Anger Changes Nothing

I was taken by this photo of a well-meaning young lady encouraging protest. She wants us to move our energy from walking for astop walking start marching cure for cancer to marching against the cause of cancer. It was taken at a protest in Florida against Monsanto. I don’t want to be critical of her at all, I am sure she is a lovely person, but her methodology is all wrong. Why is it wrong? First because it’s reductionist. Even if genetically modified food is causing cancer, it’s not the only thing causing cancer. We need to continue walking for a cure for all diseases if such walking will raise money for research. The second reason it is wrong is that it is rooted in anger, and anger cannot change anything – it just creates more anger. If we march to raise awareness, we may have some success. When we get into protest mode we usually find more than a little anger in the marchers and that anger gets reflected in the signs they carry or the slogans they shout. Those against whom they are protesting feel that anger and dig their heels in. Nobody responds well to being called a bastard, even the most bastardly among us. If we are going to effect change we need to learn to do so nonviolently, and that nonviolence must be in word and deed.

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