The Cause

Are you down for the cause?

I ask this question because I see so many people that are quick to discredit an issue. They search for anything that will prove an issue is false. Thus, it is a “false narrative.” I’ve seen plenty of people apply this thought process to Black Lives Matter and the Dakota Pipeline. Sometimes, a person’s search for knowledge is so they can be properly informed on the subject. Other times, it’s because they don’t want to hear what another has to say.

Other times, it’s because they don’t want to hear what another has to say.

This subject is inspired by a conversation I had with an old college friend on Facebook. Whenever social issues arise, he’s usually on the side of law and order. Myself? I’m a bleeding heart. More often than not, I understand why (insert group) is mad. Thus, I understand the cause. We’ve had plenty of discussions on politics or race issues, and we always are on opposite sides. Finally, when discussing the pipeline, I asked him a very pertinent question.

“Have you ever noticed when people voice an issue you’re against that group? Or, you search for a reason to discredit them?”

He took a while to respond, but his friends rushed to his defense. Law and order. Protestors are criminals. Support the police. The usual sentiments from that crowd flowed freely. Finally, my friend responded and something very interesting.

“At first I was fine with the protests as long as they were peaceful. Now that it’s not peaceful. I’m totally against it.

This statement was incredibly telling. His focus on the issue was solely on how the protest was conducted. As soon as the protest turned into a riot, it solidified his opinion on the pipeline issue. He went on to state some of the usual “I’m against the protest” statements and all of a sudden it clicked.

He was never about the cause in the first place.

His mind was already made up about the pipeline issue. It just took law enforcement action for him to be completely cemented in his thoughts.

I find a lot of people think like this. Even myself at times. We don’t actually take to truly hear another person’s issues. Instead, we listen to reply. We live to tell each other how wrong the other is, and explain why we’re right. The ability to step back and see the entire situation is lost upon many Americans. We rarely ask why someone is upset. We don’t care why.

We were never down for the cause in the first place.

[Image Credit Flickr via Marcela]

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