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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Is it time to protest all the protesting?

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

"Protest! Show your outrage, attract media attention and change will occur."

Protest is the name of the game. If you want to impact change - regardless of the merits of those changes - all you have to do is formally protest. It really doesn't matter if the protesters can be counted on one hand. Protest! Show your outrage, attract media attention and change will occur. Or at least that's been the trend for the past few decades.

Minority contractors in St. Louis blocked the tracks of the region's MetroLink rail system last week to protest the lack of minority-owned contractors. The protesters said they were bringing the situation to the public light by creating an inconvenience. Time will tell if the tactic works.

MetroLink officials said they have a policy to award 20 percent of their construction contracts to minority-owned businesses - either those owned by racial minorities or by women. But the protesters want none of that. They are demanding that racial minorities be carved out a separate category to avoid being lumped in with women-owned businesses.

So if protesting works, then much of middle America is missing the boat. I propose the following protests in the near future to show outrage.

I propose that we lay down in front of the Division of Social Services to protest the alarming number of people on public assistance who are otherwise healthy and able to work. The growing number of people who rely on the public dole for their daily bread, housing, utilities, medical care, etc. is alarming and only by bringing this to the media attention through protest will change occur.

I also propose a protest at the Social Security offices to bring attention to the growing number of families receiving SSI benefits when it's highly questionable if they are the true intended recipients of this federal program.

I propose laying down in front of school buses as they bring students to school unless those students can show completed homework assignments and a readiness to learn.

I propose a vocal protest at the hospitals where literally thousands burden the health care system of the entire community with minor medical concerns only because they are not paying one red cent for the care.

And I propose protesting at the corner of Ruth and Branum where an open air drug market has developed with little protest from the neighborhood that either condones it or ignores it.

Sure, there are ample areas to protest. It's just that some are more absurd than others.

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