There are some fine points in how people relate to the activities of those whom are engaged in social justice. Unfortunately many people are listening to the mainstream media news calling people protesters. When protesters are active on negative conditions it creates a double negative, leading to a positive intent. Those approving of negative conditions are deserving of protest when awareness does not lead to creating a solution.
Can we go through some definitions — Protester1)protester. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved May 15 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/protester:
pro·test (prə-tĕst′, prō-, prō′tĕst′)
- a. To express a strong objection to (something): protest a job assignment.
b. To participate in a public demonstration in opposition to (something): Thousands protested the election fraud. See Synonyms at object.
- To promise or affirm earnestly, as after being doubted: “He continually protested his profound respect” (Frank Norris).
- Law To declare an objection and reservation of rights of (a claim being made) while taking an action that would otherwise imply consent or agreement.
- Archaic To proclaim or make known: “unrough youths that even now / Protest their first of manhood” (Shakespeare).
- a. To express a strong objection.
b. To participate in a public demonstration in opposition to something.
- To make an earnest avowal or affirmation.
- A formal declaration of disapproval or objection issued by a concerned person, group, or organization.
- A public demonstration or organized effort to show disapproval about something, especially a governmental policy or practice.
- Law A declaration of objection and reservation of rights, made when action would otherwise imply consent or agreement: payment under protest.
In contrast the definition for protector2)protector. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved May 15 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/protector:
also pro·tect·er (prə-tĕk′tər)
- One who protects; a guardian.
- A device that protects; a guard.
a. A person who rules a kingdom during the minority of a sovereign.b. The head of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 to 1659.
Contrast in Terms
The contrast is fairly obvious with protester carrying negative weight and protector seen as benevolent (in terms of our social constructs). However when our society has suffered egregious harm from those assumed to be protectors through the passage of laws, enforcing policy / procedures that cause suffering to the public ~ the need for guardians of the public interest is needed.
Ready To Protect by Alais Clay
How we act as protectors is by listening to the public as peers seeking to assist. We research the issues. We bring the voices of those not heard up through rallies and in what we write. We seek mainstream media coverage, we rally and organize. We realize many of those channels are controlled by the companies and government that is profiting from business continuity.
Industrial Capitalism and It’s Waste
We’ve seen Detroit and SouthEast Michigan targeted for industrial capitalism, and there really hasn’t been any relief offered by those who claim to protect. Our region of the State of Michigan has the most pollution, including the 3rd “dirtiest zip code” in the nation 48217. Industry upon industry emitting into a toxic soup of air and water pollution has made it difficult to point a finger at where the problem lies. It truly does lie with the policies of environmental regulators who continue to allow nonattainment areas to exist with new Permits To Install (usually adding pollution). If you head to the bottom of the Michigan chart on this Green Book from the EPA you’ll see Sulfur Dioxide in Wayne County has not been within limits the entire monitoring period since 1992 on the chart. Sulfur dioxide in concentration or over an extended time burns the skin. When it mixes with water it creates sulfuric acid. There are a number of environmental justice groups here and they are doing their best to be protectors, however harm still heads our way destroying the health of families and environment now and into the future. When you speak negatively about negative conditions – you’re stating a positive.
We’d like to see solutions in our dialogue, but first it is going to take mainstream media and our government (failing to be protectors) correcting the language used around the public PROTECTORS and guardians of our commons — the air, water, food, shelter, and education we need. There is a healing process involved and it shows up when perspectives are shared, heard, understood and taken into account.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||protester. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved May 15 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/protester|
|2.||↑||protector. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved May 15 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/protector|