Activists Don’t Want Solutions (EP.152)

Activist

Introduction

Hard core activists want attention, applause from sympathizers, the ability to claim the moral high ground through a bullhorn, and a place in society that grants them a type of street gang respect. And all this without the inconvenience and anonymity of having to support themselves with, well, a real job. The last thing they want to do is actually solve the problems they are pretending to address.

That is the subject of today’s 10-minute blog/podcast.

Continuing

We live in a unique and exceptional country; part of the equally unique and exceptional role that we play in the US is to understand who is actually trying to solve problems, as opposed to the people who prop up the problems to their advantage. 

Almost everywhere you look, things are getting better and better in our country, America. And the activists are getting louder, angrier and more physical. They are feeding the fires of racism, sexism, and you-name-it phobia in order to advance their own interests. The last thing they can stand is to solve the problem, and for the protested issue, their reason for living, to go away. That explains why as problems become smaller and more contained, activists are more vigorously beating the drums, shouting and pushing in the streets, and working a pliant media to make the problem appear larger and more menacing than ever. 

Pause for definitions. I am not talking about people who volunteer, who run, contribute to and work for non-profits. And the many others who quietly go about the business of actually making things better. They are my heroes.

Charges of racism are much in the news, more to hurl lethal accusations than to expose a real problem and fix it. “Checkmate” is the last thing that a winner might say in a chess game, indicating that his opponent has lost. The term “Racist” is now being used in the same way. Calling someone  a racist and having it stick is the political equivalent of Checkmate. Your opponent is now out of the game. 

Specifically, let’s talk about race activists e.g., Black Lives Matter (BLM). Their anger at the murders of innocent young black men until recently focused exclusively on their claims about racism causing deaths of black men at the hands of white cops. When they found that in some cases it was black officers shooting black citizens, their color criticism changed from “white” to “blue.” In other words, they pivoted from racist cops being the issue to police in general being the problem. But their activism continues to  ignore the 95+% of black deaths that are not caused by police. We’ll ignore for now the argument that the vast majority of that 5% are completely justified. We don’t need to make that case to make our point here.

I am deeply suspicious of BLM’s motives, and you should be, too. If they want to stop the murdering of blacks, why ignore 95% of where the murders are committed? Let’s look at an obvious parallel. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) strikes predominantly African-Americans, with about 8% of the African-American population carrying the sickle cell trait. If an organization raised, say, $100M, to find a cure and spent 95% of its funds looking for causes for SCD outside of the African-American population, would you say they were dedicated to finding a cure? Or might they have another agenda? What might BLM’s real agenda be given that they ignore where 95% of the murders of black men occur? They simply want an excuse to attack and marginalize our law enforcement agencies, and will continue to do exactly that as long as anybody will pay attention to them. 

All lives matter, and that statement does not in any way imply that some lives are worth more than others. It takes a twisted view of the world to claim that all lives matter means that black, brown or Asian lives somehow matter less. 

Pause for a question. When did Asians and Indians cease to be people of color? 

Here’s a representative piece of American WWII, “The War To Make The World Safe For Democracy”, propaganda

WWII was the “good war”, and all sides, including the US, used heavy-handed propaganda, including many instances of calling Japan the “Yellow Peril” as they took over many countries in the Pacific.

Here’s one aimed at “white” Germans in WWI. The point here is that propaganda is aimed at an enemy, not a color. 

The races were once labeled as white, black, brown, yellow and red. It seems that calling Native Amcericas red is now considered to be wrong for PC reasons. And Asians are no longer assigned a color because they are so wonderfully successful. And the term “person of color” has to imply victim status, so successful people cannot be assigned a color. Oh, and Indians, you know from India, are also very successful, and apparently cannot be assigned a color for exactly that reason. 

The “Believe Women” offshoot of #Metoo is another example. Instances and seriousness of real sexism are declining in much the same way as instances of actual racism. Hence the need for a BLM-like segment in #metoo: Believe Women. Apparently this urges people to believe women in any case where what they are saying differs from what a man is saying. We should believe, as in take seriously, anyone who makes any kind of a credible statement, unless it is proven false. Just as we should take every life equally seriously regardless of context or color.

It is comparatively easy to march, protest, shout across the street and take a stand in front of cameras. This approach results in headlines, praise from your comrades, and a certain measure of respect and dignity from within their community. All while addressing the publicity-generating 5%–or less–of the problem.

It is much harder to tackle the other 95%. This requires far more than a march or a TV interview. It would take years of working in those communities. Listening. Encouraging. Being ignored and ridiculed. Working with people one-on-one over years and years. Few–and fleeting–headlines. S-l-o-w progress initially. But increasing progress over time. And that is exactly how and only how things get fixed in a way that they stay fixed.

Segueing from the specifics of today’s topic to overall principles, the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

And do it all in love; without love, these are empty gestures, destined to go nowhere and mean nothing.

If we apply those two core principles, personal responsibility and brother’s keepers, simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper. 

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean by “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know what you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
  • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and go forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

Join me. Join the others. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act. Let’s grow this together.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Links and References

Black Lives Matter

The Exhausted Majority (EP. 75)

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
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