Enough Activists, But Not Enough Convergence

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nathan Schneider has a fantastic interview with veteran civil rights activist James Lawson. Some choice quotes…

No social movement is going to take place if it doesn’t have roots in what’s going on in Cleveland, Ohio, or Washington, DC, or way across Georgia. That’s how movements take place, and that’s how movements have taken place in the United States—not by national policy, but by local groups assessing their own scene and trying to be real about how to start working.

I maintain that we have more than enough activists and activism in our country. What we do not have is a unity of understanding about how you go about putting that activism to work. We’re all over the ballpark. Very few people are playing the nine positions of the ball team that you’re going to need to defend, or have an offense.

A part of what nonviolent practice and activity has done for me is it has deeply escalated what I call my “confidence in the universe,” and my willingness to trust in its care. It has also greatly expanded my heart at the point of seeing people in a different light. I think that that’s at the fore of any kind of spirituality; it’s becoming more human. To become more human, your heart has to become more compassionate, more inclusive of other human beings.

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