We live in a democracy where everyone supposedly has the right to various human rights and the freedom to express their opinions without usurpation given that they also are aware of the accompanying responsibilities to these inherent rights. But if you look around you, you’d see that things are far from ideal and it is always a struggle to get what you so rightly deserve and to be heard amidst all the noise and clatter. Certain people are emboldened to stand up and fight for their rights and at times ask for help from the majority to help get their message across. Activism has long since been an avenue for people to speak up and at times resist against the institutions if needed and lots of people have even died for their principles and causes they support.
Most speakers are eloquent and have a way with words and it is but a must for a cause as theirs that needs fighting and breaking down a lot of walls and overcoming countless obstacles thrown their way. And what better place to foster this activist spirit than in campuses where students who aren’t yet used to the way the real world works are so engrossed in their definition of all things ideal. Students won’t hesitate to join arms in something they passionately believe in and since they only have themselves to think of, they won’t have any problem listening to activist talks or going on rallies that are meant to send a specific message.
“I don’t even like children!” Handler said, as she lamented what she considers the apathy of the NRA and the favoring of guns over children. Despite the weightiness of the topics discussed, humor was sprinkled throughout the talk, which Handler considers crucial.
“I think we should make fun of all the things that keep us apart, and try to use it as glue to keep us together,” Handler said.
This event is part of Handler’s year-long tour of town-hall style events in which she spreads her social message. In a separate interview with The Bucknellian, Handler discussed the rationale for embarking on this tour. She cancelled her Netflix show, “Chelsea,” after two seasons in order to get more involved politically, because: “it was too upsetting for [her] not to participate and not to do something.” After being called an elitist, Handler realized that she was living a life of privilege and challenged herself to change.
After all, students have witnessed their fair share of injustices in this world despite their young age such as rising incidents of gun violence at schools where the perpetrators are usually students themselves. Many student activists fight for stricter gun control that can hopefully prevent these violent attacks on students in their second homes and prevent the unnecessary loss of another human life. Most students can relate to this fear as we have all witnessed various attacks in different states over the past years. No wonder more and more students join up these protests seeing how much things have changed in the country and that safety and securityhaves always been on heightened alert because of various threats.
It is interesting to see the parallels between BLM and the earlier movement led by King, both of which have had non-violence as a tenant. Like King’s movement, BLM is vilified in the press and by conservatives as the cause of the violence against them. According to those in power, the civil rights movement was built by outside agitators, and similarly, according to officials in Ferguson, BLM protests were cause by outside agitators. Paradoxically, they were each also told that silence will make their problems go away – that if they stop agitating then justice will eventually come. This preposterous notion haunted the civil rights movement and continues to dog the BLM movement today.
On the 50th anniversary of his assassination, we must remember King for his universal message of peace and non-violence. We must remember that this message was not “tame” but radical. It was radical in that it called people to fight for change but also maintain their morality. This was a tough battle in the face of vehement hatred and the frequent indignities faced by African Americans and other minorities. As King stated, “Hate is dangerous. It is as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated.”
We just commemorated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination and he is a prominent figure in the country who stood up for what he believed in even at the expense of his life. He is an icon when it comes to patriotism and his words ring true until now when a lot of injustices are being made here and there. A lot of students these days still look up to him seeing how much of a joke many of today’s leaders have become who were never truly genuine in their talks of helping the country and its people recover and become great again. Student activists who find comfort in his words and the hope that real positive changes happen will likely never cease to be discouraged and continue walking on streets with placards in hand fighting for causes that mean a lot to them that they believe will benefit the American society in general especially for the future generations.