Activism brings about needed changes

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

During these trying times, you find people complaining about the downward spiraling of corruption and the departure of decency and morality occurring around us. Many complainants voicing discontentment for whatever reasons are unwilling or reluctant to help bring about positive and productive changes to correct discriminatory or unjust status quo practices occurring daily.

Unfortunately, this is why so many social, political, and economic ills affecting the community are commonplace—initiated by those taking advantage of the apathy or lack of social or political action on the part of so many people in the community.

This is not to say there is not a core of morally conscious people motivated by their faith or sense of righteousness to fight against flagrant injustice—especially affecting their fellow brethren who may be trivialized and downtrodden. It just seems at times that many people are asleep or complacent, allowing a handful of people to fight the battles that we all should be confronting together. This is only made more conflicting when we literally have churches on every corner, many that could do a better job encouraging their congregations to work harder addressing the needs of the poor, trivialized or disenfranchised in their communities. This means more than feeding or providing temporary housing for the homeless. It should include fighting for laws that will provide equality, justice and more opportunities to help people better their lot in life.

Activism may mean stepping out of your comfort zone, especially if you feel you are so high up that you see being publicly active may appear condescending and beneath you and your circle of friends. Sometimes you are so blessed, you may become apathetic—not being able to relate or connect with the needs or concerns of those you see as less fortunate.

Activism means doing whatever you can do to make a difference. While it is necessary to come together in large numbers to protest or make your position known, it is equally important to be educated on the issues and to educate others. Standing on the sideline is no longer an option when we know evil prevails when good people do nothing. In fact, that is the game plan of those most complicit in wrongdoing.

Those with selfish motives or hidden agendas assume the majority of the public is not knowledgeable of what is going on or won’t cause waves due to a sense of hopelessness. They are experts in producing smokescreens to mask the gravity of their deception.

One must be cognizant that there are forces trying to deter public activism, especially when greed and esoteric agendas exist.

Activists in the forefront of many issues are sometimes labeled as mavericks, rebels, troublemakers, anti-establishment, and nonconformists. Thus, you have many affluent or upper middle class citizens unwilling to be seen or identified as activists, much less show up at a protest.

The financial pockets of big businesses and corporations are large, allowing them the ability to hire lobbyists to buy or seduce politicians to support their causes, which are usually more about expanding shareholders profits and excessive greed. If one is not willing to recognize that greed for the most part trumps what is in the best interest of common American citizens, then they are in denial or oblivious to the truth.

Usually you have two opposing groups advocating for their concerns or issues. If you strongly and honestly feel you are fighting for what is right and is in the best interests of your fellow brethren, you should not be deterred. Dissidence among conflicting groups is to be expected, but violence and ill against opponents should never be an option and is unacceptable. Hopefully, history will find your position is on the right side of justice.

Activism is a vital part of the democratic process and is protected by the constitution. Advocating for what is right should not be a white, black, brown, purple, red, yellow, green or blue issue—but a right thing. When the masses really wake up from their man-induced sleep and unite, then we will see a country (even a world) that is meant to be. Active participation to bring about social, political, and economic justice should be practiced by all people really interested in embracing humanity.

Are you doing you part in making a difference to make this country accountable in meeting the needs and concerns of all its citizens? It starts with becoming educated to the issues confronting your community and fighting to bring about positive and equitable changes. Some call it activism.

It includes the process of voting in local, state and national elections. That is the highest form of its manifestation.