FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Our Neighbors in North Carolina

I am sure, if you have gone to even one protest in your life, that you know the chant: “This is what democracy looks like.” That is  pretty much it, over and over. We are in the street, banging on water jugs, and this is what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.

I hate it because we can’t simply chant about democracy and have one that is actually good for people. I, of course, dislike chanting in general though, seeing it as a rather loud and mindless way to spend time I could have used having a conversation where I and another person were given the opportunity to grow together. But I digress. Sort of.

A society can be democratic and unjust, if you believe  in the concept of justice anyway, and/or cruel and/or hypocritical. We can be democratic and be a whole host of other things.

There is a logical fallacy called The Appeal to Popularity, wherein one claims that a position is true because many people believe it to be true. Many people can be quite wrong, about  facts, and about morality, especially when they do not speak to one another and are, in fact, many people who are totally alone in their thoughts.

Democracy isn’t the goal of our work, as far as I am concerned, though it may  be a pretty good partial strategy. The goal is goodness, morality: a way of living together that is humane. And goodness, morality and humanity are  realities we build with other people and to do that we have to do something much  harder than march, or gripe (or say classist things about Stupid Rednecks), or chant, or even petition — as miserable an activity as that is — we have to talk with each other. We have to inform and be informed about the reality of the other and oneself.

I would like to suggest that a  good response to North Carolina may well not be a snarky reiteration of the rights of the individual — which damn if we don’t have down to such a degree that we don’t even know who our neighbor is anymore, as we say all the time, chantlike, to whomever our choir is; and isn’t that the problem here, organized insularness? — but a greater movement toward community. In the strategy of democracy this may be our best option. Inclusive community starts with me and you.

Windy Cooler is a psychology student at Goddard College. A long-time organizer and former teenage-mother-welfare-queen, she writes about the emotional lives of activists. She has two sons and lives in suburban DC. She can be reached at: WindyCooler@gmail.com.


More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail