The United States is facing a level of divisiveness we have not seen in many decades. People are angrier than ever, and they are actively speaking up about injustices and the violation of their rights. There are groups of people who want to change, and groups of people who resist it. Some of the groups pressing for change are protesting against inequality and injustice, principles promised by our country’s constitution and bill of rights.
The recent protests and occasional riot over the killing of George Floyd sparked a childhood memory of seeing the Rodney King protests and riots on the evening news in March of 1991, almost 30 years ago! The realization that using the same strategies for social change has not worked for over three decades should cause us to question how we can be more productive.
Before we can improve our county, we have to improve our methods of seeking change.
When seeking change, some hard truths need to be faced. These truths address aspects of the problem that render our current methods of advocacy ineffective. The more honest we can be about the problem, the more likely we are to create a viable solution. Facing these truths sounds easy, but some of them require us to take ownership of our group’s contribution to the problem and acknowledge that our current methods for seeking change are ineffective.
Change Requires Majority Support
In the United States, affecting positive change requires support from a majority of the people.
Most groups currently seeking change do not constitute a majority, thus necessitating them to gain more people who will support their cause. Gaining the support of the majority does not mean just firing up your group’s supporters. This technique seems to be a prevalent device used today, whether it means holding political rallies or organizing protests.
These activities have some advantages: they increase group motivation, unify the group by bringing them together against a common enemy, and draw publicity. They let the country know, “we’re mad, we’re here, and you can’t ignore us.” However…