It’s being billed as the ‘next battle of the ages.’ In one corner is ‘Game of Thrones’ and in the other ‘Lord of the Rings’. The media shops that produce these mega programs now have spin-offs catching fire in the streaming world. This lines-up with recent news revealed by Nielsen’s TV ratings on how overall streaming viewership has surpassed cable and broadcast TV for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, back on the block, there’re other battles brewing. We’ve seen reports about the CDC reset to better handle Covid rebound; the push by Serena Williams to evolve in her tennis career; Apple rolling-out new device features in the tech world; the U.S. and China in a standoff on space exploration; the PGA tour pitted against an upstart golf enterprise. But the battle that has the eye of See America In Color (SAIC) is one tied to the Civic Revolution.
In a nutshell, it’s a battle for “the true nature and real nurture as a nation”; between our worst instincts/fears and #AmericaLiveUp. It’s a faceoff between the i’s (injustice, ideology, insurrection) versus the we’s (as in ‘We the People’). From SAIC’s deep dive in American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and #HometownStrong comebacks, we can apply key lessons from the civil rights movement for how we handle the issues of our day. Remember, Dr King made a shift based on his Calling to the movement after a series of tragic events (Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Jimmie Lee Jackson). Today we gotta make a similar shift after tragedies in Buffalo, Uvalde and Highland Park. We’re at a major turning point in how we roll as a nation. So, let’s create a shift in citizenship and leadership by how you ‘color your world’.
Just think about improvements in consumer products/services over the years which made things better by how you ‘color your world.’ The list includes:
- Buying coloring books for infants to boost early child development (each generation).
- Going from black & white to color TV (in the early 60s).
- Changing tennis balls from black/white to yellow (around the early 70’s).
- Enjoying sports play-by-play and analysis described as ‘color commentary’ (80s and beyond).
That’s why SAIC is excited about doing the same in this time of Civic Revolution. The ‘J.A.M. With Us and Make Things C.L.I.C.K.’ initiative brings new ways to respond to anti-diversity forces that wanna rattle local officials and anti-democracy incidents treated as if it’s just ‘another day at the office.’ What if you could ‘color your world’ as it relates to these and other events? You’d have a much better picture of hot-button issues by how you ‘see America in color’ and not just in black & white. We can then rock the game in how we respond to moments of:
1. Isms & Schisms
For starters, we’d know whether folks are about a power ‘grab & hold’ or empowering ‘We the People’. The pre-amble to the Constitution might give reason to believe we should focus on the question of ‘What is your power’? The isms and schisms we often deal with are a matter of whether power is used as a ‘weapon of harm or tool of love.’ So, when you think about anti efforts on racism, sexism, homophobia and other isms and schisms we see, it’s a matter of what’s love got to do with it. In other words, SAIC expands the view of ‘We the People’ to engage more hope, change and a circle of love in the convo.
2. Lost Cause
After the civil war there was a phase of rehashing the results of the war. Many in the South felt they’d lose the ‘southern way of life’ because the franchise of slavery would be no more. Sounds familiar? There’s a kinda ‘lost cause’ these days that keeps rehashing past election results, along with the belief that demographic changes threaten their way of life. We see the effects in how some young white men respond to the idea of ‘replacement’. It’s almost like a ‘purpose disconnect’ in hearts & minds. Let’s replace ‘lost cause’ ideology or emotion, with a greater sense of purpose when you ‘color your world.’
3. Bias & Hate
A recent news report brought attention to Anti-Semitic flyers found in Jersey shore towns. Some seem to think their purpose in life is to demean/degrade others. History shows blacks were treated as second class, women were viewed as subservient and Native Americans as underclass or uncivilized. But when you ‘color your world’ with SAIC, you’ll level-up like Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “Treat a man (woman) as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” Or like German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who said “The strength of a person’s spirit would then be measured by how much ‘truth’ he could tolerate, or more precisely, to what extent he needs to have it diluted, disguised, sweetened, muted, falsified.”
4. Culture Wars
Then there’re those waiting on the next conspiracy theory to drop and help spread it. The choice for us as ’We the People’ is whether we’re about gaslighting or enlightening the culture. Dr King knew the difference between the two. That’s why he embraced a non-violent approach learned from Gandhi. That became an X-factor in the success of the civil rights movement. Some folks choose to be ‘bomb throwers’ and plead ignorance about the potential for chaos and drama. And others are ‘nugget sharers’ where civic life inspires culture kick (C.L.I.C.K.). One group is about gaslighting, the other about enlightening.
With consumer products, we’re used to making shifts for a ‘new & improved’ way of doing things. Think mobile technology from OG to 5G, color TVs from No-K to 4K. We wouldn’t want them backdated but instead updated. To prevail in the Civic Revolution, we gotta create a shift in citizenship and leadership that moves us from an outdated to an updated way of seeing the issues of our day. Whether it’s the isms and schisms or culture wars, we can do our part as ‘We the People’ even among friends & family. So ‘JAM With Us’ and ‘color your world’ to get past the madness, ‘cause we were born for this moment!
To find out more about how you can “J.A.M. With Us” in civic engagement, social change and community life, checkout the flyers and QR codes below. Sign-up or learn more about the K-12 ‘Social Challenge Contests’ and the ‘Civic Life, Club Scene’ programs.
Tracks: Protoje Ft Jesse Royal – Family – https://youtu.be/258_PV8K634
The Score – Born for This – https://youtu.be/EP_CDtyV41g