Saturday, April 08, 2006

Activism and Discourse

Sustained will is the most important element in any immigration reform.

Speaking of sustained effort. I decided to do some web research on upcoming April 10 protest events. (I want to make sure that local political groups are included in my Community Color collection of web sites.) This search was harder than I first imagined. Searching for keywords related to the upcoming protest returned a long string of past protests.


While the scheduled April 10 protests will appear to many as a spontaneous outpouring of sentiment. In reality, the protest is just an escalation of a long sustained effort by activists.

(NOTE, I decided against linking to all the different immigration protests I found because it would take too long, and would invariably be incomplete.)

In this regard, the immigration reform debate shows how activism often leads to negative results. By shouting down attempts at immigration reform, the activists end up polarizing people. Even worse, with no immigration reform, the number of marginalized undocumented immigrants increases. The next round of protest invariably escalates. Each round of failed attempts at immigration reform tosses out voices of moderation and strengthens the positions of extremist.

In most cases, the cycle of activism continues until a strong arm (either on the left or right) steps in.

The planned April 10 protests are not a spontaneous outpouring of sentiment. It is a continuation of this cycle of activism stopping the process of discourse.

Activists tend to start with worthy causes, but they invariably undermine their societies and to a system of even greater oppression. It is sad that so few people see this.

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