Thu, Feb

Activism Is the Heart and Soul of America


MEDIA WATCH--Over the last number of years I have come across a number of people that seem to not only be ill-educated on what activism is, but they seem to think that it has nothing to do with change in our country. A typical response from them usually includes “just vote.” I remind them that if it hadn’t been for activists, women and people of color wouldn’t have the ability to vote. Activism has been at the basis of creating our country, beginning with the Tea Party and moving forward. Activism offers an up front, in your face visual that politics is very personal.

When we gather together to right a wrong, we can move mountains with our collective voice!

For everyone whining that people just need to get out and “vote” and stop being involved in activist activities, this is a bit of a history lesson from someone involved in movements since the 1970s. You can set down your phones, stop texting your friends, and maybe listen and realize that results from activism can take a long time.

There is a requirement in our Democratic experiment to not only monitor and watch those that govern but to dig deeper into the policies that have been put into place. While these individuals are supposed to represent we-the-people, in the last decades they are closer to corporations and lobbyists in their decisions. However, we can’t blame those in recent years for all of the problems as they have been gradually getting worse over the years, and it always ends up being the responsibility of those that choose to stand up to make change.

Anyone that has been involved in activism you know that it can be actions great and small. It might be having a discussion about inequality with a group of friends or at a church gathering, it can be making phone calls to support a candidate, knocking on doors to encourage people to vote, making signs or other artistic ventures, and yes, even gathering in groups for peaceful protest. Some have said that it takes a special kind of courage to be an activist and I tend to disagree. Instead, it simply takes people recognizing a wrong, a destruction, or an inequality and choosing to give a voice to bring it to everyone’s attention. (Read the rest.