Fight or Flight?

Through centuries, the country has experienced many controversial issues: women’s rights, racial tensions, gay rights and even as far back as our country’s independence. Although these issues remain a hot topic today (not including our independence, hopefully) the intensity of them have slowly lessened. This is through years and years of endless fighting. It is true that we gained our independence from battling it out and  many might have gotten hurt or killed due to these issues but it does not always have to resort to violence.

In this image, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (third from bottom left) is leading the March on Washington which became one of the largest political rallies for human rights; Jobs and Freedom.
In this image, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (third from bottom left) is leading the March on Washington which became one of the largest political rallies for human rights; Jobs and Freedom.

We have been successful conducting non-violent methods such as boycotting by walk outs, sit ins or marches. However, without a mass of people dedicated to participate, the cause would simply die down. That problem lies within the ‘environmental movement,’ not too many people are willing to go out there and advocate for their cause. We should ask ourselves:

What is the drive that allows people to advocate fighting for a cause, at the same time, what discourages people from acting out?

The drive that allows people to fight for their cause is their sense of justice and the magnitude of the issue. Furthermore, the more the issue is publicized, the higher the chance that it would cause an uproar amongst the public. The Ferguson Riots is a prime example of today on the wrath of public opinion. The basic story is that a cop killed an unarmed teenager and caused a riot. Later, the jury did not indict the police officer guilty of the shooting, a bigger riot broke out and tear gas became involved. What Mike Brown’s death did was show that once riled up, the community could gather together and become a force to be reckoned with.

Ferguson-protests
A demonstrator sits in front of the street fire during a demonstration following the grand jury.

In relation to Blessed Unrest, about a growing environmental social justice, Paul Hawken speaks of a ‘movement’ that includes a variety of people, from coast to coast, people of all ages and backgrounds. However, how many of those people will actually try and pursue environmental issues? The main reason, I believe, that a large percentage of people remain dormant and don’t take action is simply because many don’t give a rat’s ass about anything that does not directly concern them, which unfortunately is the ugly truth. So ask yourselves, which would you do: fight or flight?

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