"History Repeating" Propellerheads featuring Shirley Bassey
I love that song.
I'm reading The Death of Innocence, a book about Emmitt Till, and I'm also thinking about the reaction to animal abuse videos- how many people, nice people, react in aggressive horror, say they "just can't take it," have to "protect themselves." How they get really mad at whomever shares such videos. I've been thinking about activism and how a good number of my friends and family would find that distasteful, knowing that even my husband could find it extreme, wondering if he would turn from me. These thoughts brought to mind the movie "The Help" and I started thinking about all those very nice people who were saddened by slavery and horrific events during the civil rights era, saddened but not doing or saying anything about it. Why?
Fear. Afraid of physical violence and economic loss, yes, but mostly I think afraid of social reprisal. Being cast out of the fold. I've just been thinking about that and how it is the linchpin to the status quo. There are scores of books on social pressure and the need to belong and I certainly don't have anything worthy to add here. But I want to internalize this concept for myself. I'm going to delve into learning about the civil rights struggles of the 50s and 60s, the LGBT movements, and women's liberation. If I can truly grasp the fear that equals the inertia of the nice people, I hope I can have both more empathy and courage at the ready.
The idea that the fight for animal liberation is so like the struggle for civil human rights could be pretty depressing if I let it. I mean, it has been murderous and it is not a fait accompli by any measure because to me that would mean love so ubiquitous that nothing about gender, race or sexual orientation warrants any more attention than dinner choices. "He's cute, gay or straight?" "Gay." "Darn." You know? So it would be easy to give up. People are jerks, so just quit.
Instead, I'll grab on to the truth that change happens, is happening. Not perfectly, not directly, not as rainbow-colored-unicornly as I want. The real change of individual human hearts acting in some ear-bleeding, off-key concert to create a betterment of the collective human heart. And, most importantly, grab onto the truth that any effort, any positive change can save an individual life, give someone the right and opportunity to happiness, to a life lived completely as designed.
I want to fight to see that little bit of history repeating.