Effective Activism, True Allies

In response to the First Lady being heckled and what ensued after. Click here and read up if you aren’t aware of recent goings on.


First of all. I’m all for activism. If you want to go the route of heckling or interrupting speeches as your form of protest, go on ahead.

But be effective. 

Choose your venue and choose the speaker wisely.


I don’t happen to believe that that particular mode of protest is very effective, but whatever. What youth wasn’t spent overseas was spent in Berkeley California. The hotbed and birthplace of a lot of American protesting. In my teens I got myself arrested protesting Apartheid during a sit in at UC Berkeley, exhorting them to divest from South Africa.

I’ve marched, I’ve picketed, I’ve boycotted. I’ve come to find that those sorts of protests are effective only if timed well, organised well, and supported by people, groups, coalitions and organisations that know all that, and know what the heck they are doing. Anything else is just a time waster and highly ineffective.

I held my dorm mates and friends back from protesting and getting arrested on the eve of the first gulf war. It was too little, too late, and not well supported or well organized either. (again, I mention timing). Hence, not an effective protest at all.

While I was still underage as a college Freshman, they were legally adults, and to be arrested and have a record over what was by then a done deal was ridiculous. Better to have been protesting and filling the campus jail cells during the saber rattling stages several months earlier, if at all.


If you think that the President needs to put some more action on the gay rights front, all well and good. However:

The First Lady has nothing to do with that at all. 

The protester either knew all that and was simply using the private venue with a high profile speaker as a platform to garner attention, or she thought contacting the FLOTUS via interruption and yelling would make things happen for her issue.

Either way, I imagine the First Lady was sick and TAHD of being used and abused and responded accordingly.


I want to take a moment to remind everyone that Michelle Obama has been the first FLOTUS ever to be a such a public and vocal supporter of gay rights in this country.

And I say vocal, because the taking of action like writing and issuing bills, and national legislation is not in her job description. We got a President and senators and representatives and congress etc for all of that.


And with that, I want to remind everyone that Barack Obama has also been the first President to not only be a vocal supporter of gay rights, but one that has taken action on that front as well.

Not aware of all that he has done for LGBT? CLICK HERE.

So to come at him and the First Lady as if they haven’t done a damn thing, or haven’t addressed any gay rights issues at all really bothers me.


People are behaving like things happen in a vacuum. That there isn’t any past history or even present problems that have to be factored into every situation.

I have been tracking America’s reaction to the idea of having a Black president since Barack Obama first announced his candidacy. I have been tracking America’s reaction to having a Black President and a Black First Family in the White House.

First Family 1

I have been tracking America’s response to their Black First Lady. I have been tracking America’s response to the First Kids being two Black girls.

It hasn’t been pretty.

That’s me being polite and also me not listing the hundreds of incidents of the crap that the First Family has had to put up over the years. That’s also me hoping that you are aware of just what FLOTUS and her family have been through, and if you aren’t aware then lucky privileged you.


At the end of the day, the main thing that was accomplished with this ill-conceived publicity stunt was to shine a light on the Ally Fail within an activist organisation. And I say that’s a good thing.

What they choose to do with the lesson being taught is up to them.

Note this tho:

We saw you with your racist code words and turns of phrase.

We know the track record of the other activist groups that came out in support of your tropey stereotype laden response to how FLOTUS responded to your actions.

We know the track record within your own activist group.

You are decades late to the inclusion table, but glad to see you are interested in maybe taking a seat perhaps.


LGBTQ POC? A picture speaks a thousand words. There’s a pink code alright.


I’m taken aback at the demographics pictured above.

About Awake BW

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