America has been the site of many protests in our few years as a nation…..and in all that time the handling of these protests have been handled badly and the worse times for this bad behavior has been in the last 100 years or so.
Recent years have brought old animosities tom the forefront…..that of racial inequality.
What got me to thinking about this was a new law that has passed in the state of Oklahoma….
Racial justice advocates on Wednesday condemned the Oklahoma House of Representatives’ approval of a Republican bill shielding motorists who run over protesters, a measure they say ignores the real issues of systemic racism and police violence while further endangering Black lives.
H.B. 1674 (pdf)—passed by a party-line vote of 79-18—would grant civil and criminal immunity to drivers who “unintentionally” kill or injure people while “fleeing from a riot” if they have “reasonable belief” that doing so will protect them from harm.
Additionally, the proposed legislation would punish protesters who block traffic with up to a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine.
Democratic lawmakers blasted the bill as draconian and criticized their GOP colleagues for bringing the measure to a vote after midnight when few people were paying attention. Democrats also said the bill was misguided and ignored the bigger problems of racism, police violence, and inequality that sparked Black Lives Matter and other protests.
As someone who has been deeply involved in protests in the past I look at the events and think that not much has changed in all those years……but why is change so hard or why do protests fail?
Today, there’s no shortage of important issues that arouse passions. But significant change requires more than protests and marches. The truth is that nobody cares if you want to sleep in a park or shout slogans on the streets. To make a real impact, you need to influence institutions.
My thought on why they fail is that those in power do not listen or do not care…..no matter the issue. They look for political expediency and not the subject of the protests.
I Read, I Write, You KNow
“lego ergo scribo”