Enough is Enough: The Slacktivism Won’t Cut It

Jul 26, 2020 | Op-Ed

What Do You Stand For?

“Why can’t we all just get along?” sounds good in principle, but only works when we’re dealing with differences of opinion – like which football team is best, Pepsi or Coke?, or whether grunge is better than rock or classical music. Calls for “more love, less hate” sound wonderful – who doesn’t want that? But if we don’t rise up, stand up, speak out, and take action against the oppression of our fellow humans, if we don’t stand up against police brutality and the killing of innocent people (or at least people who are innocent of any capital crime), if we don’t stand up against authoritarianism, then who are we? Can we even call ourselves “Americans” anymore? Didn’t that used to stand for something? Didn’t that “something” used to include a proud, staunch opposition to fascism? I am glad that most of the Greatest Generation cannot see the futility of their courage in WWII in some of your faces, words, and inactions.

I Need a Good Answer to This

Why is it wrong to judge all police officers by “a few bad apples,” but okay to judge all Black people or all anti-fascist protesters by the few agitators who riot and loot and distract from the message that “Black Lives Matter” or that hopeful belief that we are opposed to authoritarian dictatorship and fascism in this country?

Consider this: No one but the fascists gain anything when violence and lawlessness break out. So – who’s provoking the violence?

Defending Rights & Dissent, a civil liberties group, cataloged known instances of First Amendment abuses and political surveillance by the FBI since 2010. The organization found that the feds devoted disproportionate resources to spy on peaceful left-leaning civil society groups, including Occupy Wall Street, economic justice advocates, racial justice movements, environmentalists, Abolish ICE, and various anti-war movements.[122][123] During the effort to violently target Occupy Wall Street, the FBI and the DHS conducted their operations against activists in coordination with banks, the local police, and the New York Stock Exchange.[124]

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

What Will It Take to Make You STAND for It?

If the meek inherit the earth, it will be a scorched and uninhabitable planet. A Pyrrhic victory, indeed. Don’t just stand on the sidelines. Pick something concrete and constructive – and preferably positive – that you can do to effect change. Feeling lost? Unsure of what you can do? Join the club. Do some digging. Here’s are some ideas: What to Know About Portland’s Crackdown on Protesters and How You Can Help.

Get Your News from Eyewitnesses, Experts

I’d like to believe we have a “failure of leadership” in government, today, but I think that the opposite is true – we have masterminds orchestrating this Chess game, hoping you won’t notice until they smile and whisper, as they slip the noose around your neck: “Checkmate.”

Please click through and read the links.

Immediately, there was a piling on of people trying to discredit and smear the victim. But eyewitnesses and video taken at the scene tell a different story. Don’t get all your news third-hand. Don’t even take just my word for it – this is why I say, “Click through. Read.” Just try to be sure your sources are presenting the FACTS accurately. They can have a different opinion, but beware when they start to alter facts.  Everyone has an agenda, here, and it’s time to figure out what yours is and who you stand with – but most importantly, why.

Sure, Garrett Foster was open-carrying an AK-47. He said some things about people who opposed the BLM protesters – called them “pussies.” He confronted the car driver who gunned him down – because that driver drove at high speed into a crowd, and Garrett was protecting his quadriplegic wife, who he’d been taking to the nightly protests for about 50 days. Now, these Trump supporters are saying, “Well, he deserved to die.”

But apparently, they had no problem with this:

What are they protesting? Public safety measures to slow a deadly pandemic. Not actual murder of citizens by the State. No, they want to go back to bars and restaurants. They can’t figure out how to cut their own hair. So they try to intimidate a woman Governor who is literally trying to save lives in the state she governs.

This thread (read the whole thread) from a man who’s very knowledgeable about guns, and proves there is such a thing as a responsible gun owner (we see far too few of them – it’s easy to forget they exist):

Even standing firm against nonsense on your favorite social media platforms helps, some – but don’t let it stop there. Make those posts public; share, so that others – inclined to be silent in order to keep the peace and not risk losing friends – may feel courageous, knowing they are not alone.

View at Medium.com

I cannot find it in me to be conciliatory about this, anymore. If we can’t push back, with facts and firmness, on family and friends, when they are drinking from the trough of nonsense, there’s no hope for change. I can only imagine how crushing it was, for Europeans and others who did nothing but wring their hands as Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in the 1930s. If you imagine you’d have handled things differently or better, now’s your chance.

And if you do nothing else, at least commit to voting against fascism in November. Make sure all your friends are registered to vote, too, and drive ’em to the polls if you can’t vote by mail. This goes for you Americans, and for those reading this from other countries where authoritarian rule is on the rise – vote like lives depend on it. Because they do.



Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Ming Qian

    I clicked on Mose Buchele’s tweet as you suggested, and I had to read it twice over because I couldn’t believe what I just read. My mind failed to comprehend this absurdity. Even now, I am struggling to gather my thoughts.

    I try not to comment publicly on political or social affairs in Singapore (I tend to delete them after even if I do, I have no idea what compels me to, honestly). However, I do engage with discussions and heated debates with my friends and family over the issues.

    All of us vote because voting is mandatory over here. When I see what happens in America as a result of low voter turnout, I am so glad that all of us are obligated to vote no matter what.

    I hope that SOME normalcy returns in November because it is exhausting to keep hearing these horrifying stories that happen to people who only mean well. The safety of peaceful protestors in Portland are in my thoughts and prayers tonight.
    Ming Qian recently posted…How to Create an Infographic for Bloggers and Students | ADMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Thank you, Ming Qian. It’s vitally important that we try to reach friends and family before they’re too far out of reach. I struggle to gather my thoughts, as well. Bottom line, for me: A “difference of opinion” is like Coke vs. Pepsi – it’s not really a value worth dying for. A “difference of morality” is where people are already suffering – do you stand up for them and work toward making their lives better and their opportunities more equitable, or do you joyfully or selfishly pile more misery on their heads and beat to a bloody pulp anyone who points out that you are immoral, thoughtless, and unkind? So I know where I stand on this. And my patience for the “Well, yes, but…” folks has run out.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Once upon a time, I would have sided with those who mourned the destruction of property – of historical artifacts and stories. The problem with that is the twisted morality of valuing THINGS over HUMAN LIVES.

      Statues of human beings, I now see as belonging in art museums or at the bottom of a lake. I now understand religious edicts against making idols and graven images. When the symbols of belief and the symbols of our values become the focus – when they are more precious to us than the actual beliefs and values – they should come down. When they were erected not as memorials or contemporary “honors” (in the case of Confederates, literally honoring traitors) but to intimidate people by saying, “These sentiments still exist, Boy, you’d better watch your step,” then they MUST come down. Here are some eye-opening facts: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/most-confederate-monuments-weren-t-built-until-the-rise-of-jim-crow/ar-BB14VIeM

  2. Mitch Mitchell

    I had to be said, and it was said well. I hope a lot of people see this and act on it, though I doubt it’ll happen. What I’ve noticed is people only see what’s happening in their own communities and what they can identify with. I always hope for more but I’ve stopped expecting it a long time ago. I’m too old and jaded to keep hope alive. I’ll keep writing about it and doing videos on it, but I know where my audience is and isn’t… and most of it isn’t paying any attention to me.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Why White People Don’t Understand Racism And What They Can Do About ItMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      You know, studies have shown that there’s a strong, instinctive, tribal sense that is more prevalent in conservatives than in liberals. In other words, there’s a genetic component to the ability to imagine one’s “tribe” as including people outside of immediate family and small groups (neighbors, church, etc). Given that, the fact that “people only see what’s happening in their own communities and what they can identify with” makes sense. But in order to share this planet with others, we need to LEARN quickly how to see all of its inhabitants as part of our “community.”

      We have to keep hope alive, you know. I hear you, but the alternative is just too awful. We have to pass hope like a torch to the next generation, even if faith and confidence that we might live to see it are guttering or gone.

      • Mitch Mitchell

        I hope you know the “we” is you and folks like you, because folks like me have tried for a lot of years, to the extent that some of the younger folks who I’d like to think are like me think I’m kind of a dinosaur… which doesn’t help because it means my audience is even smaller than I’d hoped… sniff!
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not For Everyone…My Profile

  3. Jhon Adam

    The same expression “well, yes but” for me also. People only see and care about what is happening in their community. Selfishness is not just a random act, it is a proof if being blind and unaware about others.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I think that selfishness has its roots in instinct and survival. But “no man is an island,” and if we are to survive in civilization, we all have to do better (I include myself in this – I’m hardly a paragon of altruism, nor is any other human being I know or know of!) We have to at least learn to set reasonable boundaries, take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, level the playing field as BEST we can for those who can – if only we remove obstacles in their path, and share the limited resources offered by the planet, because it is literally the ONLY planet we’ve got or will have in our lifetimes. Fighting about these things in principle is a huge waste of time, energy, and money. We could better spend all that figuring out, together, how to make them happen.


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