Speaking At Occupy Fort Lauderdale meeting
Ok, we get it; Pagan activists are always posting about the immediate need for change. We act as if when people don’t fully engage immediately the issues of the day will fade from the public view and nothing will be accomplished.
Individuals throughout the community are busy with their own lives and often can feel a little overloaded with community activism; couple this with those in the community that feel religion and politics should be kept separate and there is considerable ambiguity among the community about activism.
What many fail to realize is that these activist efforts, with their calls to action, are not really about immediate change: instead they are about slowly changing the national consciousness on important issues.
Over the years the corporate media has become very adept in discrediting social justice movements. Accusations used to defeat these movements have run the gambit from violence, UN American activities, foreign funding to deliberate attempts to paint movement leaders as thugs.
Activists often lament these efforts because they do exactly what they are intended to do, take the wind out of the sails of the various movements. Yet, when a historical perspective is taken, these movements have, with time, changed the national discourse and our collective character as a nation.
While the media painted the anti war movement of the sixties as naive and filled with stoned hippies the movement did influence the national dialogue to the point where the war in South East Asia was abandoned.
Just a few short years ago this writer stood as part of Occupy Faith’s effort in Oakland Ca. The movement, which confronted the 1% was widely attacked by the corporate media and painted as violent and UN sustainable. Yet, a few short years later, a major candidate for President of the United States is garnering incredible attention taking the very same positions as Occupy did.
Today we are collectively involved in another movement being painted by the media as violent. Black Lives Matter is on the same course to change the national consciousness on matters of race. Many will attempt to discredit the movement and take credit for its’ demise. Once again, however, there will be a ground swell of support for racial equality as the nation takes the time for the message to sink in.
Activism is a slow process nourished by the efforts of people engaged in passionate discourse. The results of activism are slow to grow, yet, grow they will. Instead of keeping our activists at a distance due to their passion we should embrace them for being invested in long-term efforts that will surly grow and enrich our nations commitment to justice.
Activism is fast paced, passionate and demanding. Changes are slow coming and the result of periods of national contemplation. This is the grand dance of the activist, one in which our collective efforts shall carry the day long after our protests are barely a memory!