It’s everywhere, and it’s my least favourite protest sign, the “I can’t believe we still have to protest this crap/stuff/bullshit” sign. It’s a staple in the protest world; a well liked staple. But why do we think we don’t have to protest this crap? Were the persons of the 60’s and 70’s suppose to take care of this crap for us? Because they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, they fought hard for valuable changes, but we still need more.
Whenever something which exposes inherent sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, etc (such as via research, lawsuit, etc) becomes public knowledges then people are shocked; enraged; and say things like, do they realize this is the 21st century? Yeah, this is the 21st century, but maybe we havent come as far as we think. Why do we think that we are so great? By saying “this is the 21st century” we somewhat denote that we have overcome all these isms and phobias. Why do we think that?
Society is still a structural patriarchy which is inherently sexist and homophobic. We live in a capitalist society which is inherently classist. We live in a primarily white society, where white persons are displayed predominately on media and persons of colour are personified as “gangster”, “ghetto” and “gonna bust a cap in dat ass”.
Then when a study comes out showing a woman with a masters degree make the same as a man with an undergraduate degree; when a black man is shot and killed because he “looked like a threat”; and when persons with disabilities are denied basic access rights we think, how can this be?
Were not as far ahead as people think we are. We still have extreme phobias, isms, and discrimination that people have to deal with, a lot of which as been internalized and normalized.
So the next time you think about making a “I can’t believe we have to protest this” sign please remember, the change hasen’t been made yet to not protest that crap.