Obviously, this sudden change of political agenda isn’t something we were prepared for. Honestly, who among us really thought we would see a time like this in “the land of the free?” We have seen some poor leaders and ugly political behavior, but the vast majority of us citizens have never really encountered a situation where our elected leaders are literally maneuvering into a process where the American people can be subjugated.
I mean, this isn’t Syria or Iran or Argentina. This is the United States of America with a history of the intent to keep this country free of such rulers, and yet here we are looking at some guy who half of us think is stupid and unqualified and half of us think is a lunatic and unqualified. This thing was properly elected by our nation’s election process, but we always had faith that the vast majority of citizens were smart enough or aware enough to recognize when a person is not the right person for the job. Seems we were wrong.
We weren’t counting on human nature and all of us being so preoccupied with our personal worlds of merely trying to survive the day that we weren’t paying attention to what was really going on around us. I’m holding up my hand guilty as accused. I’m a person who does pay attention to the political process; however I didn’t really expect or, at least believe that we were gullible enough to fall for that sales pitch. I didn’t think that the average American citizen could be so consumed with hatred or fear or whatever it was that fooled them into wanting someone with this type of character and plan in this role of leadership. Yeah, I went about my days trying to be a loving person, all about brotherhood, fairness and justice. I’m an American Black. I’ve got my issues with our society to deal with. What am I doing worrying about the bigger picture?
Well, I’m still a citizen of these United States and what affects the entire country still affects me. My section level of social issues is a level down from the whole place. I’ve got to realize that and I’ve got to deal with it accordingly.
So that brings me to my main message. If we’re going to take a stand and fight back then we need to do it right or, at the very best, we’re just pushing the cycle around. I’ve made references, already, to the civil rights era in our country’s history as many of us are looking at what was accomplished then and thinking that we can accomplish much by doing as it was done then. That’s a good idea, but we’re faltering in that we don’t really understand what really went down and how it was really accomplished. We only see the headlines and big stories. We fail to realize that it didn’t fully happen that way. So maybe we should find out first before we go running out in the streets with our protests.
Enter this guy. Me. I’m not going to give myself much credit, but I was around during those days – albeit as a little boy. There were a lot of things that I didn’t quite understand at that age, but I did experience and understand a lot of what was going on that wasn’t hitting the papers and what wasn’t going into our history books. There is a big difference in what was going on back then and what we’re dealing with now. Ultimately, that means that some efforts on our behalf won’t be completely the same as what went on back then. Not a problem if we seek information on what we did.
Again, I’m not some highly educated scholar. I’m just a guy who has experience with that part of our country’s history and I’m alert enough to be able to figure some things out. Basically, I can do the math. So don’t take merely my word for it, please check out this article published on the NPR website regarding author and experienced activists Duncan Green entitled “Thinking About Going To A Rally? Read This Activist’s Advice First.“
Mr. Green is the author of the book How Change Happens. Think of the book as sort of a field guide to people looking to get involved in matters of social change. It covers material for first-time beginners all the way to seasoned lobbyist. There is good reference in there with regards to what was done during the Civil Rights Movement that led to its success. I found that when I sat down and began reading the article, as some points of the book are mentioned, I realized I was already on board with that type of thinking.
Yes, I bought the book. I haven’t really gotten to reading it, yet (shame on me). That’s the main reason that I haven’t really written anything on the process despite me talking with friends and family about these ideas and my public declarations that we’re not really doing it right. It would be foolish of me to press the issue without fully having studied this resource material. Faithfully, I’m like everyone else. I’ve still got to deal with day to day struggles and so I’ve just got to create the space for these studies.
In the meantime I’d like to point you to a few key words that I’ve got right on the front of this site. Unity. Communication. Strategy.
Each one of these words refers to an element that all successful social change movements have. I’m sure if you think along the terms of what a social movement is and the idea of success you can see the relationship of these three words – concepts. They are key to us being successful in this new frontier (if you will) that we are in need of challenging.
I want to point out that there is another key element to that formula that really causes the change. Let’s call it follow-through and follow-up. You see what is done during social change struggles is about creating a environment, sort of setting the table for change. The heaviest work comes at the end of the movements – where the end is defined as that point where the goals of the movement are there to be manifested. For example the passing of the Voting Rights Act during the civil rights era was an accomplishment of the movement. Still the real impact or action of the change doesn’t happen until after that.
This is where America failed the first time and it’s, also, why I have referred to things as being a part of a cycle. It’s happening again because we’ve come back around to it. We haven’t truly broken the cycle. We’re at a point where we can if we see it as a cycle that needs breaking. To wit if we don’t properly take advantage of the accomplished goals we’ll eventually find our society at the point where we are again.
So if we are going to stand against this new fascist regime we have to set our goals beyond merely standing up against it and stopping it from taking control. We must visualize a process that paves a way to never allowing it again. See those two phrases up there? Strategy, Follow-through and follow-up. That’s where we set it in motion.
Unity and Communication are about organization. If one carefully considers those two words in the realm of organization one can see why they are crucial and key.
Friends, please take this, my message, to heart and reflect on what we’re doing right now and how we can insure that we engage in the struggle with a clear idea of how we are going to overcome. It’s not about sending messages and making statements of defiance. It’s about doing the things that allow us to make our stand in such a way that our opponent is forced to stop what it’s doing and deal with us, The Resistance.
I know that you might think that right now we are making a difference. You point to things like the halting of the immigration ban, but that didn’t happen because of all the people protesting at airports. That happened because our legal system got involved and flexed. At best we created a loud distraction – you can pat yourselves on the back for that, but please understand that legal action could have happened without any protest going on. All it would have taken was us calling on it and enlisting their help. That is something that was done during the Civil Rights Movement. It’s called strategy.
What about all those calls to your representatives regarding confirmation of key cabinet members? All kinds of calls and protests. Confirmation after confirmation going through. What did we really do?
Think about it. Read the article. Think about it. Read the book. Think about it. We’ve got the tools, people. We just got to figure out how to use them.
This figuring out process is natural. It’s not like we were really born into this struggle. This is a story that we were not prepared for. Now we’ve got to prepare ourselves and do it right. That, we can do.
Power to the people, y’all.