Muftic: Fighting violence with non-violence
Non violent protests have usually been associated with social movements combating oppression. Sit ins, marches, and sign waiving have become of a part of the American landscape, but they are usually initiated by groups seeking change. Fighting violence with violence is not always a smart strategy nor is it the most effective one. What could work even better is using those same non violent protest techniques in counter protesters. If we have learned anything from history of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others, in the long run, techniques they used have worked better to further their cause than did violence.
Fighting violent demonstrations with violent counter-demonstrations only heats up the conflict and can it opens them up to counter charges that weaken their case, as happened after Charlottesville. Trump tried to exploit the violence of the counter protesters , but fortunately for the counter protesters, he bungled it with a “plague on both houses” approach, by claiming “many sides” were guilty of violence. This is what generated the “moral equivalency” charges against him. He was referring to the violent techniques used by both sides, but the public saw it as approval or tolerance of the ideology of hate groups. He then sealed his fate forever by defining himself as being a fellow traveler with racists by saying “there were some fine people “in the KKK and white supremacist demonstrators. Trump’s approach was not popular with most Americans,, with polls showing only 28 percent approved of his handling of Charlottesville. Nonetheless, he maintained job approval of 77 percent of Republicans per an Aug. 23 Quinnipiac poll while his nationwide job approval sank to 35 percent.
What did happen after Charlottesville shows how peaceful, non violent marches of overwhelming numbers can bring public sentiment to their side. A mostly peaceful marches of masses of at least 20,000 in Boston cowed the “free speech” alt-right event. It makes the alt-right look like a fringe group regardless of actual numbers supporting them.What may come as a shock to some is how large the numbers are of those who approve of the ideology of hate and violence. A recent ABC poll found one in ten thought it was OK to hold neo-Nazi and white supremacist views. The alt-right demonstrators in Charlottesville basked in the glow of Trump’s remarks that “there were fine people”“in their ranks and their violence was no worse than Antifa or Black Lives Matter counter activities. Since when have “fine people” raised their hands in a Nazi salute or chanted hate slogans?
Public shunning is another tool in the non-violent toolbox. We saw that action taken immediately following Trump’s pronouncements. Corporate and labor leaders and artists withdrew from Administration’s advisory boards, causing their disbanding. A large number of GOP leaders likewise distanced themselves from racism and hatred. They did not want to be associated with anyone who showed sympathy to the ideology of racial and religious hatred.
Shunning is also a physical but peaceful way for individuals or groups of people to show disapproval by resigning from organizations, religious or secular, that refuse to condemn racism and hate speech. Individuals can walk away from, hang up on, and unfriend hate filled conversations or postings.
An essential part of the shunning technique is stating the reason for departing. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.