When the black people of America who changed the world -- the ones who won the most significant victory for racial equality in the history of human society -- were preparing for their demonstrations, here's what they did:
- They took the tallest men out of the demonstration pool, because they might seem intimidating.
- They practiced demonstrating by parading the demonstrators by a practice crowd, who would verbally and physically abuse the demonstrators -- to the point of throwing lit cigarettes in their hair. Anyone who reacted would be removed from the demonstration.
Is it any wonder that they succeeded? Is it any wonder that we stand in awe, a mere generation later, that there was legal grounds for discrimination on the basis of skin colour? It was our parents' generation. It was yesterday. And a relatively small minority of smart, strong people changed everything.
What I'm interested in, though, is this current idea of victimship. If you want to get anywhere these days, you need only to demonstrate that you're a victim -- of racial, cultural, or class discrimination, preferably. If you can do that, you will at least gain fame and attention. And for some people, that's plenty.
But I doubt that any long-lasting benefit will be gained that way. I do not deny that there are victims of racial discrimination today (numerous Muslim travellers would probably agree with me), but I do not see the people who are willing to take ownership of the problem, the people who are willing to lead with dignity rather than cower behind their complaints.
Show me a person who says, "I will take your abuse, and by taking it I will show you your error;" I will show you a leader. Gandhi knew it; Martin Luther King knew it. We are subjected to Moore-ish screed and hyperbole, when true leadership asks so much more -- and promises so much more.