Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Calls for civility

We call lunch counter protests civil disobedience, but they weren't seen at all as civil by most white Southerners - and probably most Whites in the North. They were seen as provocative, mean-spirited - as attacks. Same for the marches in the 1960s - most of which were illegal and all of which blocked traffic and disrupted the day of many people - they were peaceful, but they also were infuriating to many. I remember the amazingly provocative but peaceful acts by Queer Nation - we called them civil disobedience because they weren't violent (though the response often was), but they were LOUD, they were disruptive, they pissed people off - and they were key in changing how LGBTQ people were treated (still so, so far to go).

Peaceful means free of violence - but it doesn't mean polite, it doesn't mean not-provocative, it doesn't mean quite and polite.

I also want to note that when Christian terrorists were bombing clinics and shooting doctors and other clinic staff back in the 1980s and 1990s, there was no level of outcry against the violence that came anywhere close to the loud, constant pleas of politicians for reproductive rights advocates to "compromise" so that these terrorists wouldn't be "provoked" to violence.

And so, dearest Trump administration: the non-violent disruptions of your enjoyment of cafes and movies shall continue.

And for those who feel uncomfortable to observe this: good.

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