North Texas Daily

Trump protesters could use Dr. King’s wisdom

Trump protesters could use Dr. King’s wisdom

Trump protesters could use Dr. King’s wisdom
November 24
18:14 2016

As Donald Trump’s inauguration gets closer, the people of the United States get louder.

Multiple peaceful protests have ensued since Trump won the election. Protesters have taken the streets of Los Angeles, Detroit, Minneapolis, Kansas City and New York, including a massive protest outside of Trump Tower.

Unfortunately, some of these protests have been violent, with a Los Angeles protest leading into over 200 arrests.

Portland, Oregon’s protest saw 112 people arrested on Nov. 12 once it turned into a “riot.” Police arrived in full riot gear with tear gas and flash grenades, attempting to thin the crowd out as there were apparent reports of vandalism and traffic disruptions.

As they tried to disperse the crowd with violence, they were met back with violence once protesters reportedly threw “burning projectiles” at police. This caused officers to arrest multiple protesters.

Protests can be perceived as either positive or negative. Sometimes the positivism lacks shine because we are angry and lose our tempers. We lose sight of what we aim for and let our anger turn us into the very thing we are protesting.

In times where we are challenged to not meet violence with violence, it’s important to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s adoption of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance. Dr. King composed six steps for nonviolent action that helped him succeed in gaining civil rights for all African-Americans.

Step 1: Gather Information
Step 2: Educate Others
Step 3: Remain Committed
Step 4: Peacefully Negotiate
Step 5: Take Action Peacefully
Step 6: Reconcile.

We continue to implement Step 1 and 2, as many protesters are familiar with media literacy and have gathered reliable news sources post-election. Social media has afforded the general public with the ability to spread news quickly.

The most crucial steps for protesters are 3, 4, 5 and 6.

“Remaining committed” is important to all causes. Numbers mean everything, and numerous voices will attempt to intimidate the opposition.

The louder we are, the harder it will be to get away from our voices. Don’t let Trump’s tweets about your protest being unfair sway you. As long as you are peaceful, you have a right to be heard.

“Peaceful negotiations” will be beneficial to both sides since it’s the perfect time to make compromises. Taking action peacefully is perhaps the hardest thing protesters struggle with, as each side picks and prods at one another.

“Take action peacefully” because violence will get us nowhere. Dr. King reminds us that being peaceful is the only way you can truly win. You have a right to your opinion, just as Trump fans do to theirs. As long as you stay peaceful, you will have a stronger and more respected outcome.

“Reconciliation” is the most vital step to completing the six-step process. It’s something Trump and his team are attempting, but miss the context of.

Succeeding means compromise, as we can’t have everything we want all at once. Show how your stances are progressive to society, not how they’re going to be negative. Remember that forgiveness is key.

Following these steps will aid activists in having a greater outcome of success. Even if we don’t, we can say in solidarity that we handled things in the most plausible way possible.

“Through using this method wisely and courageously, we will emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ into the bright daybreak of freedom and justice,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Victoria Baghaei

Victoria Baghaei

I write opinions, yo.

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