Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Protesters: You Still Haven't Convinced Us

Protests, protests, protests.  They are everywhere.  Whether it's spoiled, millionaire football players taking a knee during the national anthem, or whether it's urban thugs & millennial snowflakes marching through the streets while vandalizing buildings and physically attacking police officers, (Hellllllooooo, St. Louis!  I'm talkin' to you!!!), you practically can't turn on a television, pull up a website, or (in some cities) drive downtown without smacking headlong into a group of malcontents protesting the "plight" of Blacks in America when it comes to policing.

But is any of it having an effect?  For all of the screaming, shouting, chanting, visuals, sound bytes, and (at least in the case of St. Louis recently) brick-throwing...what is the actual point of any protest?  Well, in theory, the point of a protest is twofold.  First, to make the public aware of an issue or problem that you find significant.  Secondly, you hope to then convince the public that they should join you in resolving that issue--usually by backing legislation and politicians that will change laws in an attempt to deal with the issue in question.

On the first count, those protesting against police and supposed "Black Oppression" have certainly been successful--for whatever any of us think of the "cause" at hand, there isn't a one of us who is not, after the last couple of years, fully aware of the grievances that the assorted protesters have.  No matter what proverbial rock you have been living under, you can likely recite the complaints and criticisms of these protesters upon command...every TV station, Newspaper, and major social media site has made certain of it.  Let's be clear--there is not an American alive today who has not been made aware of the issues being raised by these various protesters.

But it's that second point of protesting that has fallen short--the goal of persuading the general public that your complaints and issues are valid, and that we should join in with you when it comes to making the changes that are being demanded by protesters.  After all of the protesting, violence, yelling, screaming, etc over the last two years...are movements like Black Lives Matter seeing folks in Middle America or Flyover Country flying to their defense?  No...in fact, it seems as though the opposite is happening.  Bypass the newspapers and political commentators for a moment, and go to social media or to the comments section of any news story on a protest...what do you see?  You see a deluge of comments that are very negative towards any of these type of protests, and a definite frustration with the vitriol towards police and basic patriotism.  And these comments and reactions aren't just simple mean-spirited barbs...more and more often they are comments showing the genunie frustration of normal, everyday Americans with these protests--not only with the anti-cop and anti-American messages they are sending, but also with the added danger they are bringing to the daily lives of regular, law-abiding citizens who live in cities where they occur.  On the larger scale, we are seeing TV ratings and attendance in the NFL (who has coddled the millionaires who are disrespecting our flag) fall like a rock, and we are seeing more and more pushback at protests around the country.

And this is no small thing.  After all, if these protesters--both the millionaires and the thugs alike--truly want the change that they are demanding...then they will need to advance these causes through the lawmaking bodies that exist.  You know--your State Legislatures, Governorships, etc.  Now, in order to move the change you want through these lawmaking bodies--and to get them codified in terms of new law--how do you do this?  You do this by convincing those who are not organically drawn to your cause, so that they will pressure their Representatives, Senators, and other elected leaders to fall in behind them and support those causes.

But if those people are getting frustrated with your actions...and if they still aren't convinced that "police brutality" and "Black oppression" are things that exist...then you get nowhere.

And your cause gets nowhere.  More than that, people start actively fighting against your cause.

At the end of the day, we in Normal, Real, Regular America have heard your grievances.  And, believe it or not, we do understand the positions you are taking.  But we don't actually believe them.  You haven't convinced us...and yet, we keep seeing you commit violence, threaten cops, and disrespect our flag...

...and though this is somehow supposed to convince us to change our minds?  You're kidding, right?

Think for a moment about the movement's led by Martin Luther King.  They were nonviolent, of course...but much more than that, they were set up aesthetically to show his followers simply trying to live the same, normal, American life that the rest of us do.  Taking a seat on a bus, eating a lunch counter hamburger, that sort of thing.  He portrayed his followers as being unable to participate in the same normal lives that the rest of America did...it was a message that the general public could relate to.  And it worked.

What you didn't see MLK do was vandalize buildings or set cities on fire.  You didn't see his followers burning the flag or throwing bricks at police.  You didn't see his followers kneeling for the flag.  In other words--these modern protesters are exhibiting behaviors that regular Americans cannot possibly relate to.  And cannot possibly justify.

At this point, these modern protesters have only two options remaining.  Option #1 is to continue doing what you're doing--pushing a message and a narrative that the rest of America hasn't bought, and continue using violent, anti-American means in order to do so.  This option will not end well, as it will simply force the rest of America to take a more defensive, protective approach when dealing with you.  Your cause will not advance at all, in fact it will only get set back further.  Option #2 is to stop for a moment, step back, and realize that you have articulated your message...the rest of America has considered it...and we have said "no".  From that point, perhaps you can realize that your message had no validity in the first place, and begin focusing on how to better assimilate the urban community into America once again, instead of constantly fighting against it.

That second option is the only one which can work out well for the urban community.

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