It is hard to get a perspective on the strength of social movements from the ground. The influences ripple and it is hard to pinpoint cause and effect. Sometimes when the backlash is fierce and the infighting gets ugly it can feel as though you are working at cross purposes. We need a moon’s eye view to see where the tide is going. So while everyone else was admiring the blood moon eclipse, I slipped away to the moon.
From up here I see the Black Lives Matter movement spreading and deepening. I see politicians like Elizabeth Warren make it a point to speak up for the movement, though the group has been explicit about their refusal to back the Democratic party. That is influence. It is also influence when the Minnesota Governor who called the #Blackfair demonstration “inappropriate” is now talking about the need for affirmative action at the Minnesota State Fair. It may be harder to connect things like the Minnesota Children’s Theater’s Afrocentric season to the social movement, but let me tell you, from the moon it is clear -on all levels the culture is taking notice.
However, from my perch on the moon I see the peace movement, working hard but spinning wheels, losing opportunities, fighting over Syria- the character of the Assad regime — dividing and conquering themselves when they should be uniting forces in support of Syrian refugees and against U.S. intervention. They are losing out on opportunities to build a mass movement against the militarization of our police and our southern border and against drone warfare. They are not capitalizing on what Obama calls “war- weariness” – anti war sentiment that has spread to all corners.
Hmm, I think I’ll stay up here on the moon. So much easier to comment from a perch than to face the music on earth.