What’s Your Motivation For Demonstrating?
I watched the Women’s March on Washington. Madonna talked about blowing up the White House. Ashley Judd has some thoughts on sheet color.
Where are they today? Ashley’s back cheering for her Kentucky Wildcats and Madonna is probably back in the recording studio or looking for another husband.
What did that march accomplish? Have women's wages suddenly jumped and I missed it?
The Civil Rights Movement
You might think Martin Luther King and the march to Selma resulted in Civil Rights. It didn’t.
Republicans brought forth the first Civil Rights act in 1875 without demonstrations or fire cannons or snarling dogs attacking demonstrators.
The 1875 Act guaranteed African Americans equal treatment in public accommodations, public transportation, and to prohibit exclusion from jury service. The bill was passed by the 43rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1875.
So by Federal Law Rosa Parks had every right to sit anywhere she wanted on that bus long before the MLK marches.
The problem is that laws were not enforced. Sound familiar?
The next Civil Rights Act took place in 1957 under Eisenhower. Then two more during Kennedy and Johnson.
Has discrimination ended?
The Vietnam War
Many think the demonstrations against the Vietnam War brought an end to that police action.
Since only congress can authorize and declare war the Vietnam was called a police action much like the Korean War. Instead of declaring war congress unanimously passed the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” to engage the military.
The end of the Vietnam War came about with the Paris Peace Talks and a military truce declared.
Some Final Thoughts
In the nearly 25 years I’ve lived in Bozeman I’ve seen many demonstrations. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, LBGT, Sanctuary Cities, Tea Party, Anti-Tea Party, Minimum Wage, Gulf War, Legalized Pot, Wolves, Trapping, impact Fees, and Low Cost Housing to name just a few.
I haven’t seen much change in any of those things.
If you really want to make a difference in this world a couple of hours demonstrating won’t do it.
If you’re really passionate then it’s an everyday thing. You make some calls, write or email someone, every single day.
That’s the real meaning of demonstration. Devout religious people live their religion every day — not just on Sunday.
We can all make a difference in this world in many positive ways. But don’t phone it in and think you made a difference somehow.