When Taking A Stand Isn’t Easy

Raise your hand if you saw or re-posted the link to Google’s “End Piracy, Not Liberty” landing page (or something of the like) yesterday.

*raises hand*

yay!  Isn’t taking a stand for something you believe in fun??  As young people, we seem to have this natural itch to be involved in some sort of activism.  We do crazy things like participate in protests, participate in awareness campaigns, or join the Peace Corps.   And, usually (though definitely not always), doing such things amounts to a good and productive use of our time.

But let’s get real for a second.

To be clear: I’m glad so many people are against SOPA—it’s a scary bit of legislation.  I’m even glad so many people took a stand against it and (hopefully) called their congressman/congresswoman to make sure SOPA/PIPA don’t get passed (because if all you did was post the link, you missed the entire point of the exercise).  …And if there were no one at all re-posting the links, awareness wouldn’t have gotten around.  I get it.  Re-posting is good.

Is it bad, then, that I’m a little annoyed with the tendency to pat ourselves on the back for “taking a stand” when it seems to amount to nothing more than following the crowd?  If you stand up in a football stadium when your team scores a touchdown, are you really “taking a stand,” or are you just caught up in the moment with everyone else?  …Who doesn’t like a touchdown?  Especially when the other team winning means you essentially lose your right to free speech?

My point?  Good job for taking a stand against SOPA/PIPA.  It was the right thing to do.  But there’s more good to be done.  You just may not get as many “likes” on Facebook for standing up for it.

Example:

39 years ago this weekend, it became legal for a woman to take the life of the baby developing inside of her.  And around the country this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will participate in peaceful protests against that law—mourning the loss of over 50 million lives taken since 1973.

You probably won’t hear much about these protests in the news.  Unfortunately, standing up for life hasn’t proven quite as popular as standing up for free speech has these past couple of days.  But if you re-posted the anti-SOPA/PIPA links yesterday, why not re-post this?