What Has Become of the Protest Movement?

Earl H. Perkins and Carol Chance
Thursday Review Contributing Editor

I will not.

Those are three simple short words. But those words, formed with an idea, become protest.  Think about it: nations were formed and whole societies were ended with those words. Monarchies collapsed and dictatorships were toppled.

Women became people instead of chattels. People denied basic liberties because of the color of their skin were freed.Governments do not choose your religion; you decide how and where you will worship.

Those are all powerful ideas, and all of them have been brought about by protest.In some cases change was wrought by the least powerful bringing down the most powerful, and sometimes the poorest against the richest.

I will not.There is nothing uniquely American about this idea. It spans geography, time and culture. Where would this world be without the powerful ideas brought by protest?

The internet has made us a smaller world, and indeed protest should be easier. One needs to look no further than the dramatic events in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. But what has happened to the protest here in the United States?  We seem to be living in the 1980's again, a revisit to the Me Generation where protest has come down to only inconsiderate bickering.

The mindset that seems to have taken over the protests these days is one that says you’ve got yours, where's mine? It’s a fill-in-the blank political party, and one that is killing our nation.This is protest?People in African nations are dying from aids at record numbers. Countries continue to commit genocide. Rogue nations posture and strut, threatening others with nuclear attack.

We look again for the lowliest, the poorest among us who will have the courage to stand up and say: I will not.