Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter to the Editor

When I was a Sophomore in college, I wrote a letter to the editor. Based upon what I wrote about you can determine how old I am— but that is not the exercise. Looking back on the article I realize that what I talked about still seems to apply today. I am going to present both my article and one that was printed in response to my article a few days later. Enjoy:

View activists with open mind


With the rise of events in such places as Nicaragua and South Africa, political activists have formed committees to help support or protest these happenings. An analogy can be drawn from these political activist groups active in the '60s such as groups for and against Vietnam and civil rights.

Many of these activist groups are formed and only live a short time, which brings me to the question: Why do we even form such groups in the first place if they don't last?

Basically, these activist groups are making a political statement about society through their public actions. But with all this hype, the committees draw in overzealous individuals which don't gorily represent the underlying ideas, but only exemplify them and blow these ideas out of proportion.

If you can understand the underlying ideas and opinions created by these groups without being caught up in the hype, you can then directly observe history in the making. So I encourage you, if not for yourself— for humanity, to look at both sides of all of these groups' ideas with an open mind, not a biased one, so then you can have a better understanding of today's world and how it works.

Christopher Johnson
Music Education

Activists are history in making


I am writing in response to Christopher Johnson's letter on Tuesday, April 15 concerning viewing activists with an open mind. Mr. Johnson drew an analogy between political activist groups of today and those of the '60s such as groups for and against civil rights and Vietnam.

Mr. Johnson questioned the reasoning behind the forming of such groups stating that they didn't last very long.

He then went on to advocate being unbiased by not getting "caught up in the hype" and this unbiased attitude according to Mr. Johnson, would allow one to directly observe history in the making.

What Mr. Johnson actually seemed to be advocating was indifference, non-involvement and apathy. With Mr. Johnson's views of directly observing history in the making came as an image of being acted upon by one's circumstances rather than acting on them.

As I looked back on the pages of history, I was keenly aware that had it not been for the formation of activist groups, this country would not be America. For surely it was those who took a stand that made a difference.

Because I am a part of mankind, I am concerned about its destiny. Therefore, I choose to be an activist in any positive way that I can in order to further mankind.

It is far past time to cease from be in indifferent! I encourage you to look around you and view history in the making: Nations are engaged in conflict with each other and our being indifferent to this, and other issues, will only hasten our destruction.

I therefore urge you — if not for yourself, for humanity — to stand up and be counted; to be an integral part in making history not merely in observing its making.

Robinzina Bryant
Social Work

What's your opinion…


junebug said...

I actually kind of agree with both sides. You have a point that these seem to be short lived groups. I've found that usually this is more from young people suddenly joining the outside world (especially starting college) and deciding to make a difference or have a cause. Lots of times it seems this is generated from a romantic type viewpoint gained from movies/tv/media. Then as they grow, get jobs, become jaded, etc, they move on and worry about their day to day jobs.(namely paying off those college loans)
However, if we didn't have these continuous questionings of the status quo then necessary change would not happen. There could be arguments as to whether that change is good or harmful but only time answers that question. Overall, I am still proud of my activism in years past. I may not still protest certain causes in the same way. I am more of a everyday activist in my day to day living. I consider myself Green before Green was Green. Living by example I could say.
On a side note: A male blogger friend of mine recently asked if there were blog conferences that were geared towards men or at least included men because most seem to focus on women. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Sprite's Keeper said...

Good points on both sides and I love the fact that you presented someone else's opposing views to your own. I've always felt that activist groups, even today's, are ever evolving. What makes one group fizzle out, be it the passion or misguiding of one (or a few), will be the founding seeds of another group, different in efforts to not repeat history. Of course, we all know that history does tend to repeat itself regardless.

Deb said...

your 'voice' has not changed much!! and i disagree with the reply that you were advocating indifference.

Erin said...

Hmmm... it seems to me that you are encouraging people not to go to the extreme, because it seems to polarize people and it doesn't seem to work anyway. Interesting thoughts!

gretchen said...

First of all, what kind of name is Robinzina? Okay, that was a little off the subject. I think you were one of the pioneers of the whole bipartisan movement!

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