There is a saying not that unlike this african proverb that says, “He who tells the story makes the truth.” I find those words filled with meaning. Not only is it important to tell your story whether or not it agrees with public opinion; it’s also important to keep telling your story until it’s heard. It makes no difference whether your “story” is about corruption in government, about sexual harrassment, or sexual abuse, or domestic violence, or police brutality the only way to effect change is to speak up, and to continue speaking until you achieve your objective.
Dictators and facists love to discredit the press. They love to tell you how “fake” they are, how they manufacture stories, because if they can get you to stop listening then they as the people in power, get to control what you hear.
“The Country” appears to get weary of the on going spate of school shootings. But the fact of the matter is that the American Public have a very short attention span and as soon as one school has been shot up there is another story coming down the media pike and in a few days the story about violence in our schools is drowned out by other horrors or catastrophes. As a nation we have to learn that you can’t change anything if all you want are sound-bites.
I’m hoping that the student activists in Florida keep up their activism. But the reality is that it’s going to take more than them, and more than a few companies boycotting the NRA to change anything for our kids.
And I wonder… I really wonder….
This threat by the NRA to withhold funding from politicians… does anyone think that’s any sort of real threat? Because no matter what happens as a result of the Florida school shooting does anyone think that the NRA is no longer going to try to buy influence. They might back off from buying politicians for a few weeks or a few months but don’t for a moment think that they are going to turn tail and run — stop spending money to elect politicians who will support them. If all the politicians agreed to change gun laws you don’t really think that the NRA won’t donate to ANYONE! They’ll chalk a single lost battle up and proceed trying to win their war.
It makes a difference who tells the story. I’m not sure how much difference it makes in whether people are listening to the stories being told. It seems as if significant change depends on a social climate ready for change. Things happen when the time is right and the time becomes right after a story has been told over and over and over again. If we weary in telling the story now, that time might never arrive.