MLK Jr & Discussing Protest

“If one hundred thousand Negroes march in a major city to a strategic location, they will make municipal operations difficult to conduct; they will exceed the capacity of even the most reckless local government to use force against them; and they will repeat this action daily if necessary. Without harming persons or property they can draw as much attention to their grievances as the outbreak at Watts, and they will have asserted their unwavering determination while retaining dignity and discipline.”

Martin Luther King Jr.– Where Do We Go From Here?

In 2017 in America protesters are becoming increasing criminalized. Lawmakers in ten states across the country are introducing anti-protest bills.

Below I have a video of a small rally/protest in Arizona, I have linked footage to some disturbing videos of protesters being hit by cars, and pictures of protests in the 1960s along with Martin Luther King Jr’s guidance on protest and it’s purpose.

Fox News Phoenix reported this story locally and it was shared on my newsfeed by a friend of mine along with all of the comments her friend shared about the video (#thenatureofsocialmedia):

    Vid 1: Protestors blocking traffic in directly off of a highway in Arizona.

“If one hundred thousand Negroes march in a major city to a strategic location, they will make municipal operations difficult to conduct; they will exceed the capacity of even the most reckless local government to use force against them; and they will repeat this action daily if necessary. Without harming persons or property they can draw as much attention to their grievances as the outbreak at Watts, and they will have asserted their unwavering determination while retaining dignity and discipline.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Anti-Vietnam War Protest in Oakland in 1961
In reference to Vid 1. Comments written underneath a post about protesters blocking the road in Arizona.

A: All I know, is if I was in an emergency… I’d flatten the lot of them. Like little kittens under my tires.

C: I’d do it if I were going fishing or hunting or breathing.

J: Just wouldn’t stop. Seriously I don’t give a shit I’d idle if they continue to stand in front of me well I have a truck I might feel a little something lol

Construction workers clash with police during a pro-Vietnam War demonstration, New York, 1970.
In reference to Vid 1

There are some obvious differences in the way we are talking about protest now versus the way historical figures and populations dealt with protest. That’s cool. What we need is a more educated context to discuss these issues! The number of protesters in the Arizona video as a reason for an illegitimate protest was never brought up by Fox News nor any of the people on my timeline.

Why can’t we become more educated on the best way to conduct small scale rallies and protests?!

The fact that people ADVOCATE FOR HITTING OTHER PEOPLE IN THE ROAD when it inconveniences them… I try not to hit animals in the road if I can help it. These people took the time out of their days and their lives to protest some cause. Until they are moved, sit patiently and research what they are protesting.

If you have an emergency then pull up and TELL THEM.  I bet the line would open for you in a hurry if you are polite. If you cannot get to the front in your car then leave your car in idle and walk up there. I really don’t know what the solution is to us being individually inconvenienced as a result of a protest.

HOWEVER, I know that this country would not be the country it is without peaceful protest in some form. Maybe we should devote some time to teaching our children how to be politically active and responsible.

FOX NEWS could also include information about protesting as a civic responsibility. Donald Trump’s rallies were municipal nightmares too. The issue with Facebook being the most popular site for displaying media in a social forum is that most news sources and stories appear divisive and without critically analyzing the various perspectives, users come up with assertions like these:

Z: I bet these people are trump haters because they’re on welfare and they feel the bern and think they’re entitled to all things good. They probably got all their snacks and stuff from Walmart with a EBT card because their too lazy to work for it.

Scientists protesting in Boston, 2017
Veterans protesting Trump, 2016
Veterans protesting homelessness, 1930

Political Activity & Respecting Civic Action should be taught as young as elementary. The comments here are mild versions of threads that are common on these posts. It’s clear that we are not educating people to critically read these scenarios with duty, love and respect. And the media certainly does not seem bothered to try and decipher it for us.

Let’s think on that.

Mari X

“I found myself remembering the day in kindergarten when the teachers showed us Dumbo: a Disney movie about a puny, weird-looking elephant that everyone made fun of. As the story unfolded, I realized to my amazement that all the kids in the class, even the bullies, the ones who despised and tormented the weak and the ugly, were rooting against Dumbo’s tormentors. Over and over they laughed and cheered, both when Dumbo succeeded and when bad things happened to the bullies. But they’re you, I thought to myself. How did they not know? They didn’t know. It was astounding, an astounding truth. Everyone thought they were Dumbo.”

Elif Batuman, “The Idiot”