Democracy Now! | Democracy Now!
Many of the groups exhibiting political agency at the present moment are some of the most disadvantaged and marginalized. Those concerned with the health of our democracy should fear only the quiet acquiescence of the oppressed. In contrast, we should celebrate the recent round of protests as a sign that our democracy remains strong.
clarifying moment in American history - The Atlantic
Similarly, small groups have resorted to vigilante violence during the protests of recent months. But to confuse the reprehensible actions of the few with the broad-based protest of the many is a strategic misrepresentation we have witnessed throughout history. The very movements that brought this nation’s practices into concert with its best ideals—the civil rights movement that brought down Jim Crow, the labor movement that resulted in regulations against child labor, the women’s suffrage movement, and even the Boston Tea Party, our country’s earliest and perhaps most defining moment of public protest—were, in some quarters, widely viewed at the time as threatening and disruptive. In all of these cases, opponents could—and frequently did—seize on the violent actions of lone individuals or an aberrant minority in order to distract, disregard, and deny the democratic claims of citizens who raised their voices for change.
These vibrant cases ask readers to weigh choices and consequences, wrestle with momentous decisions, and come to their own conclusions. They provoke us to rethink which factors make the difference between constructive and destructive conflict, and they provide an opportunity to reengage the passionate debates that are crucial to a healthy society. invites us all to experience American history anew and come away with a deeper understanding of our democracy’s greatest strengths and vulnerabilities as well as its extraordinary resilience over time.