We’re living in very divisive times, at present. As I’ve discussed with Social Media Explorer, there is such value in us working together toward this common and shared cause. It is incredibly heartening and inspiring watching all the peaceful demonstrations nationwide, and all the young people especially involved in our political process.
Civic engagement is something that we should be promoting, and its clear that many young people have taken the torch and responsibility to advance a racially just agenda. The protests from major metropolitan areas like NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles and beyond have been a resounding success insofar as they have engendered the interest of the media and led to an incredible amount of media coverage.
That media coverage and attention can be employed for all sorts of constructive purposes. But part of that coverage has focused on the divisions that exist. Consider how much more powerful we could be in advancing our cause and in getting our lawmakers to respond, if we were unified together as one.
For example, a news item that got substantial media attention recently, was the presence of Mitt Romney (now Senator from Utah), at one of the rallies in Washington. The reason was simple. This movement has been wrongly viewed and treated as a partisan cause by too many. And that’s simply wrong.
Let’s commit ourselves to outreach to everyone, regardless of their political persuasion; their race or creed. In order to have maximum impact, it would be of great value to unite in such a way. If we reach out to Republicans, Independents and Democrats think about the political statement such images would have. Imagine pictures being displayed on television and across print media of civil rights icons like Congressman Lewis, marching hand-in-hand with some of our Republican lawmakers?
The message that would transmit would be incredibly powerful. It would show the world that we Americans are not divided on issues of fairness and justice. Instead, regardless of our political backgrounds, we are united in this fight together as one.
Similarly, let’s reach out to people regardless of their faith or racial backgrounds. One of the more inspiring items in the wake of all these demonstrations has been seeing people of all different social classes participating, and locking their arms in unison.
There’s similarly been a melting pot on display of the beauty of America with both members of the African community, the hispanic community and White Americans participating. This united front is such a powerful message. The imagery of course is equally powerful.
Helen Lee Schifter is a former editor at Hearst and Code Nast