What Are We Doing Besides Marching?
With everything happening with this election and the long list of police brutality cases, there have been marches happening at least once a week all over the country. I understand the anger, trust me, I'm pissed too, however, we have to do more than march. I don't hate marches, but I have had an issue with these a lot marching protests for awhile for a couple different reasons.
- People stop caring when you do it so often.
If we are doing marches every 45 minutes, people stop caring and taking them seriously, because it is happening so often. Instead of the narrative being, "wow look at this bold statement", it switches to "here we go again with this shit", and who does that help?
- Too many marches are done with no plan or goal.
What is the goal of the march? What is the plan? What are your demands? Who are the leaders? What is your plan when shit goes south? What kind of follow up and support are you doing after the march for protesters? If you can't answer these questions, then what are you doing? Marches needs to have goals and plans behind them. People's lives, emotional and physical health are put at risk, you need to have plans for that. We march to get media attention, when you get the attention, what are doing with it? I don't see enough of this planning happening to make the marching worth it.
- It's easy and requires little effort.
Related to the previous point, we tend to march because it's easy and we are angry. We are used to not having a voice or having ability to have our own platform. Back in the day, marching was a way to force the media to pay attention. We don't need to ask for media anymore. We have the internet with free social media and live streaming platforms at our fingertips 24/7. We no longer need to beg for attention, we can force attention. The internet has allowed us to create our own media, narrative and content whether they want it or not. I understand being angry and feeling helpless, so we run outside to the streets, because it's easy. We don't have to wait for permission, we don't have to plan (even though you should be), it doesn't even require a lot of people, but at the end of the day if there is no follow up to the marching, what did the march accomplish?
Or course not all marches are disorganized either. I was very impressed with how organized and goal oriented Ferguson was with their protests. They had bail funds, lawyers, statements, debriefs, community support and all kinds of other details ready and constantly developed on the fly to fit the needs of the protesters. I'm not saying we should stop marching, by all means keep on marching if you feel like it. However, we need to make sure we are doing additional work and not letting it just end with a march. These marches needs goals and plans and when we are done marching we need to organize as communities and work, actually put in footwork. In our school districts, in our local governments, creating and supporting businesses that are giving back to us etc. Black Panther 2.0, honestly creating community organization that protect and support us. Marching is a quick fix, not a long term one. I just want people to think at the long term here and break out of this mindset that we need to wait for white media to come to us. #BlackLivesMatter is an entire organization that was born on the internet using social media with no help of white media. We don't need white media in order to move forward. So yes, keep marching, but march with a purpose and don't like the purpose stop with marching.