In most towns across the nation, you’ll find a community theater. There, locals will perform various shows that might have originated on Broadway but now find themselves on Main Street.
My wife spend an awful lot of her time volunteering and performing at one such theater here. I’ve taken a few trips across the boards myself over the years.
I’m not going to insult theater folks in the least. Some of my favorite people are theater people.
But there’s a type of performative theater I keep seeing, and that’s those who basically use their performance to look like activism.
I’m talking about people who do things like this.
Survivors, anti-gun violence groups and community leaders gathered Wednesday to tell Indianapolis to put the guns down.
Many of them live with the trauma of gun violence daily.
“Enough is enough,” said Deandra Dycus. “When are we going to get tired of seeing the daily news reports? A good doctor or a bad shooter is why my son survived when a stray bullet flew through the window and pierced him in the back of the head.”
They’re telling people to put their guns down.
Honestly, can anyone point me to a single person who heard such a call and thought, “Oh, crap! I didn’t realize me shooting up the city was a problem. My bad!” anywhere? Anywhere at all.
Now, I get that Dycus lost his son to such violence. He’s probably just looking for some way to prevent anyone else from going through what he did.
But not everyone who gets involved in such “calls” has that excuse.
Then there are those who take their theater a few steps further, such as this gentleman from Michigan.
A 76-year-old community activist is crawling from Battle Creek to Kalamazoo to call for an end to gun violence.
Bobby Holley set out on the 23-mile trek Monday morning. Inching along the wet and icy road with pads strapped to his hands and knees, he said he’s crawling for a cause.
“To get attention to the issues,” he said. “If I walked, that wouldn’t get no attention… (Instead) I’m a person crawling, begging on his hands and knees to stop the violence.”
He wants to “get attention to the issues?”
I’m sorry, but is anyone unaware of the problem of so-called gun violence? Anyone?
Seriously, no one is sitting there watching the news and thinking, “Holy crap! You mean people kill other people? And they use guns a lot of the time? I had no idea!”
It’s not happening.
Holley likely means well, and at least part of his crawling is to get attention on unsolved murders–something everyone knows exists but rarely thinks about–but he’s still just performing.
Something I’ve noticed through the years is that the people who make a big thing of their activism are rarely the people actually on the ground doing work. That’s because being on the ground, in the streets, trying to change things is hard work and you don’t have time for virtue-signaling nonsense.
But who gets the headlines? Who gets calls for media interviews?
It’s self-aggrandizement in more cases than not, and the media eats it up.