Sunday, May 28, 2006

I'm not much of an activist. If community building, street marching and real social change are your bag, I'm not in it. I'm more of a dilettante. Now, I'll flyer for the beltline(a proposed loop of rails and greenspace supposed to encircle Atlanta) or maybe plant a tree or mentor a kid, but I'm not the most consistent person you'll ever meet. Freshman year, I was totally into tree planting and kid tutoring. Sophomore year, I think I protested the war. Junior year I helped with ESL speakers. Senior year was mentoring children. I don't do the nuts and bolts of politics because politics are the realm of the charismatic and the convincing- people with a lot of energy. You have to go to the meeting in a bar which you can't figure out how to get to on the bus, or talk to a bunch of people you don't know- all while assignments pile up, your room gets more disgusting, and often times you don't have the energy to type a coherent sentence let alone talk to the dumb.

This is why I mostly complain on the internet, because to go anywhere would take energy, and I can do it between bouts of all consuming schoolwork. I think the problem which is scaring many people away from political action is the idea that you have to be a traditional activist who spends 100s of hours a week working for the cause. Now, those people are amazing, and we're all glad to have them. But if say, a few people write letters to the editor or editorials for the school newspaper, noting that actual racism is important, if another person tutors a child, if another person gives 20 bucks to a scholarship fund, etc, it's better than if we all sat on our asses and watched American Idol.

Now, I'm not saying that if the whole of your activism is the fact that you bought some organic soy milk or that you showed your crotch to a zillion people(nice crotch though) I will cheer or anything, but it's better than the old "Oh, we can't change anything" crap I always hear. If people can die for rights, we can at least read a book once in a while,ok? I may not have been out for every march, but if my work allowed a mother to breathe freely while she was at work, I call that activism.

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