A woman scaled the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July to protest the separation of families at our Southern border. The woman broke with the group she was protesting with, and decided to take her actions one step further. The actions resulted in a coordinated rescue by NYPD and Coast Guard. Liberty Island was forced to be evacuated. She was safely rescued, arraigned yesterday, and charged with three Federal misdemeanors.
The story has many layers to dissect.
- Was this a proper display of activism, and peaceful protest?
- Is protesting the separation of families at our border a cause worth scaling the Statue of Liberty for?
- Is it fair to damage her efforts because she herself is an immigrant and has been previously arrested?
- Can her actions be appropriately compared to past protesters in America, such as, MLK, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks?
- Should she be celebrated for what she did?
- Would people championing her actions feel the same way if someone did this to protest a cause they were not passionate for, or even opposed to?
- Is this an example of Civil Disobedience?
The answers to all of these questions will bring with it countless replies. There is no clear cut answer. These are thought provoking questions that result in subjective responses. That’s fine.
Protesting is welcomed in our country. America has evolved through the generations because large groups stand up and fight for what they are passionate for. They gather those alike, call attention to their cause, and try to advance change as far as they can. They try to find majority support, or at least a large minority. This results in charge over time.
When is activism through protesting bad? The intentions must be examined. Is the group passionate for the respective issue at hand, or is there an ulterior motive?
People should examine the causes they take up. They need to be mindful of how many fights they decide to take on. The message they represent should remain consistent, or at least evolve in a way that logically makes sense.
A person cannot be against too much. They will come off as an unreasonable individual. It is the same for a person that continually remains neutral, or passionate for a variety of causes. Their opinions become useless, because they are offering no value.
Breaking with the majority is when credibility is established. Upsetting people on both sides of a cause is actually making a difference. That means the ideas presented call for compromise. Compromise is beneficial for both parties in the long run, however, difficult to achieve in the short term. Those in the world that make a choice to listen to both sides, receive vitriol from each, and offer the groups a valuable solution are the individuals that bring light to the world. They are the people this world needs.
Be that person.