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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jamal Senior Activist: The Importance and impact of Activism

Activism, as displayed by marching and/ or rallies, seem to be very much in question lately. Its effects seem to be unrealized even though we see the changes and accountability at times to some extent in the police killings. Additionally, it’s been said that activism is the voice of the voiceless, and we are being heard.

I have done thousands of miles over the years and have never considered it a futile attempt to right a societal wrong. I do realize it is a part of many actions that have to happen simultaneously if we are to get results. Those who find it to be a waste of time feel so because the results are so slow in coming to fruition. But patience has to be a necessity when we try to change things that have been in effect for decades and in some cases since the origin of this country. Everyone does not have to march or rally to action, but to view those actions as useless is to say the past marches in Alabama and Memphis during the days of Martin Luther King Jr was just a waste of time. History has not shown that to be true.

My appearances in marches throughout this country validated my belief that our inconvenience in physical action gets more attention and respect than our quiet, comfortable verbal decries within our own individual circles. Mass protests have changed this country’s laws and views from the Vietnam War to the issue of gun violence and gender assaults. It is one of the last rights that we exercise that slaps into the face of those that try to quiet our opposition.

We must support and practice this and other actions often or the alternative is to give quiet complicity to all we hate and detest. The white supremacists are going to be celebrating, in Washington, DC August 11-12, their fatal actions of last year in Charlottesville, VA. Why should we be there? Because they need to know that they have not quieted us with their actions, and also because we should always reignite our fervor physically to strengthen our muscle of endless opposition to what they represent.

My participation also in the STOP KILLING US (SKU) march which begins in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 4 is another way in which we physically display our disgust of the current actions of some police in the killing of unarmed citizens. It also allows us to interact with those far from where we live who also feel the same way in addition to trying to address gun violence and black on black crime in our communities.

Upon arrival at Washington, it allows us the vehicle to present along with our efforts better-policing policies to consider by the powers that be. Marching and rallying as a form of protest is not the end all to be all to effect change. But it should be a part of any serious effort to effect a change within any part of our society.

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