OPINION: Analyzing what constitutes a successful protest

Ebonee Gabhart

It is becoming increasingly apparent that we feed into and are a part of a political air filled with discourse. Objections made by the masses on injustices, under which they are powerless, is part of the political system we have established. This is blatant when considering the very nature of politics and when noting the consequences of the 2016 presidential election.

There are an abundance of reasons why your average American would want to act on this discourse and participate in a protest. Keeping in mind the recent events in Charlottesville, a conversation was sparked in an English class at KCTCS pertaining to the nature of protests. The tendency of Americans to become upset and feel strongly justified in this feeling, whether they are right or wrong, became a cornerstone of the discussion.

Protests have the potential to be very impactful when the appropriate measures are taken and the intent and purpose of the protests are taken into account. Our history is filled with many protests done well. These successful protests helped oppressed groups gain ground towards their cause.

The Montgomery bus boycotts are a wonderful example of a successful protest. Their purpose, to put an end to segregation via the busing system, was accomplished by creating a hardship within the busing community. African Americans not riding the buses hindered the busing income, thereby creating a problem those in power had motive to fix. Creating this immediate problem for the people they had direct quarrel with, and doing so peacefully, allowed this group to advance their position and created open air for a conversation to take place.

There is a wrong and right way to make your position, story or fear heard. When organizing to voice your side, it is easy to lose sight of the goal when there is no clear purpose or aim. 

This begs the following question: are the lives lost in the effort worth it? Many protests that take place within our society today are victim to diffusion of responsibility and lack of a clear goal. What are we accomplishing through gathering to voice our injustice without proper organization? Imagine the good that could be accomplished with a clear vision.