Feeling good while doing nothing
By all means, let’s have an Indigenous Peoples Day observance in the United States. It’s long overdue.
OK. Now, let’s move on to the next politically correct cause, raise hell about something else, and pat ourselves on the backs for — you guessed it — resisting.
Oops. Forgot to deface a Christopher Columbus statue. My bad. Perhaps I can make up for it by slapping a RESIST sticker on my car.
We spend a lot of time these days criticizing Congress — both parties — for not getting anything done. Meanwhile, what do some of the loudest critics of “the establishment” accomplish?
Well, they intimidate a speaker here, a speaker there on college campuses. They break a few windows, burn a few cars, hit a few cops with thrown bottles. They tear down a few statues of Confederate soldiers and dump red paint on a few monuments to Columbus.
I could go on and on. But the common thread is that for all the hell the anti-establishment types raise, I defy you to point out any positive, concrete good they accomplish.
That’s not the idea, however. Instead, as is appropriate in our brave new virtual world, the “resistance” makes people feel good about themselves.
Let’s go back to protests over the Columbus Day holiday (which, incidentally, was a day off from work only for federal government employees, as far as I can tell). The protesters tell us Columbus was a colonialist oppressor of native Americans. He shouldn’t be honored. Instead, we should celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.
Pray tell, what real good does that do for native Americans?
None, obviously. But it’s easier than looking into the Bureau of Indian Affairs and finding ways to make it serve native Americans better. It’s easier than finding ways to help them get out of the grinding poverty from which many suffer.
That’s the key: It’s the painless way for some folks to pat themselves on the back, go back to their I-phones, and text their buddies that they’re really doing something.
I suspect native Americans who noticed the flap over Columbus Day got something of a bitter laugh out of the protesters. Gee, thanks for all the help!
There’ll be more of the same. Rest assured that within a couple of months, the Resist crew will find something else about which to complain, so they can delude themselves that they’re doing some good.
Mike Myer can be reached at email@example.com.