Common Enemies require Collective Action
But the enemy — white male supremacy — is the same. I’ve recently visited exhibits on:
These battles we are waging aren’t different, nor is the enemy.
- Nazi Germany = Japanese internment = DACA
Black Panther Demonization = Black Lives Matter Demonization
- Poor Peoples Campaign = Occupy Wall St = Poor Peoples Campaign 2018
- Parkland & other killings (racist perp/same race perp) = Black bodies (racist perps & same race perps)
- Historic Misogyny = Trump Misogyny = #Metoo Misogyny
Civil Rights Movement ‘54-‘68/voter suppression/gerrymandering = Civil Rights Movement Post-45/voter suppression/gerrymandering
Many youth, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and across the country, didn’t learn a thing about many of these historic America’s tidbits of injustice. Those young survivors are learning, first-hand about how the enemy seeks to suppress their outrage by shaming & demonizing them. Yes, defenders of white male superiority will attack their own children to maintain their reign. More important than their whiteness is their green-money.
The blatant campaigns to diminish, disgrace and re-write the narratives of the victims could, in a way, be compared to how oppressors used their tactics against the those seeking justice throughout history — even the non-white victims of violence. Some youth who stand up may find, sadly, that oppressors are in their homes — having tucked them in at night. Some will learn that racist and justice oppressors have lived throughout their family histories. Understanding that could be pivotal in making them fight for a more just world and better future.
By connected the historic and contemporary dots of oppression, we have greater chance at defeating the oppressors. By calling out those rooted in division and committed to denying equity for all, we get clearer pictures of who’s one whose side. By telling the stories of victims of our history — not just during a particular month or historic day, we help others learn why it’s important to know that history. We must encourage them to vow to not repeat the worst parts. This becomes a teachable moment for us all as we recognize that there is nothing new under the sun, but we have opportunities to choose different paths for the beam of light.
These battles were fought before and incremental victories have been won. The enemy hasn’t changed his ways, he just keeps adapting his approach for the next set of warriors
Strength in Numbers
Those who have been fighting for longer than the high schoolers in Florida know that the enemy is in his final gasp. If we harness our collective energy to reject injustice, we surely are far greater than the 30% that give this administration its motivation to carry its practices forward. We have to keep playing the tapes of the last battles, so new warriors can see the enemy for who he is and devise tactics to reject his bribes and deception.
Yes, all of these groups have distinct issues — but, common desires. We can’t keep protesting in silos and not call out the common enemy that we share. We gotta mobilize collectively if we want to win decisively.