Getting to Better Signs

In response to my last post, “Getting to Good“, several engaging peace readers sent  photos of signs displayed at the counter-rally on Boston Commons last Saturday, when members of a number of social justice groups faced off against the group rallying on behalf of “free speech.” This rally and counter-rally were responses to the  August 12 violence at a White Nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA.

Consider the signs in these photos.  To what extent do you think they can be effective if their goal is to promote nonviolent anti-racist activism?  Are some better than others?  Which ones? Why?  Have you seen anti-racism signs that you think are more effective than these might be?


















To me, these signs serve their purpose more effectively than other banners I saw full of curses.  I am definitely not convinced that blazoning the F word on an anti-anything placard helps any cause .

Moreover, when the cause is one in which I believe, like the fight against racism (or environmental devastation or hunger), it distresses me that the advocates for these causes cannot conceive of a more civil manner to promote their goals. Where is the evidence that expletives resolve conflicts?

And are the bearers of hateful anti-racism placards really supporters of equal rights, social justice, and peace, or are they mostly trouble-makers, spoilers, infiltrators?

Again, I would love to have you submit your views on these questions. Thank you.

This entry was posted in Champions of peace, Democracy, Nonviolence, politics, racism, resistance and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Getting to Better Signs

  1. LB says:

    I agree with your greater point, Kathie, although I think it probably has less to do with choosing the right signage and more to do with our own inner psychic states, motivations, conditioning and level of political awareness. The politics of group-think depends upon pitting one side against the other, while justifying or denying similar expressions of systematic violence within its own ranks.

    This week there were two good online articles addressing some of these issues, both worth reading.

    One appeared on the Black Agenda Report website and is titled “How “Both Sides” Forge U.S. Supremacy: The Nationalistic Hypocrisies of “Violence” and “Free Speech” by Sam Husseini:

    The other is on Counterpunch: “To See or to Nazi: Trump’s Moral Blindspot is America’s” by Jeffrey St. Clair:

    The thing is, we really can’t convince anyone of anything they don’t want to hear or believe ~ which is why I’ve pretty much stopped debating with friends (except for voicing simple statements, asking if they’d like to learn more) and why many of these counter-protests seem counterproductive. It’s like watching an exercise in mass projection, with each side feeding the dark, growing and always-hungry, unconscious collective beast.

    We show people who we are by our choices, what it is we care about, and how we handle ourselves during conflicts . . . how we treat people we disagree with, how *inclusive* our circle of concern really is. Does it include life and people we don’t ever see, both inside the U.S. and outside its borders?

    Based on the violent effect some of these counter-protests to be having, I have mixed feelings.

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. “Martin Luther King Jr., “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches.”

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