Do Protests Work?

Food for Thought

It seems it’s about time we stop protesting and think of a different way to solve this problem. Would anyone disagree that protests haven’t worked? Perhaps there have been incremental improvements, but they are barely noticeable. After all, isn’t everyone angry partly because nothing has changed? As they say, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” If we really want to solve this problem, why do we keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

The problem with protests is that it’s too satisfying. It’s a way to vent all sorts of negative emotions, like anger, frustration, and sadness. Even if those emotions were pent up in our systems for unrelated reasons, they still work as a form of sublimation. It’s sort of like screaming loudly about how dirty the streets are. If it does anything, it just puts pressure on other people to clean up. But if the other people are not responding to your scream, because they have become numb to your scream, nothing will change.

In the US, where leadership is worshiped like a religion, everyone seems to assume that they are not in the position to solve these problems. Solving problems is for someone up there, like “leaders” and “experts.” They assume that all they can do is to make a bunch of noise.

If we want to solve this problem, why not start acting like consultants hired to reform the police? What is the first thing we need to do? If we are suspecting institutional racism, we need to learn how their current system works. We need to get to know it intimately, which means reading a lot of organizational documents and research papers, not news articles from the mainstream media. We also need to collect lots of data to gain an objective understanding of the extent of the problem. To expedite the process, we can delegate the tasks and share the results over social media.

’m sure some people will be making fun of us by saying, “Oh, now you think you are an expert of institutional racism?” Well, the “experts” haven’t done a good job so far, have they? So, why don’t we all step up to the plate? What do we have to lose?