The clips we watched in class last week that revolved around protest movements during the AIDS crisis were very poignant to me. Specifically, I found it very moving to watch a man dump his partner’s ashes over the fence of the White House, especially because it took me a moment to realize what was happening. Additionally, it was thought-provoking to hear one man say that they were staging protests on the same week the that Quilt was in town. I don’t remember his exact words, but mentioned that the Quilt had become an acceptable form of speaking about AIDS and those who died, whereas other forms of protest were not seen as acceptable. This made me think about Black Lives Matter and the movement’s forms of protest and resistance. It seems to me that no form of action that BLM takes is seen as acceptable by mainstream media; if people stand in streets, block traffic, etc., they are seen as “thugs,” but if they utilize passive forms of protest like Colin Kaepernick they are still seen as ungrateful or causing a scene. To me, it seems like the “acceptable” form of protest according to mainstream media and discussion is found only in the era of Martin Luther King Jr., a thing of the past.

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3 responses »

  1. oliviaklugman says:

    I found this post really thought provoking; I’ve always carried the thought that “non-violent” protest is the most acceptable form of protest, but many movements nowadays need to take measures that the mainstream media would consider “violent” but do not pose a physical threat to other people in order to convey their message. Carrying signs and marching doesn’t do much anymore. People need to take extreme measures, similar to the man who dumped his partner’s ashes on the white house lawn, to truly convey their message. I agree that BLM protests have been widely criminalized even though there is limited direct physical violence involved.

  2. carlywinant says:

    This is really interesting to think about, this idea of there being no real way to win in protesting and questioning what is “acceptable.” I don’t know what the right answer to that would be honestly and what the most “acceptable” way to go about it would be because I feel like in this day in age protests will more than likely get negatively received by authorities no matter what.

  3. krystalyiranli says:

    I actually don’t know if there is an “acceptable” way in protesting. One of the main reasons why people are having protest movements is that they are being treated unequally by the dominant group and the main group these people are targeting is the mainstream. This explains why there isn’t really an “acceptable” way to protest because in these movements, the mainstream is always the one being criticized.

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