Given the climate of the political world currently, it can come off frustrating to some when the topic of political activism arises. First, it is distressing because it is difficult to find where to start. You cannot just walk into the street and scream for a change. It just does not work that way. Second, some people do not know what movement speaks to them. Social justice is a weird topic because it directly affects the identity of some people. As a gay man, LGBT activism ought to be prioritized. People of color would probably be influenced to promote the Black Lives Matter movement. Feminist movements and women’s reproductive rights may appeal to women first before anyone else. All of these movements are of equal importance, but what happens when you are encouraged to be in two movements with counteractive goals? This is what I aim to tackle today.
The goal of this blog today is to clarify that there is no wrong option when choosing political goals; there is a right way to go about political activism though. Part of what makes the collection of political movements hard to choose from is that there is so many from veteran support, feeding the homeless, and promoting cleaner energy to large movements such as Black Lives Matter, Trans rights, and Women’s reproductive rights. Unfortunately there seems to be this mindset that once you have picked a movement to support, it is as if you cannot be in other movements. Surely, I hope that you all know that this is not the case.
What make deciding political movements to be a part of is the clashing between movements. Everyone in political activism often believes that the movement that they are working on individually is THEE most important movement at the time. This constant battling over who is more oppressed (I once heard someone refer to it as the Oppression Olympics) takes away from the movements themselves and really everyone is just harming each other’s movements. If LGBT rights are clashing with feminist movements, neither of them grow exponentially. They both just restrict each other.
The point I would like to get across is that every political activist movement is aimed to undermine the society we already live in that oppresses or damages its citizens. Belittling or dismantling another activist group just because it does not have the same initial goals as yours seems foolish given that they’re undermining systemic oppression from a different angle. It does not matter which group one ends up in support with but what does matter is that everyone all supports each other in their endeavors to undermine the same thing. If there is an injustice done to one group, it must be felt by other groups. Isolation and being put against each other is what got us into this mess to begin with. Isolating and putting groups against each other is not going to solve it.