‘’We don’t need your indignation because it does nothing but centre you. We need you to use your privilege.’’ Remaining silent is already a choice and a decisive action. You choose not to care and ignore what’s happening. We too easily overlook inaction. Your inaction, in addition to the others’, can have a real impact on the end result. That’s exactly what happen when you choose not to vote, in the end you end up giving more weight to the persons who choose to do so. But conversely, saying something doesn’t necessarily make you an active person. In fact, complaint is the worst enemy of activism. It gives people the feeling that they have a voice while they speak in a vacuum. Complaints represent the dangerous inactive majority. Everyone has an opinion, but only a few would stand out against it. If you have the energy and the time to complain then you don’t have any excuse not to make something about it. Even a little but meaningful action like sending a mail/email to the right person can already make a difference.
The word Activism has been overused. Mostly because of the media, we usually associate this term with images of an isolated group of people making crazy things in public to get attention. The media will interview the most sectarian individual of the group and then you, distant spectator, end up having negative feelings about the practice of activism in general. I’m not saying those events are useless but many actors know very well how to cleverly reverse the situation and radicalize a movement. They focus the attention on the methods to discredit the message and occult the substance. When you see so much energy being patronized, you unconsciously think that nothing else could ever make a difference. The best excuse of people for not taking action is to think that their small inputs will not make any difference or that someone is already campaigning harder for that cause. I don’t blame this cynical thinking because, yes, it’s hard to be heard but not doing anything gives even less chance to make a change… Don’t count on others if we can’t already count on you. This is why I like to read about this idea of ‘’low-key activism’’ as Kai Brach defines it. Nothing revolutionary, just little actions that are already accessible to anyone but that we call activism : like sending an email, signing a petition, donating money, etc. It doesn’t have to take a lot of individual efforts to grab attention, it takes a mass and targeted citizen mobilisation.