I loathe marches, demonstrations, rallies and protests. I understand the role they play, but my strong anti-march sentiment is rooted in their false promise for change.
Yes, marches and rallies are effective tools to galvanize the masses and increase awareness. And via their powerful optics, marches and rallies attract world wide media attention. They capture the ear of the powerful and elite as well.
But chanting “Black Lives Matters” or blocking traffic during rush hour will not produce the desired effect. In plain words, saying, shouting or demanding that BLM will not make black lives matter.
Marches and demonstrations provide psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions. They help channel deeply rooted anger and frustration.
Drama or Resolution?
However, after the raw uncut emotional expression, What comes next? After the march — with the institutionally racist system still firmly embedded in our police departments — when does the strategic and intellectual proactive planning to affect genuine change take place?
My anti-march madness is derived from the scarcity of participation by zealous marchers to do the roll-up-the-sleeves grunt work to advance the course. I find the disconnect appalling: Too many want to debate, confront, complain; and not enough bodies to do the heavy lifting.
As friendsforebonie.com writes:
The real work happens when there’s no marching, there’s no protesting. The real work happens at the polls during the primaries or a non-presidental election. The real work happens as members of your community-based organizations, at your local city council town hall and in our churches. The real work is not on social media. Social media is great for promoting a message but not change itself. Marching for a day, for a few hours is not going to change anything.