Dissension: The True Voice of America?

It seems like certain people can’t protest today without facing some consequences. In a time where accountability is more important than ever, what exactly are the costs of speaking your mind?

This panel is full of people who have paid the price of standing up for what they believe in. Some have faced intense backlash while others have been arrested. Actor and rapper TI, Civil Rights Activist Tamika Mallory, and Political Commentator for CNN, Symone Sanders discussed how the idea of dissension plays into the American climate in 2018.  The panel was moderated by The Hughley Truth host Guy Lambert.

The three speakers had all faced adversary before, and the way they chose to deal with it was to make powerful moves and statements. When Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was first nominated, Mallory and others were there protesting, and this was before the sexual assault allegations came out. Then, Mallory and other civil rights activists protested even more so by stopping traffic in front of the Supreme Court. As a result, she was arrested. Like Mallory, Sanders and TI have also been outspoken and penalized for it.

Sanders said that while being outspoken was important, what happened afterwards to the people affected was more important.

“Where do black people, other people of color, the LGBTQ community, poor people stand afterwards? Have we done the work to really move the ball or are we going to be worse off than we were before?” she said.

When discussing issues that affect minority communities on national television, those affected communities are rarely there to comment on it, and so Sanders is glad to have a platform on CNN where she be as outspoken as she wants to be.

They all asserted that speaking up in general was an important aspect of protesting. Just claiming to be for the cause was not enough. Sacrificing was necessary for the greater cause, and silence from allies did nothing but hurt it.

“What are you willing to sacrifice for your freedom?” TI said.

In the political climate, people can not afford to not get involved and engaged and the level at which people get involved differs per person. You may not be able to do the absolute most for the cause but the very least a person can do is just show up and show out, Sanders said.

Without the mass growth of people willing to speak up for what they believe in, the conditions in which minority groups live in America will not change.

Fatoumata Ceesay

Writer at Advertising Week
Fatoumata is a senior studying Journalism and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her favorite thing about the advertising industry is how creative and personal ads can be.

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