There are more progressive heroes at your back, than you realize. Seldom seen on television network news, their deeds inhabit the Internet.
LAST UPDATED: December 31, 2019
“The Butler” Did It
What impressed me most about the 2013 film, The Butler, were the progressive heroes sprinkled throughout the story of Cecil Gaines’ 34-year tenure as White House butler. The film highlighted famous heroes — like our assassinated trio, Kennedy, King, and Kennedy — and also honored the multitude of nameless, unsung heroes who fought for the civil rights movement. Indeed, the Butler became one himself, as he gradually evolved to the point of supporting, and then joining, his son’s political activism.
The Butler is an emotional experience. Face swollen from sobbing as I left the theater, I felt a powerful yearning. Who, I wondered, are our heroes today? Who do The People have in our court today? I knew of the hapless (as commonly reported) Occupy Wall Street movement, and remembered consumer advocate Ralph Nader. But… who else?
Renewed Political Hope
Little did I know, when I asked the burning question, that I would soon embark on a long study of the Progressive Movement — and would be blown away, as I began to realize that an ARMY of progressive heroes are fighting the Good Fight for you, me, and democracy.
The more I learned about the progressive movement, and progressive heroes, the more my political hope grew. I wish the same for everyone. In the words of Jon Meacham:
The opposite of fear is hope, defined as the expectation of good fortune not only for ourselves but for a group to which we belong. Fear feeds anxiety and produces anger; hope, particularly in a political sense, breeds optimism and feelings of well-being. Fear is about limits; hope is about growth. Fear casts its eyes warily, even shiftily, across the landscape; hope looks forward, toward the horizon. Fear points at others, assigning blame; hope points ahead, working for a common good. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. Fear divides; hope unifies.~ Jon Meacham, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels
(By the way, Ralph Nader is alive and well. He’s still a consumer activist, also a prolific author, and more!)
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Progressive warriors are allotted little air time on mainstream TV. Television network moguls are Status Quo loyalists. From their perspective, that of the rich and powerful, there’s NO need for further political, economic, or social change — unless it’s a guaranteed, faster, easier, no-risk, no-brain way to increase corporate profits (i.e., tax cut legislation or environmental deregulations). From their perspective, on high, there’s NO reason for political activists to be covered on TV. “What in the heck are grassroots???” they ask. “I’ve not seen one.” they answer.
Like the Gil Scott-Heron song says:
The revolution will not be televised.~ Gil Scott-Heron, 1970
When the work of progressive heroes does happen to be covered on commercial network news, it’s typically presented as foolish, problematic, a threat, or un-American. Therefore, thoughtful news junkies must seek independent progressive news coverage, easily found on the Internet, in order to get the full picture.
Today’s Progressive Heroes
A quick review of today’s progressive heroes is contained in the gallery below. Be encouraged and strengthened. Support our heroes in whatever way you are best able. Peace!
- Human Rights
- Progressive Policy
Extinction Rebellion – Climate Emergency!
Extinction Rebellion's first demand is that governments "declare a climate and ecological emergency."Read More
Ilhan Omar – Human Dignity, Unity & Justice
In response to an attack from the White House “occupant” and others, who falsely accuse Rep. Ilhan Omar of pro-terrorist remarks, Black women leaders hosted a “Hands Off” rally in support of the Muslim representative from Minnesota.Read More
Arundhati Roy – Freedom To Write
Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy presented the 2019 “Authur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture” on May 12. A former winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Roy’s latest book, My Seditious Heart, is a collection of her activist essays on human rights and environmental concerns.Read More
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Green New Deal
Progressive hero Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) spoke about the Green New Deal (GND) at Howard University on May 13. Specifically, she addressed the opposition’s notion that the GND is “too much” — too much money, too much to bite off, etc. — by explaining what was “too much” for her. Explosive!Read More
Bernie Sanders – Reinvestment In Public Schools
On May 18, Sanders revealed his “Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education.” The plan would overhaul the American public education system. Teachers love it.Read More
Scott Warren – Humanitarian On The Southern Border
After a jury was unable to reach a verdict, Scott Warren of No More Deaths, faces retrial for providing humanitarian aid to migrants in Arizona.Read More
Sara Nelson – A Green New Deal For Airline Workers
Sara Nelson, International President of Association of Flight Attendants, advocates for the Green New Deal, because it provides labor protections for airline workers, and all workers — ranging from good American jobs to international human rights.Read More
Alexei Navalny Arrested, Hospitalized And Charged With Money Laundering
Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny (and potential presidential candidate in opposition to Vladimir Putin) was arrested in Moscow last month for organizing a fair election demonstration.Read More
Greta Thunberg Makes Carbon-Free Voyage To UN Zero-Emissions Summit In NYC
Greta Thunberg began climate activism at age 15. If anything enjoyable has come from climate emergency, it’s Thunberg’s clear logic and matter-of-fact voice as she shames adults for their failed responsibility, which leaves it up to children to save the planet.Read More
Peace Activist Frances Crowe Dies At Age 100
Legendary peace activist dies at age 100. She began protesting for peace in 1945, the day after the United States bombed Hiroshima.Read More
2019 Right Livelihood Award
Recipients of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “alternative Nobel Prize,” are Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara), Guo Jianmei (China), Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people and the Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil), and Greta Thunberg (Sweden).Read More
Kings Bay Plowshares 7 On Trial
The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 are being tried for civil disobedience while protesting nuclear weapons at the Kings Bay Navel Base.Read More
Fight For $15
Everyday HEROES fight for $15 -- and are winning. 72 total states, cities, and counties around the nation are set to raise the minimum wage to $15 or higher in 2020.Read More
Fire Drill Fridays - Jane Fonda
"WE MUST ACT NOW TO SAVE THE PLANET FROM IRREVERSIBLE CATASTROPHE. That’s why every Friday we will answer the alarm sounded by young people like Greta Thunberg and bring the climate emergency to the axis of power." ~ Fire Drill FridaysRead More
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