Through history there have been many revolutions, to attain equality and address unfair treatment. The ‘gaps’ between people have been addressed in many spheres. In the UK there are signs around the metro that remind people ‘Mind the gap”. The slogan is appropriate in many ways. There are many gaps in fairness in society and there is much we can learn from those who try to address them.
A TYPES OF OTHER LIBERATIONS
B. QUOTES FROM OTHER LIBERATIONS
C. LESSONS FROM OTHER LIBERATIONS
1. TYPES OF OTHER LIBERATIONS
-discrimination based on race, color, national origin- Discrimination against indigenous peoples is historic and not fully overcome. With the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 and long before that with the US civil rights movement and the addressing of racism in India and South Africa. there is much to learn from advocates for equality. Some are Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi. Many battles have been waged between indigenous peoples and colonists, and recent moves for native rights have much to teach us about peace and equal rights.
-unequal treatment based on religion – the historic mistreatment of those of other faiths has been addressed and violent eruptions and civil wars have been fought between Protestants and Catholics, between Muslims and nonMuslims and many battles have been waged to put down those of Jewish faith, even with the mass killing of the Holocaust. Those who advocate for religious equality have much to teach us.
-discrimination based on physical characteristics – the assumptions marketing has created about what a man or woman should look like has been closely analyzed and revealed strong biases against some body types. These biases have been addressed from advocates for equality, to insist on equal dignity for those who are shorter or wider or who less than perfect skin. We can learn from such advocacy.
-discrimination based on health and disability . The movement to gain access to buildings for the disabled, to get hiring policy to not disadvantage those with some physical challenges is a strong advocacy . It has much to teach us about equality.
-discrimination based on age – Though some societies revere the elderly as wise, many societies have an undercurrent of dismissing seniors as no longer relevant. There are biases in the entertainment industry based on age of performer and in some careers like modelling or athletics. Addressing age bias is an ongoing effort for some advocacy groups and there is much to learn from their work.
-discrimination based on social class. Historically societies with an upper class and a lower class and a middle class have kept rigid boundaries that lasted for generations. The more recent history of permitting flow between the classes and upward mobility addresses a significant earlier bias and there is much to learn from the advocates of this equality. In many societies people are however still judged based on their income, their profession and their fame. The unequal valuing of people based on income has been addressed by some who defend equal rights for all, equal access to education,housing and public services, regardless of such status. There is much to learn from those who have worked to provide such equal rights.
-discrimination based on gender and gender identity – the twenty- first century interest in removing bias against gays, lesbians, and those who are bisexual, gender fluid or transgender is an advocacy for equality also. There is much to learn from those who have patiently advocated for the dignity of those suffering unfair treatment.
Anyone who advocates for any cause they feel strongly about to make society fairer, can learn lessons about others about how to ‘wage’ a revolution. Those who advocate for fairer taxes or better roads, for more funding for the arts or clean air know what works and what does not when you try to change the world. There are lessons we can learn about advocacy itself.
B. QUOTES FROM OTHER LIBERATIONS
What can we learn in the advocacy for valuing the care role? There are many inspirations to guide us.
Patience moves mountains- William Penn 1644- 1718
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
Mahatma Gandhi 1869- 1948
That only a few, under any circumstances, protest against the injustice of long established laws and customs , does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, and the satisfaction of the many, if real, only proves their apathy and deeper degradations- Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1815 – 1902
It is useless to check the vain dunce who has caught the mania of scribbling, whether prose or poetry, canzonets or criticisms,–let such a one go on till the disease exhausts itself. Opposition like water, thrown on burning oil, but increases the evil, because a person of weak judgment will seldom listen to reason, but become obstinate under reproof. Sarah Josepha Hale 1788- 1879
Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 -1962
There is only one way to look at things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes.~ Pablo Picasso 1881 – 1973
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 – 1962
Love cures people, both the ones who receive it and the ones who give it- Karl Menninger 1893- 1990
Love is the only spiritual power that can overcome the self-centredness that is inherent in being alive- Arnold Toynbee 18899- 1975
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own- Robert Heinlein 1907- 1988
Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved – Thomas Merton 1915 – 1968
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.
― Mother Teresa 191 0 – 1997
If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.
Albert Einstein 1879- 1955
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming of it.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.
Alone we can do so little but together we can do so much
Helen Keller 1880- 1968
I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black. – Rosa Parks 1913- 2005
A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take away from you- Ramsey Clark 1927 – present
True peace is not merely the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.
Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
Martin Luther King Jr. 1929- 1968
Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.” Saul Alinski 1909- 1972
Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that ‘s wrong – Muhammad Ali 1942 – 2016
Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. – Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1933-2020
Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.”
― Camille Paglia 1947 to present
I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we lived. It is the difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
Nelson Mandela – 1918- 2013
If I wait for someone else to validate my existence, it will mean that I’m shortchanging myself. – Zanele Muholi 1972- present
Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts. – Barbara Gittings 1932 – 2007
You play the hand you’re dealt. I think the game’s worthwhile. – Christopher Reeves 1052- 2004
I don’t have a dis-ability, I have a different-ability.–Robert M. Hensel 1969-present
Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision. –Stevie Wonder 1950- present
Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives, – Bill Gates 1955 – present
Stand up for what you believe in. The world needs your voice. Whoever you are, you have something to say. Say it, ‘ Kerry Washington 1977 – present
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. Elie Wiesel 1928- 2016
They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.
― Dinos Christianopoulos 1931- 2020
C.. LESSONS FROM OTHER LIBERATIONS
1. You can be successful even if there are only a few of you willing to speak out.
At first especially there may only be a few. Most successful political and religious movements start with small groups where each feels vital to the success of the undertaking.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
― Margaret Mead 1901- 1978
2. There is no point in yelling at the cashier
Talk to those who have power to change the situation
and don’t take your frustration out on those who are not empowered
to change it. Be polite
Ask to meet the minister of finance, the minister of the status of
women, the justice minister, the opposition leader, the prime minister.
3. Work within the system that exists
You can get some media attention for standing outside a meeting and picketing
but you only impact the decisions if you get a seat at the meeting.
4. Don’t just say what is wrong
Say what you’d like. A complainer may get some sympathy
but people want to hear hopeful answers. Tell the solution
you want. Make this solution succinct and reasonable ideally
under one page.
5, Be polite
Stay calm, sound reasonable
Say what they have done that you like
Say what goals they have that you approve of
Show how your idea gets to those goals too
6. Be off the record when you get a meeting
Help them save face when you negotiate answers
Don’t burn your bridges or you’ll not get another meeting
7. Rest, get enough sleep yourself
It helps you think more clearly
8. Do your research
It is important you take time to think through your position
Have studied the opposing point of view very closely
Have studied your proposal’s implications
Understand why some object to your ideas and have a logical response to each objection
9. talk to your opponents
Find common ground
Make surprising alliances.
There are many you may have assumed were against you
who may not be – eg Those who value choice of care beyond 3rd party
government run daycare may include independent daycares, anti- poverty groups,
indigenous rights groups, men’s rights groups, seniors who provide care
10. Be friendly
You want your listeners to identify with something about you
Talking to a politician, finind out about their own background and if they have
dealt with this issue or similar in their own experience
Make your appearance presentable, together, like someone they might like to know
11. Don’t be in a hurry
Talking to a politician, realize that everyone who approaches them says the problem is urgent
Do not to be easil dismissed but be willing to attack the problem in stages that do not scare them
12. Attack the problem one item at a time
eg. The gay rights movement advanced by looking at issues
one at a time, including rights to hospital visits, identity on forms,
discrimination in housing, discrimination in hiring,
child access, and only later the issue of gay marriage
13. Have dignity
It does not accomplish goals of equality to ask for pity or charity
Believe in your own worth. Don’t whine
14.l Speak to the press but understand their schedule and priorities also
– Look at the calendar and anticipate future ‘news’ times
big anniversaries of events on your issue,
big meetings, announcements on your issue
and make sure you contact the press just before
those things with your angle
-Have a news event yourself like a rally but only if
it would have sufficient numbers to not look pathetic
-If you approach them with press release – find who to
address it to not just the office
-If they come to you, be polite, calm, not angry
-Realize the reporter does this as a job and has to do as told
so try to also see the reporter’s point of view/
They need help with background info so give it,
They may want a sound byte short clip so have one
They want to have asked good questions so
thank them for the questions
be ready with other contact info to help them
Thank them after so they remember you and keep your
name on the file
-Don’t do all the work for the reporter to insult them.. They are professionals and
they will want to see the other side to what you are
saying. But do not make the case for the other side.
When asked what your detractors say, have them
ask them themselves. Don’t use your
interview time and air time explaining what the other
-Don’t insult the other side. Nobody likes a hater. Try to
be respectful of those who disagree with you
– Be humble and don’t exaggerate. If nything, undersell.
The listener and audience will
tend to fill in the blanks. If you are gracious when
you say something is a ‘bit frustrating’ that is more
appealing to the listener than saying you are mad
and not going to take it any more.
15..Walk your talk
If you think the solution you propose would make
others happy, that it would resolve a lot of issues for
all parties, then believe in it yourself
-Be friendly to the other parties because what you are
proposing has also entered their concerns into the
answer and should please them too
-Be happy, be a pleasant person to be around, make it so
you are the answer personified, kind to everyone
Abraham Lincoln said “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master” If we believe that care has dignity we too should not just ‘use’ family members to look after our kids without acknowledging their work and seeking funding for care that includes that recognition
16. See the big picture- expect setbacks
-Read the history of your movement
-Read the history of civil rights, gay rights and other
liberation movements and notice how hard it is to get a quick answer
-See yourself as running a relay race carrying the torch
over your part of the run and passing it to the next in
-Thank those who went before you
-Thank those who run with you and never claim glory
– Nurture others younger to join you and
to carry the torch when you are less active and
an ‘elder statesman’ to just watch and encourage
-Be happy to be in the cheering section when colleagues do well and don’t claim the glory yourself
17.. Leave a trace of what you did
Give your documents, research etc to those
who come after you or to government archives
Make it possible for posterity to ‘see the light’ even
if you were not able to make big inroads
18,.Have plans not just for the principle you want but for implementation
If the politician you approach asks ‘how’ you would make
the change you propose realize that is a great sign because it may
mean they already are somewhat convinced about
‘why’ to do it, that it is a good idea. Have an answer
that is researched/
19. Sometimes just be real with the other side
Eat a meal or have coffee together and talk
about the weather, happy nonthreatening things
See the human in them, understand their pressures
and the hurdles they have in their role and in
their private life, and be kind
20. If the other side does blunders, does something unwise for
their own argument and you could really use this
to slam them, think twice
-When they have really messed up it may be kindest to call them
and forgive them, Help them save face by moving
to some reconciliation that placates your side
and helps them seem reasonable again
21. Be nice to the gatekeeper, the secretary, the executive assistant
Realize that the aide to the politician is often the
person behind the crown and be respectful
of their role, friendly and if it is appropriate
learn their name. Only use their first name if
they ask you to, but treat them like real people.
22. Do not bribe, do not threaten
With govt officials you cannot give anything
that seems like a bribe so do not give gifts
However it is reasonable to have a meal with the
other side, to eat a meal together with their staff
if they invite you for a dinner meeting
-Do not say they will lose your vote. They often know
they already did not have your vote
-They will ask how many people agree with you.
They are counting votes and public approval if
they did as you ask. try to have a good answer
for that question.
23.. Find out when there are discussions on your issue
Look at government websites
Look at dates for submissions to finance and other
government committees that hear from the public
m+Make those submissions, ask to appear , keep trying
24. Be kind to the opposition
If they really refuse to listen or to be convinced
part friends. You can say “‘I guess we will have to agree to disagree”
‘Well you have a right to your opinion and I defend your right to have it”
This isi tself a statement of equalitythat reminds them that your view has as much
right as theirs
-Another good response to opposition is “I am sorry you feel that way”
-Silence is also an excellent repartee – it lets any
blatant angry statement just hang in the air
and deprives them of the satisfaction of hearing
your angry rebuttal – so they themselves feel the echo of their unfairness
-Learn how to handle hecklers, with humor or even admiration of their cleverness. This disarms them. Do not insult your hecklers or critics. The
ones in the back row have no podium unless you give it to them so realize their game
25., Be kind to the neutral
-People are not stupid, just not fully informed on some issues
-Realize that the silent majority may well be with you, but is silent
26. Don’t lie
-Don’t claim to have read what you did not read, attended what you did not attend,
been watching a webinar you did not watch
-Don’t claim to have informationyou don’t have
-Don’t invent numbers
-Be willing to admit you don’t know, that you don’t have that info
but can get back to the questionner with it
27. Don’t despair
-Don’t assume one voice against you is the majority
-Consider the source when critics are unkind
-Hhave pity for those who are insulting that they stoop to that
28.. Don’t expect favoritism BECAUSE you are oppressed
Only ask for equality.
29.. Think twice about grand dramatic actions for publicity only.
Tying yourself to a lamppost or illegally scaling private
property to display your banner may get attention but
it may not get public sympathy or admiration.