Is Political Protesting the "in" Thing to Do? The Start of "Vanity Protesting".
The truth about recent media induced social hysteria and vanity protests in United States.
In the morning we get up, grab a cup of coffee, and check social media. What’s going on in the world? What’s going on in our country? Throughout the history of the United States the right to protest has brought about great change such as the end of segregation and women’s right to vote. Who wouldn’t want to say they were with Martin Luther King Jr at Selma?
Protests/marches are usually a demonstration against the status quo. The status quo of segregation was the separation of Black people from white people. The status quo of the Women’s Suffrage movement was the right to vote. More recently people have marched and protested for the right of homosexuals to marry same sex partners. All of these movements challenged an existing lack of consideration for a specific demographic. All of these protests had a goal in mind, a purpose for which they demanded social responsibility.
The recently protesting has become a social fad fueled by fear with followers who latch onto any rhetoric in hopes of drawing media attention. When questioned, protesters make vague accusations or state unrealistic/unfounded fears. This is a type of social hysteria that is fed through inaccurate information on social media or poorly represented news organizations. The people involved in these new protests and marches are not in the protest game to change the world. These people are “Vanity Protesters”, protesting to proclaim their own greatness in a false cause. When you log onto the internet you see tons of pictures of them with their signs or standing with friends smiling holding their Starbucks cups. They want to be a part of something but, all the real civil rights battles have been won.
The Women's March is going to go down in history as the largest march ever, yet the reason for the march will most likely read "people were disgruntled over the presidential election results". The history books are not going to tout this behavior as heroic or ground breaking. Half the people I knew that attended the march thought the march was simply about sisterhood. In fact I was invited to join this celebration of sisterhood. Being the person I am, I asked one simple question of the march organizers "What is the purpose of this march?" My question was met with hostility. I asked a question that no one wanted to answer. I was told that the movement was for gay rights yet the organizers listed appropriate sign verbiage as "my body my choice". I was told the march is for everyone yet, women supporting anti-abortion were told not to attend. USA Today (2017), reported that the organization Students for life was spat on by other marchers and ridiculed for carrying antiabortion signs.
Normal everyday people are not racist, homophobic, and they don’t care what women do with their own bodies. However, the election has brought out the worst traits in the American culture, people who believe their lives are threatened by the government. Unlike the civil rights movement these vanity protesters claim to be protesting what “could “ happen. If we all stood around making up hypothetical situations we could protest everyday of our lives, because hypothetical situations can be endlessly created. We can protest the possible round up of Muslims on Monday, and then protest the hypothetical reversal of Roe Vs Wade on Tuesday, Wednesday we can protest something local like the hypothetical legalization of crack cocaine. The point is you are not changing the world by protesting hypothetical situations.
What’s in it for the Marchers/protesters?
Motivation is important in understanding why someone would risk being arrested in order to protest. What are these people getting out of protesting? This type of protesting is ego driven. While each person who steps onto the street may say they have a specific reason for being there, the reality is that without a clear cause they are just participating in their own self inflated importance. By showing up these people are really saying “look at me” I’m an activist, I care about social issues, and I’m important. Yet on a level of being dedicated to a cause, none of them are dedicated or even united in anything other than their hate of anyone who opposes them, including other women.
The end result of the Women's March that professed to be about gay rights was that they allowed a speaker named Donna Hylton who was convicted of beating a gay man to death and served time in prison, to address the women at the march (Washington Examiner, 2017). Out of all the voices to have been heard that day Hylton was the most important because her presence unveiled the truth that this protest was not about the rights of all people, it was not about rights at all. If you had told those millions of people that a woman convicted of torturing a gay man was going to speak, most people would have stayed home. Instead the masses unknowingly supported Hylton in her behavior by showing up to hear speak, not about her remorse or about repentance. No Hylton spoke about women's rights and justice reform. Well obviously the man she beat to death had no rights. The next time you leave the house with a sign in hand, remember Donna Hylton and ask yourself "what and who's agenda am I promoting" or am I "just a vanity protester".