I am in the process of reading a book about a great leader, a leader who truly effected change in this nation. A person who was the same with you when he stood behind a microphone and when he was sitting in your living room. A guy who would do anything for you if you had the motivation for him to do it. This individual, Abbie Hoffman, was a major figure during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He worked with the NAACP, the SNCC, and various other Civil Right’s organizations. He also played a huge role in the anti-war movement of the time. He gathered thousands at the Washington Monument, a scene later depicted in Forrest Gump(if you watch the movie Abbie is the guy on stage in an American flag shirt shouting out obscenities).
This individual made mistakes, was arrested endlessly, beaten, battered and bruised day after day by police and federal agents. By the end of 1969 he was on the FBI’s most wanted list. I mean, this is a guy that pushed the limits in any way he could. And reading about it, and the movements that he was a part of, and the movements that have since died because of an unrealistic opinion in this country that the problems of the sixties died in the seventies, makes me want to stand up and effect change.
I work tirelessly in the work that I do, which is geared towards effecting change at an educational level. Which, while I feel is extremely important, there are a great deal of other things that I am frustrated with. For instance, this so called “War on Terrorism” in which we have all gotten ourselves wrapped up in. And the politics in this country, the dirty money, the lack of money, the fact that each day unseen by the general public is another day that this country could fall into a great economic depression, these things worry me. And I wonder where is the outrage? It’s funny because I work with a woman that wears a pin that asks this same question and yet all she does is huff and puff about the things happening around her. And instead of organizing a march or a rally, she just buries it inside of her. It worries me, but it also inspires me. Because I know that this is something that I would love to do. There is no better place in the world for me than standing in front of a bunch of people and giving a speech or leading a conversation.
So I ask myself today, where do I start this outcry? What are my resources with in this city? Because while Indianapolis is one of the biggest cities in the country, it is the least known for it’s activism and public awareness. In fact, it was once visited by John F. Kennedy and when he left he said “Indianapolis is a great place to go if you want to escape this countries constant cries for change because it is a city that will never effect change like Chicago or New York.” I want to prove him wrong. I want to effect change on a national level and I want to start from here. I could go back to New York, but why not put Indianapolis on the map for something more important than a damn football team?