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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Dying Art of a Good Revolution

Americans become complacent, because it is easy. Only through resistance and boycotting can change occur. (Macrovector on Freepik)

Things in America have always been tense: since Columbus invaded the East Coast, since the thirteen colonies settled here, and since the slave trade was even conceived of. 

America is no stranger to the disproportionate treatment of people who don’t fit with some white supremacist standards of what someone should look like—and ultimately, human nature is to revolt. “I rebel, therefore I exist.” (Albert Camus, The Rebel). 

So why don’t Americans do it more? 

Rather, instead of “Why don’t Americans do it more?”, we should ask “Why does America resist resistance?” 

Especially in recent years, people have tried to revolt against the incredibly unfair state of the American government. But usually, we find that it’s relatively unsuccessful.

With recent events in France, of course, it catches wind over to American influencers, which is where I often see comments asking “Why don’t we (Americans) do it like the French?” 

That can be answered very simply: American media attention span is virtually non-existent. Take pivotal societal movements such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), which a lot of online creators use as a way to masquerade around as a better person. But in reality, they were using black suffering as a trend. 

We also see this with the recent rise of creators talking about Palestine. It’s no coincidence that after January, we’ve been seeing fewer Palestine updates and content. 

Be it the algorithm, the one-percenters in charge of social media sites suppressing this type of content, or that people just aren’t posting about it anymore—the point is, that this type of awareness content is being ignored—both intentionally and unintentionally.

It’s unfortunate to say, but the majority of Americans use humanitarian issues as ways to get morality points from the public, so their audience can see how “good” of a person they are. 

A lot of Americans stand at a place of privilege and lack the spine to do something about the state of the world and society. 

But for the Americans who do have the spine, and general common sense to want actual change instead of settling for the ignorant bliss, here’s how to proceed a successful revolt.

Revolution is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and in a lot of cases: blood. 

Of course, fighting fire with fire is an extreme way to deal with things—but we have seen time and time again how the American government responds to peaceful protests; with rubber bullets, tear gas, jail time, and in unfortunately frequent instances: protests going missing. 

The government does not care. They see us as the fly on the wall, the cockroach behind the refrigerator. And the only way to deal with us is to squash us. 

The first, and arguably most important step: build a community. Numbers are everything. Organization is everything.

We need plans, and people executing them who won’t back down. 

Ultimately, ideals are at the core of a successful revolution, so what are you fighting for? What lengths are you willing to go to for those ideals? What comes after the revolt? 

You can’t start a revolution without an endgame; planning on what institutions and organizations to implement after the current one is abolished is mandatory. 

Revolution isn’t a “cross that bridge when you get to it” type of situation—you need a plan. A true revolution is a process; stepping stones that lead to a better, more prosperous end goal.

Commitment is the foundation of a rebellion. People can’t just leave halfway through because the issue has become less mainstream. 

The American Revolution lasted 24 years, the French Revolution lasted 10 years, and the Haitian Revolution lasted 13 years. 

It takes significant time to successfully revolt, and the average six to eight months when societal issues are mainstream is not nearly enough for anything to happen.

Police brutality against Black Americans is still a rampant issue, Palestine’s death toll is increasing by the hundreds every day, laws against the LGBTQ+ community are being passed in a myriad of states as we speak, and women’s rights are being stripped away on a whim.

How much longer are we Americans going to stand by and wait for the government to force us into submission? The old, white, cishet men of the government are just trying to ruin the country before they die so the rest of us have to deal with it. 

Build your community, establish plans and values, and for the love of god don’t treat human rights as a trend. 

I could blame the passing of interest in humanity on the lowering attention span of Americans, but that would be a complete lie. 

Most Americans don’t have that short attention span that so many past generations love to mock us about.

 Instead, it is a privilege.

It’s people not wanting to give up their “cushy” lifestyles for the betterment of the people. Because let’s face it, it’s not the attention span that’s draining, it’s human empathy.

Poorer communities might not have the finances to uproot everything to revolt, as people need to eat and be housed, but the people who see the issues in our society, people watching others die and get mistreated—on their phones made of cobalt, inhumanely mined, while wearing clothes that were most likely made in a sweatshop—they don’t want to risk their comfort for something that doesn’t happen to them.

If I sound cynical and angry, it’s because I am. Human rights aren’t something to put on display as a “fun trend” and a way to somehow prove to others how “good of a person you are”. Genuine change needs to happen—and people need to realize this, fast.

So many people have this idea of revolution, a single battle, a single riot, a single event that changes the course of history faster than you can blink.

That’s just not true. 

The most recent “rebellion” instance, the Starbucks/McDonald’s (as well as other major companies) boycott, is still in effect—which I am very happy to see—but as time has passed, and media coverage of Palestine has dwindled to an ember of the once large inferno it was a couple of months ago, the longer and longer the lines at those establishments grow. 

It’s disappointing. 

I’m not saying that revolution has to be completely violent and forceful—if anything that would stray newcomers away from the notion. No, I’m just expressing the vital importance of the determination a rebellion needs to work. 

There needs to be substance, something to kindle it into success. 

A revolution is defensive, not offensive. Fight back against the oppressor, don’t become the oppressor. 

Change is happening right now, and all I’m asking is for people not to lose sight of that. 

Remember, flowers are blooming in Antarctica.

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