(Featured Image taken from this website = Diposkan.com)
In the past few years, with movements like “Occupy Wall Street” and the recent “Black Lives Matter,” I have often thought about the lost art of protest. Well, there is no real art (or science for that manner) to protest. However, protesting something or against someone is usually about bringing attention to a cause and demanding for a certain outcome that is very different from the current action being taken. Now, one may argue that there is no real right or wrong way to protest (as brought up in a conversation between the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah and his guest, Tomi Lahren), but one could also make the case for a way that may be more beneficial to getting results with those who are moderate on a particular issue and could possibly sway others who initially oppose the view being espoused by the protesting side.
Some of today’s protest seems to be lost on grabbing attention or throwing more focus on just making known their emotions known with intolerable outbursts. Well, many of the protests are more organized than an actual outburst, but it comes across as not completely thought out in some ways. For example, the issue that I find with Black Lives Matter is that it limits its scope to just the violence perpetrated by a police office of a certain skin color, but they do not seem to protest as much against the violent acts and crimes committed by African Americans on other African Americans. My point is that when any person decides to protest, they should be consistent on the issue. If African American lives matter in our everyday lives, then that means when lives face evil from any person, be they an African American person or a Caucasian American person, their should be some form of protest and not just when they person does not look like you or share your ethnicity or culture.
The protest of today also seems lost on promoting actual means of getting results from their protest. The news media has shown Americans what had been happening in various parts of the country when it came to marches going on against the nomination of President-Elect Donald Trump. (I talk about that around the 27:31 mark here.) Now, I know of some people who are vocal about having a conversation on the issues that our country faces with racism or xenophobia and civil dialogue is always a positive in my book. However, what would a protest do with dealing with a presidential candidate that has not done anything politically to take away freedoms or rights from the very people that he has been nominated to lead? What will leaving school or work to yell and hold up signs that shows your anger do? It lets others know your viewpoint, but it does not help them accept your viewpoint and it certainly does not help change the environment that you are protesting.
I may be a bit in the clouds, but I long for the days of Dr. King and those protesting for rights. There are lot of people (everyone is a critic when you are a public figure) who never agreed with King’s ideology or methods, but they cannot argue with history. He brought attention to his protests (of course, with the help of many others) and captured the hearts and minds of many people, especially with people whose view counted (meaning politicians). King and Malcolm X and many others were not just out to make speeches; the activists of old were about getting things done and having changes made. They did not always agree on how it should be done, but they moved with thoughtfulness and clarity in what they wanted to get done.
If anyone who protests has no actual strategy, no argument(s) based in logic, and no reasonable goals for moving their view forward, then how can they expect anyone else (especially the opposition or even those who are undecided) to accept that view or slowly give in to that view?