Some thoughts on activism and activists both old and new

Martin Luther King, Jr

 
The old guard is afraid of these new activists. Legacy media is afraid of social media. Do not be fooled. They will attempt to confuse you by saying they are concerned about the movement or the medium. They are not.  

Today is as much about Mike Brown as it is about Dr.King who fought tirelessly against the very thing that is happening to the Mike Browns of today, so how can an organization that is supposed to be concerned with the ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE really stand there trying to hold on to the past when social injustice against people of color is happening right now?

The problem is, what was once an organization based in activism has become nothing more than a money-making business with its own agenda that is far removed from what its founders originally envisioned. More effort is put into fundraising and making money for the organization than is put into exacting change.

This is why they are threatened by the new guard. The new guard is out on the streets doing the work the way Dr. King did it, and they don’t need a huge “nonprofit” organization behind them to do it.

When they see people like Deray and Johnetta organizing and getting things done without any help from them, they get nervous. They try to throw out misinformation stating the movement is disorganized and doesn’t have any leadership. They are afraid of the power the young people hold in moving this country forward in the right direction. Power never wants to relenquish power, but the new activists have shown that they can wrestle that power away in just a few tweets, and to a generation of people who are used to having it their way and their way alone, that is scary.

 

 

This brings to mind the SNL skit from this past weekend featuring Kenan Thompson as Dr. King. In case you missed it, here it is:

 

Under the guise of criticizing the Oscars snubbing Selma, Saturday Night Live manages to subtly shade activism that begins on Twitter. Its critique of the way millennials do activism reveals a fear of the new and the unknown.

I’ve seen many criticisms of Twitter, Facebook, and social media in general, but the simple fact is, in the early days of Ferguson, more accurate information came from the social media accounts of those on the ground than from national media organizations whose job it is to report the news and keep the people informed.

Again, this is a scary concept for legacy media. We live in the world of the 24/7 news cycle, and the desire to be first with every scoop has usurped the ideal of being accurate. These days it seems that legacy media serves as more of a publicity spin machine for government than an actual watchdog of it.

The accurate stories are coming from the Twitter and Vine accounts of those in the movement, on the ground, doing the work, and not seeking glory for it.

The next time you hear someone saying the movement is not organized, I encourage you to follow the accounts of Deray, Charles, Netta, and others in the movement and get the real news.

Supporting them is a form of activism too.

Monique Judge
Monique Judge is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. She drinks way too much coffee, has way too much yarn, knows her way around a good bottle of tequila, and loves gifts and surprises.

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