Law in Contemporary Society
Civility is dead. Anger is alive and we must use it to our advantage.

We live in a nation that claims to be the pinnacle of democracy and a model to the rest of the world. However, this is far from the truth. America is hypocritical because we claim to stand for democracy while we lack full democracy in our nation’s capital. Being born and raised in Washington, D.C. I always had pride in the fact that I lived in the nation’s capital. To many, DC is seen as a tourist location where they can explore the monuments, museums, and see where the president lives. Similar to the rest of the country, residents of the District myself included, are fed up with the political system because DC residents have been cheated of their full representation since DC was created. However, the movement for representation has virtually no support outside of the District on both sides of the aisle because there is no incentive for the states to lessen their senatorial representation. The current approach to achieving full representation for District residents has failed the past few decades, so it is time for a new attack plan.

If you look around DC you will notice the license plates which read, “taxation without representation”. This is an accurate assessment of the situation because D.C. lacks full representation in both houses of congress and full power over their own laws. I sometimes refer to The District of Columbia as the last colony. The fact that other members of Congress can overturn and block laws that DC citizens have voted for and passed shows how backwards our political scheme is. Even though most people outside of Washington, D.C. are not aware of the struggle, many DC residents are aware and have attempted to fight back against the government that supposedly represents their interests. The accepted solution to this lack of political power, in the center of American Democracy has led Washingtonians to pursue the route to statehood.

In today’s political atmosphere the unexpected has been the recent trend. Across the world people have started to voice their anger with the status quo, and as a result we have been given Brexit and an infant as the president of the United States. A politician’s greatest tool is fear, but fear can also be a politician’s nightmare, especially when it comes from angry constituents. If District residents really want to advance our agenda for representation & statehood we must throw away civility and use our anger to create an actual change in the status quo. I do not suggest using race and ethnicity like Trump to fuel anger and to create division. However, it is important to show other citizens across the 50 states that D.C. residents are not just upset, but that we are genuinely furious about our separation from the rest of Americans. Hopefully the combination of energized passion and anger from D.C. residents catches the heart of the nation and at the very least leads to a meaningful discussion. Disturbing the peace in a nonviolent manner has been a method used by civil rights activists in the past to draw attention to their cause, and I feel as if similar tactics are necessary if District residents ever want to experience what full citizenship in America feels like.

Similar to the rest of the country the majority of D.C. residents are adamant about their animosity towards Congress. Supporters of D.C. Statehood need to align their anger at Congress with the rest of the nation and frame the situation in D.C. as a suppression of the will of the people. It certainly seems hypocritical for the worlds self-proclaimed, greatest democracy to deny over half a million people in the nation’s capital, their right to fully participate in that democracy. But this comes as no surprise. As we have seen, America is a place where people can say one thing and do another, depending on how it aligns with their political purpose at the moment. Nonetheless, all that happens is a vote every few years on whether D.C. should become a state, letters to congress, and lackluster outreach to tourists on the national mall. It will take more from activists to push this movement out of the mud. People are angry and scared. Tapping into these emotions could be an effective tool for the D.C. statehood movement. Especially in this day and age Americans seem to love controversy, so why not give them some? The current way of doing things has given D.C. residents zero results, so it is time to stir the pot and pull at the heartstrings of Americans, using our anger to accomplish this.

If D.C. wants statehood, it needs to energize its residents and move from a path of civility to one of passion. Propaganda which makes residents feel like second class citizens may be a way to ignite anger and propel change. Congress enjoys using DC to send a message to the rest of Americans about the direction in which they see our nation going. It is time for District residents to send a message back to Congress and the rest of the nation who enjoy full representation. The message should be loud, controversial, and should echo that residents don’t just feel left out, but that we are actually excluded from the majority of the political process and will not take it anymore. People only care about things which affect them, so it is time to bring the movement to the homes of every American. Violence is not the answer, but drama and anger seem to be what the media focuses on, so arrests, disturbing the peace through protests, and animated public figures are where the movement should start if it wants to be taken seriously. 246 years latter America still has taxation without representation and the world needs to hear loud and clear that if this continues it will start to be D.C. residents who create the chaos in Washington.


Webs Webs

r4 - 01 Jun 2017 - 17:10:04 - WilliamOmorogieva
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM