Posted in Shalyse Speaks

Activism is A lot of Things

I was pondering reactionary responses to oppression and the performative nature of people who criticize those who discuss socio-political issues and conduct various tasks of activism when it’s not blowing up on the news and social media. If you think this is necessary now, please keep the same energy you have when big stories have made the news when you hear people speaking about oppressive issues at other times. Y’all love to use your right to an opinion or your preferences to ignore voices and devalue opinions when convenient, and that’s part of the problem.

The other day I was discussing with someone how individualist ideologies are hurting us. That is not to say that being your own person and having your own sense of self and desires outside of family and community is wrong. It’s when your individualism is valued more than the collective needs of all as an essential foundation when it becomes problematic. The whole “this doesn’t affect me, so I don’t know about it” ideology. I mean, yes, this is the reality of most, especially those surviving, but for some of you, it isn’t just survival that has reduced your exposure. It is a choice. It is your choice to ignore the everyday struggle of folks. It is our collective choice to become reactionary rather than proactive in our social support.

Reactionary responses are the result of silencing. Silencing is repetitive and often overshadowed by the feelings and guilt of the non-oppressed. It is ingrained in many of our cultures and social circles. The idea that something is someone’s personal business because we stigmatize it and hide from discomfort. 

Please remember that. 

Make listening to minorities an everyday thing. Make understanding the flaws in our economic, social, and political systems something that we are ok with because it is necessary to grow as a social system. 

Activism is a lot of things. As I have witnessed, activism, at its roots, is helping to bring people back to the foundations of being civilized. We often attribute civilization with colonized beliefs of power and hoarding resources, but being civilized is more than that. You can have the tools or technology available, but if you are not culturally and socially adept as a social system, are you civilized or just technologically advanced.

So, before we condemn activism for what we do not understand and why it disturbs us outside of what we consider extreme circumstances, remember the various ways that activism can exist through advocates, education, and support. This is a general but not an exhaustive list. Some types are more effective in general. Some are more effective situationally. There is no one way, and you are misinformed if you think non-violence is the only way people have won their rights. 

xox,
shalyse

Community building
Artivism
Communities of practice
Conflict transformation
Cooperative
Cooperative movement
Craftivism
Grassroots
Guerrilla gardening
Transition movement
Lobbying
Media activism
Culture jamming
Hacktivism
Internet activism
Peace activism
Non-violent resistance
Peace camps
Peace vigil
Moral purchasing
Petition
Political campaigning
Propaganda
Guerrilla communication
Protest
Boycott
Demonstration
Direct action
Performance Theater
Protest songs
Sit-in
Strike action
Hunger strike

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Author:

Shalyse Wright-Bethea is the Founder of Design and Scheme. She has been working as Professional Organizer and Event consultant. Shalyse is an activist and she’s passionate and that reflects in everything that she does. Want to chat, have questions or want to hear my thoughts on a topic? Send me a shout: designandscheme@gmail.com. B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies ( Focus disciplines: Business, Humanities, Marketing) Event planner. Organizer. Loving my crunchy, veggie life.

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