The Power Of Protest

These people feel inviolate.

You cannot reach them and they don’t want to be reachable. That’s why they live behind gates, fly private and vacation in locations you’ve never heard of. There are a lot of bad actors these days, but now they’re being called out.

Like Purdue Pharma. Individuals run that company, and they’ve got our nation hooked on opiates. They say they’re just trying to salve our pain, but the truth is they spread false information to gain market share and profits, they literally said OxyContin was not addictive, even though no study ever proved that, just a comment from a doctor in a hospital after dealing with patients after treatment.

Someone’s got to pay for our flaws. Especially now that Wall Street has not.

I know, I know, you feel powerless, but never forget, the youth stopped the Vietnam War.

But that was a different era, when everybody under thirty was a liberal, when the Youngbloods sang about getting together and smiling on your brother, before the age of greed where if I succeeded and you failed who cared, and if you were poor and downtrodden it was your own damn fault. Never mind health issues, accidents, you should have made better choices and dem’s the breaks.

But protest got confused in the MTV era, despite the eradication of the fairness doctrine, outlets felt they had an obligation to depict both sides. But there aren’t always two sides. And sometimes one side has more value than another. But those pursuing good have been protecting the rights of those doing bad for so long that we entered the age of false equivalencies. If someone said the Earth was round, you had to write that someone else said the Earth was flat. And don’t laugh, there’s truly a flat Earth movement today, despite photos from space, that’s right, that’s how far science has been kicked down by people who want to do what they want willy-nilly for personal gain.

So we weren’t born with the protesting gene. Or maybe it was just dormant. My point is, in the early sixties not everybody protested, but some did. Most notoriously against racism in the south. And suddenly, people you knew were going. Our rabbi did. I wasn’t even ten, but that was surprising, shouldn’t he have been at the temple? No, sometimes you’ve got to crawl over the walls of your domain to stand up for the right thing, which is why when people say celebrities and sports stars should mind their own business you should ignore them. Because only people with mindshare, with traction, can get heard these days.

Unless there is a crisis.

We are in a crisis.

The patriarchy has been abusing its subjects for far too long. Is there a man in the universe who wants to stand up for sexual abuse? Other than the truly demented, no. So…

That brings us to the elevator pitch. No, it’s not just for business. Why is everything business in America, at the cost of people? Kinda like college, I went for the liberal arts, there was no business curriculum at Middlebury, nor any objective exams, everything was an essay, so you were forced to be able to write. How many Americans have this skill today? Yes, I am privileged, but I wish my brethren were too. I wish schools didn’t teach to the test, I wish it was legitimate to expand upon emotions as well as facts. Those are the teachers I remember, the ones who set my mind free, had me questioning precepts, like Mrs. Hurley and Mr. Harrity.

So we watched the Freedom Riders. We listened to folk music. And then came the Vietnam War. Did you want to get your ass shot off in Southeast Asia?

Now at first we thought we’d win. Easy, we’re the USA! Kinda like those nitwits chanting at sports events and rallies. Words are easy, accomplishments are difficult. Turns out we couldn’t win. And too many lives were sacrificed in the process. Did you want to sacrifice yours? HELL NO!

So suddenly there was a movement, and you protested too.

Now there is a women’s movement, but the patriarchy wants to ignore it, because it never confronted it. Women were for housework, cleaning and raising babies. And even if they had a job, they still had to perform these tasks, and stand by their man. Hell, how long until we have a woman President? And we keep losing female CEOs. Sure, there’s some affirmative action, but that’s gotten a bad name too, so white privilege can be sustained.

Then Johnson said he wouldn’t run.

After a D.C. protest Richard Nixon went to the Lincoln Memorial to speak with college students. Sure, he talked about surfing, but he tried. He got the message, the youth were unhappy. HOW IN HELL DID THE REPUBLICANS NOT GET THE MESSAGE THAT WOMEN ARE UNHAPPY?

They’re half the constituency. Are these guys so caught up in their game that they can’t see the forest for the trees? Sure, politics is a team sport, but without fans you’ve got no business.

And then you’ve got some women confronting Flake in an elevator.

No one likes to be called on the carpet, no one likes to be confronted, which is why we have the Secret Service, why every celebrity has bodyguards, to keep them from the hoi polloi. Sure, there are bad actors, but unless you’re willing to interact with the populace, you’ve got no idea what’s going on.

The Republican team has no idea what’s going on in America.

You can only push people so far before they revolt.

I thought it was about abortion, when it was eliminated we’d see civil warfare. But that hasn’t happened yet, even though it’s nearly impossible to get an abortion in some states.

But sexual offenses…

What do they say, it’s about power?

And no one wants to feel powerless.

And it’s bad enough enduring the offense, but being ignored when you bring it up?

Kavanaugh wants to be considered innocent before proven guilty. How about all those women who had to defend themselves after they were sexually assaulted? And don’t bring up some liars, there are exceptions to every rule. That’s gotcha! politics. One immigrant commits an offense and all immigrants are guilty.

But they’re not.

You’re taken advantage of and you’re guilty?


So protest needs to be rethought for the twenty first century. Grabbing placards and hanging in a designated space does nothing. But when you’re in someone’s face, someone’s space…

I’m not preaching violence, I’m not preaching civil disobedience, I’m preaching access and action. Go to the source, because that’s where the problem lies.

It starts with the individual. Someone has to refuse to go to the back of the bus, someone has to confront Jeff Flake in the elevator. And somehow it’s always a member of the rank and file, with supposedly little to lose. Got anything in America and you cower, but that’s not what our nation was built upon.

And I don’t care about the right wing position, not a whit. They’ve controlled the dialog, never mind the government, for far too long, but somehow they’ve convinced America it’s our fault, the hardworking people. It’s most of America that has been battered, and based on the economics, we’re living in the shelter. But it’s our fault. IT’S NOT!

Just like the Arab Spring. It only takes one person to stand up for justice.

There’s not a woman alive who has not been disadvantaged by men. It starts in kindergarten, if not before. And the truth is change is hard, it makes men uncomfortable, but that does not mean it should not happen.

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is secondary to sexual abuse. There it is, plain and simple. Whether he gets confirmed or not. Maybe he’s just unlucky, in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or the last to squeak through before new rules. But some things are bigger than the individual. Sometimes you’ve got to jump out of your little life and stand up for what’s right.

Come on, you know what’s right. Deep inside. No matter what you say, it’s the telltale heart that cannot be denied.

Just because everybody else is a lying, cheating scumbag that does not mean you’ve got to be one too… As a matter of fact, you’re categorically against being one, you can’t bend the rules, you can only be honest.

But to triumph in America today that’s anathema. It’s all duplicity and shading 24/7. Not only in government, but tech. Hide behind the cloak of anonymity, but achieve your goals.

That’s not the American way.

What Ana Maria Archila did is more American than anything Lindsay Graham bloviated.

Let her be a beacon. Truth and passion go a long way, and always triumph in a game of rock/paper/scissors.

That’s the American Way.

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