Taking a Knee is dominating the media. And, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder defends that gesture of protest as not only protected by the First Amendment but also bringing positive change.
Like the guy he's throwing shade on, Holder uses a tweet. Here are the details in Abovethelaw, by lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino.
But, those of us who lived through the times when human rights could only be enjoyed by heterosexual white males in America know there are many forms of protest. And many of them did help move the needle on positive change.
In the all-women's Roman Catholic college I attended during the early 1960s, two brave classmates created an underground newspaper.
For some odd reason, the nuns didn't shut it down. Those two juniors weren't expelled.
And many of us observed the lesson that it is possible to push back against what we perceived as oppression. One of those newspaper publishers went on the study medicine at Harvard. The other became a philosophy professor. Another lesson learned: Protest, unlike what our mothers taught us, "doesn't ruin your life."
Another instrument of pressure for positive change is simply using the power of the law.
That's how activist Ralph Nader brought about the birth of consumerism in America. A lawyer, he knew his way around the courts.He also knew how to operate in the courts of public opinion.
And, so common today is leaking. Overworked, overwhelmed associates at BigLaw leak the brass' internal communications to Abovethelaw.
Another form of outing the alleged tyrants is giving employers lousy ratings on Glassdoor. Here, employees at public relations firms The Dilenschneider Group give the leadership a one, out of five, and leverage terms such as "bully," "miserable place to work," and "playing with your head."
In my little life in flyover country, I am the one-trick pony in pushing back. From an old-world Italian clan, I simply inflict silence. Should I encounter those who allegedly did me wrong on the sidewalk, to the silence I add this crude ritual: In front of everyone, I step off the sidewalk and walk in the street until I have outdistanced the miscreant. Public shaming gets the job done with great theatre.
The one opportunity I missed out on was campaigning in front of Jersey City, New Jersey saloons. I wanted the right for females to belly up to the bar. At that time we were relegated to sitting at tables in the back. My mother wouldn't stop crying. Between sobs she said, "You will ruin your life." So, I passed on that fun. That was before I went to college and bore witness to the newspaper caper.
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