!
The point of all these examples and countless others across college campuses, schools and work places, is that this immature inconsequential protesting does nothing but mar the reputation of their respective causes! There is nothing wrong with wanting to take a proactive stance, as my former professor said, to help make positive change in your community and country by speaking out, but doing petty stunts, demonizing your opponents and whining does nothing good. Why don’t the privileged athletes kneeling donate some of their millions to help impoverished black communities get better living standards, schools, infrastructure, jobs, etc… and support mentoring programs to fight the cycle of crime and poverty and welfare? Why not spend some to train police to better protect at risk neighborhoods? Why don’t the March for Our Lives students and teachers support more rational gun legislation, such as gun use for self defense and more security in school? Why not fundraise for that? Why not learn about the issue and have deep rational discussions about gun violence and gun legislation in an objective light as part of school, instead of spending 17 minutes in silence doing nothing?! Why not find more eloquent ways of expressing women’s issues beyond vulgar dirty words and sex talk? Aren’t you as culpable of talking dirty as Trump by constantly referencing vaginas? Why not help change policies that are traumatic for children and more organized boarder control? A way for promising immigrants and refugees to come into the country who can be assets and weed out the ones who would do crimes and leech off the system? Sure is better than spreading blatantly false propaganda photos taken years before Trump!
“Be the change you want to see in the world” to me ought to mean the exact opposite of what I was told by that liberal professor; it should mean walking the walk, not just talking the talk, or better put, “crying the cry” 😉 It means actually doing something to make a change, not just complaining about some injustice and trying to draw attention through silly stunts! If something’s that important to you, find a way to be taken seriously and reach those who have the power to make the change you want to see. A protest is one thing to draw some attention, but you’re leaving it to others to do the dirty work! Write a letter, write a petition, call your news outlets, call your legislators, help someone in need, donate to a charity, volunteer, vote for laws that would benefit your cause, aspire and work towards becoming a person who can make change, such as an elected official, administrator, leadership role etc… Whatever you decide to do though, please don’t climb The Statue of Liberty 😉