At an activist meeting held at the local town hall on Monday, in which several grassroots organizations met to talk about next steps after the AHCA was successfully shot down late last week, a new activist became visibly fidgety as people spoke.
Bradley Wilber, a graduate student, joined several email lists for activist organizations after the election of President Donald Trump. “I want to be on the right side of history,” Wilber wrote in his personal diary that he posts to his Tumblr page. “So I signed up to receive emails from organizations working to take down the forces of evil in the White House.”
At the time, Wilber was unaware that these emails would call upon him to take specific daily actions toward social justice. “First they tell me to become familiar with the issues, then they tell me to get familiar with my representatives, and then they ask me to email, call, AND write letters to these representatives so that my voice can be heard for change. What’s next? Are they going to ask me to show up to where these people work and make a public declaration?” Wilber later checked his inbox to discover that, yes, these organizations did in fact want him to make appearances at the meetings where these representatives would be present.
Despite these setbacks, Wilber determined to push ahead with personal activism after seeing several successful attempts to halt President Trump’s initiatives. Eventually, Wilber’s friends started to notice a change in the way he spoke. “There was a moment where Bradley would talk about what activists were doing to stop Trump from banning immigrants, and in the next moment he had changed the word ‘activists’ to ‘we,’ and even sometimes ‘I,’” Bradley’s classmate Kimberly Well noted. “All of a sudden it was things Bradley was doing to stop President Trump, although everything he was doing remained nonspecific and vague.”
Yes, Wilber seemed fast-tracked for quick activist status; that is, until Monday’s town hall meeting provoked a different side of him. As Wilber became increasingly more fidgety during the town hall meeting, a spokesperson from the Grassroots Movement for Grass Smoking (GMGS) asked Wilber if he was okay, as he seemed “decidedly not chill.”
“I’m fine,” Wilber responded, before adding, “It’s just that—when does the activism end, exactly? No. That came out wrong. But. I guess I’m just wondering when—umm—when do we get thanked for doing all of this work? Don’t you guys ever have banquets or, like, robing ceremonies? How will people know I am an activist without me telling them, is what I’m asking.”
After a few seconds of sustained silence and glares from the Party-less People for Change (PPC), Wilber understood the error of saying some words out loud, as sincerely as he meant them. After all, Wilber had taken an undergraduate course in body language and reminded himself of his professor’s advice: “Speak not what you think, but what you think others are thinking.” In forgetting the wisdom of suppression, Wilber had sacrificed approval from the group to admit he had been thinking of himself, the first no-no of any activist movement.
Although Wilber is unsure if activism is a sustainable lifestyle for him personally, he has yet to unsubscribe from the various emails he receives. As of this posting, his Twitter bio still lists “aspiring activist” next to “ultimate Frisbee enthusiast.”
This article was written by Ben Taylor, who is way more #woke than the guy in this story and all similarities between the two are complete coincidence. Follow him for more on Twitter @therealbenshady.
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