As the Republican National Convention gears up in NYC and the media is filled with reports about possible protests and how they will be handled, I’m reminded of similar events of the past. Most established institutions label any voice contrary to the status quo as ‘radical’, ‘seditious’ and mis-informed. Look at the how the protesters during the civil rights era and the 1968 Democratic National Convention were labeled as ‘communists’. Fast forward to a day in the late 70’s when I was walking across the campus of Florida State University. A group of Iranian (or Persian as they preferred to be called at the time) students were protesting the Shah of Iran in a somewhat vocal manner. A nearby group of male students began counter-chanting “Go to hell Gators!, Go to hell Gators!”. Absurdity at its best. Both sides clueless about the other and the effectiveness of their actions.
Yes, many things in the world we live in need to be fixed or at least have attention brought to the situation. But go to where the problem exists and act-out there. Take a hint from the 60’s civil rights movement and the war on poverty. Yelling and screaming while holding banners outside the home team’s ‘pep-rally’ isn’t going to fix health-care, the economy, world affairs or any other contested issue. Each side has pre-conceived labels for the other and neither one has a clue.