Activists in the United States are like the man who attempts to bail the ocean through the holes in his boat. His attention is focused on the symptom which is the water entering the boat, but ignores the cause which is the hole. I am like a man standing next to him with a patch, but he would prefer to see me with a bucket.
The success of efforts to network have been limited, and no doubt my approach is partially to blame, but I am also without an alternative approach.
Activists and fringe political parties coalesse around primarily what they are against, but rarely have any worth while solutions for addressing their grievances. They are for assembling, holding signs, and chanting their contrary message towards whatever social problem is in vogue, but they are devoid of comprehensive solutions. The more radical groups having extreme ideas reminiscent of ages past, to “seize the banks”, but how are you going to do that, and what would you do in this alternate reality where this goal was accomplished? The more moderate groups simply support Bernie Sanders, as if the career politician who has been in Washington for close to 30 years is going to accomplish anything in the executive branch after having been not much more than a professor of rhetoric during in his tenure in the house and senate.
Other organizations have a single cause, like being against war. Their contribution to a better world consists of holding signs against US acts of aggression, which have the same effect as group prayer: it feels good to be in a group with good intentions, but the act has no influence on the outcome. This is the primary function of most groups. Protesting, which is ineffective and often times counter productive.
I attended a group where a woman was bragging about how their protest shut down a street. For her maybe it was a demonstration of the groups power. In the eyes of most people you are the source of an irritation and delay in what is likely a busy schedule. People who may have been sympathetic and supportive of your cause now associate it with the hassle you have brought into their lives. They may not only be indifferent to it, but may now be against it.
Some may argue that protest brings social causes to mainstream America, but the sequence is often the opposite. Above I wrote whatever social problem is in vogue, and this assertion is based on a history of activists being pulled like reeds in the wind towards whatever cause has been made popular.
The Black Lives Matter movement grew out of the race based killing of Trayvon Martin. Following this event there was a great deal of attention focused on what is perceived to be race based killing by law enforcement. Was this attention the result of activist actions including protests?
The amount the media charges its advertisers is based on the amount of people who view their programming. If a story receives a lot of attention and gets good ratings they will air similar stories, so long as those stories are not contrary to their inherent interests, i.e. those things which challenge the American Myth or as Chomsky refers to it, do not go beyond “the limits of controversy”. The Trayvon Martin tragedy received good ratings and naturally every media outlet is looking for similar stories they can break to attract ratings. Which led to activists being drawn to the unnecessary use of deadly force by law enforcement against black people, like Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and many others.
Black Lives Matter grew out of a faulty causation interpretation of the statistic that black people consist of 13% of the population yet represented 27% of deadly force by law enforcement officers.
The causation is not that they are shot because they are black, but poor people are predisposed to commit crime, based on those circumstances. Evident by the fact that people who are incarcerated come from an average income of 21k per year whereas the average income of a non-incarcerated person for that year was 44k per year. The difference between black people and white people incarcerated in terms of income is roughly 3 thousand dollars per year.
More black people are killed by law enforcement because as a percentage more black people are poor, the average income being about 10k less than white people. Being poor causes the areas they live in to have more crime, and more police exposure. This is largely the result of past state sanctioned racism because their grandparents were denied jobs and educational opportunities based on race, but most deadly force occurrences are probably not directly race based.
The point being, Black Lives Matter came into existence in 2013. Prior to Trayvon Martin there were racial based killings, and prior to Michael Brown, law enforcement was using unnecessary force against black people, but it was only when the media decided to focus on it for profit, that activists made it a focus of their platform. Today there is still the unnecessary use of deadly force by law enforcement but it isn’t the trending issue, now they’re onto Me Too and sexual harassment which reinvigorated after the R-Kelly documentary, will lose steam and give way to the next big attraction. Before Me Too we had a school shootings and gun control stint, which led people away from the removal of confederate monuments. Topics I will address in other portions of this article, and I’m not saying there is only one cause at any given time, abortion is ever present, immigration, the next country in line for regime change, as well as climate change or the assertion of lack there of.
Activists are not proactive. They are ineffective because they cannot bring an idea to the average person and say this is what is wrong, this is what we want to do to change it, this is how it affects you, and this is how we can do it.
On the subject of race, gender, and activists, activists fail to recognize how the amplification of these class and state supported divisions are detrimental to many relevant causes. They pander to racial minorities in an effort to swell their ranks. They make the most extreme interpretations of actions and statements in an effort to demonstrate how anti-racist they are, and further the race divide. They make it an issue with support of the state and media because a people divided among race is in the interest of preserving a class based power structure.
Many as they are conditioned to believe will say race is an issue. I don’t deny that there are people who are racist, but there are a few points that cause it not to be an issue especially for political activists. 1st racism is not state sanctioned and there are laws against discrimination based on race. There is nothing further you can do legislatively in regard to racism. 2nd It is socially unacceptable nearly everywhere in the United States. 3rd a black, brown, yellow, or red person born into money benefits from all the advantages a white person born into money benefits from, and a white person born into poverty faces all the same disadvantages that any above mentioned minority faces.
Racism does exist among people in the United States, but it exists much more abundantly thanks to activists. What activists do not acknowledge, is how it exists from all directions. I could tell you about being 6 and 7 years old where my race had a single digit percentile of representation in a primarily all black school. Yet what I endured as a child at that school as a result of race was far less than what I endured prior to this living with my great grandmother and being an emotionally damaged poor student at a nearly all white school as a result of class. I could talk about racism as an extreme racial minority at 14 years old incarcerated in what equated to a juvenile prison; or being in jail at 17 years old, or being in prison at 19 years old, but I would rather tell you that if I were born into a family in the top 60 to 70% of income earners, I would have never been to any of those places. And neither would the black, brown, white, and other people I was incarcerated with.
Activists also tend to mistake prejudice for racism, and most of what they consider to be racist is harmless. There is a difference between prejudice and racist. All people, including activists, are prejudice. Every group you come in contact with whether a race, a nationality, a genre, religion, gender etc. leaves impressions on you. Everything you are exposed to regarding any group leaves an impression on you. These impressions form the basis for your prejudices, and prior to interacting with a person you have expectations or beliefs about that person. The difference between a person being prejudice and racist, is when a prejudice is based on race, when you interact with them you treat them based on their character and what you think of that person is based on the interaction not on your prejudice. Whereas a person who is racist has some ingrained understanding of racial superiority, treats people based on their prejudice not on their character, and leaves interracial interaction maintaining the idea they began with irrespective of the experience.
If you are still unconvinced and you want to make ending racism your cause there is only one thing you can do about it. Only repeated and welcome interaction that is contrary to a persons prejudice will cause them to change their attitude. Darryl Davis has caused 200 Klansmen to renounce the KKK using this method. Which means if you’re white, shouting slogans at other white people is not your mission. You need to find some racists of another color to accomplish your goal, I don’t know, maybe try the Nation of Islam.
While it’s something hard for the reader to understand, I didn’t initially begin writing this with the intention of bashing activists. The rough outline I drew up in my mind consisted of mentioning activists and explaining what I wanted to accomplish through networking with activist organizations, followed by the deficiencies of the two business parties agenda. However, this is probably more beneficial as it is more inline with the disposition of my approach to networking.
One final point of criticism before I move on, activists are just as dishonest as other people and groups in the interest of furthering their agenda. They lack objectivity. They will omit, exaggerate, and use a lens of interpretation that distorts for the purpose of something or someone being seen in a light that fits their model. The more things they can call racist, sexist, exploitative, or homophobic, the more important their righteous cause. They are static among things, they are for this, they look for opportunities to make something this, or they are against that, and consequently they are looking to make things that.
In addition to the willingness to distort to give themselves a cause, being static around things means they are often wrong even if the things they are for are good, or the things they are against are bad. They lack fundamental principles, and it is these principles that serve as the ethical framework for why something is good or why something is bad. Meaning sometimes you are for something and it is good based on most circumstances and other times it is not based on exceptional circumstances, and vice versa. This mode of thinking is sometimes detrimental to strategy, especially when between groups and among member you have people who are subtly trying to compete for who is the most active, radical, or for the cause so to speak.
I looked at groups and what they are for and against and considered them to be likeminded based on principle. I also anticipated based on the purity of principle that these groups were honest. This probably serves as part of the basis why I have been unsuccessful in my efforts and the other portion I will address shortly.
I have a few ideas I am pushing, but none is more significant than the Center for Economic Planning. If you read the home page of my website you know that a Center for Economic Planning is a solution to potentially every problem, empowering people through money with opportunity, as well as creating the opportunity to direct industry competing sums of money in politics, and to popularly decide production on a large scale. A CEP is in the interest of any group that has a cause, something I can demonstrate if given the proper attention.
What I am looking for in networking is for organizations to include a Center for Economic Planning in their program. To incorporate the idea into their literature and to promote it. I can contribute to the process of tailoring the points for a CEP to fit their specific goals, as well as strategy and tactics to engage the public and promote.
The Center for Economic Planning first requires the public to develop a basic understanding of it. A basic understanding can be accomplished through a short talk and Q&A followed by reading the outline.
A CEP is born out of a city. It is accomplished by creating public interest, possibly electing a mayor, and lobbying city council members.
o A city of adequate size is chosen.
o A network of activist groups are trained to engage the public and activate members of public to proliferate an understanding of a CEP.
o The network begins a fundraising campaign to promote a mayoral candidate running on the CEP platform.
o The network presents the CEP to incumbent city council members as well as the most serious contenders. Based on the enthusiasm of the sitting member or the challenger the network supports which ever member will approve the CEP.
A CEP planning is not something only embraced by the left or the right. It is not an idea possessed of much risk if it fails, but it won’t. It is something that serves the interest of about 99.9 percent of people in this country. If given attention, it will be understood, and it will be embraced.