“The Declaration of Independence said governments are not sacred things. The laws are not sacred things. Governments are set up by people to defend rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And when governments become destructive of those ends, it’s the right of the people to alter or abolish those governments.” — Howard Zinn
The obligation of the concerned citizen is to apply pressure. On the powers that be.
The reality for the concerned citizen is that that pressure must follow a fresh paradigm.
The overarching fact of present day life is that “marching” with placards in circles in Washington, D.C. or locally will no longer cut the muster without a supplement being part of the activist mix. Ditto for all present forms of protest, resistance, attempts to bring out needed institutional change.
I have one supplement to delineate — a plan for action, for the kind consideration of others — for those who will make time to get off of their treadmills long enough to listen and, then, engage in an in-depth Q&A. My contact information is given below.
It’s germane for anyone involved in elementary education, for nationwide no one is presently helping youngsters and their loved ones to self-educate and act with regard to the pressure alluded to above.
The thing is, people, in part, do not act in solidarity as necessary as a function of not really knowing the depth of our collective crises, not being aware of the “deadlines” attached to certain major issues, not wanting to face up to the personal transformations required to adequately address our horrid momentum. In many cases, decent folks are simply not conscious of what’s going on.
In fact, to properly deal with all of this it will be necessary to do more than effectively appeal to and pressure the powers that be. It will be necessary to secure significant reins of decision-making capacity for trustworthy, ordinary citizens who are uninterested in career in politics.
That is something that can and should be a part of the curriculum on the elementary school level.
How to do that. How to be a part of doing that with others. It is NOT addressed in Civics classes.
It can and should serve as the basis for unprecedented parent participation.
And it necessarily will require that the sources of information which people embrace be discussed. It should be highly instructive for any educator using any academic approach to note that that discussion is not taking place virtually anywhere in the country at present on the elementary school level. The “discussion” cannot be postponed until students enter high school or gain entrance into so-called higher educational circles. In part, because it is far to rare to fine such interaction taking place even on those levels. In other words, as a rule, the discussion never takes place for most.
Although I am not focusing mainly on civil disobedience in this article, I believe it is worthwhile to conclude by underscoring that in many cases what’s known as “civil disobedience” is part of what must be discussed among very young students studying Democracy. A PBS broadcast from 2007 does a decent job of describing what the term means according to one of my mentors, Howard Zinn.
Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.