As many of you know I've been on a personal crusade lately to identify and notify material that is not cited correctly. I've found a mixed bag of responses to it. Both in my contact with the offenders and in my contact with the general community.
When I approach an offender this is what I see:
1. How dare you accuse me
2. I can share what I want it’s on the web
3. Artists are happy they’re getting shared
These are the usual responses. However, every now and then I run into a gem of a response where the offender is truly unaware of what they have done. They quickly take the content down or provide the correctly cited material.
When I approach the general community this is what I see:
1. Everyone Does it
2. They just don’t know better
3. I don’t need that negativity
4. Don’t put it on the web
Had it not been for a few people getting annoyed about what was happening to African Americans in the south, we wouldn't have had the civil rights movement.
Had it not been for a few people getting annoyed about how LGBT people are denied basic rights, such as marriage, we would not have the changes that we have and are continuing to change today.
You don’t walk past a child being beaten because you don’t want the drama or negativity in your life. You stand up and protect that child. You don’t walk past someone robbing a store or ignore a pick pocket because you don’t want the drama.
If you are a good person, you stand up for what you believe in. You do what you can as an individual to protect the rights of those around you. You defend those that cannot defend themselves.
If I steal something and no one catches me, am I wrong? If I take another’s work and call it my own work but the artist never finds out, am I wrong? If I witness another stealing, and I do nothing, am I wrong?
As people who claim to be in touch with the earth and joined to each other by a spirit of community and oneness I believe that we are indeed culpable. If we walk past the homeless as if they do not exist or turn a blind eye to an injustice; we are culpable in their suffering.
|Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863, by Gustave Doré|
I’m not saying grab your horse and begin jousting windmills. What I am saying is if you are in a position to help fight injustice, pick up the sword and worry about negativity later.
One of my favorite quotes from the movie “The Color Purple” is from the character played by Oprah Winfrey, Sophia.
Sophia says: "You better bash Mister's head wide open first and worry about Heaven later"
We all learned in school that turning in someone else’s work as your own is indeed wrong. If I witness something wrong, my pointing out that wrong is not a negative thing. I am not creating drama. I believe I am doing what I feel is right. If that bothers you, I recommend you remove me from your life now.
Referring back to the move “The Color Purple”, there’s a scene where Shug confronts her father during the song “God is Trying to Tell You Something.”
For me I’m doing the work of justice. It may not be a mission from the Goddess, but I do believe if I am not true in my work; like Paul, I’ll end up getting knocked off my horse. If this fight not be for Justice, Hecate just let me know.
As I sat writing this today, I saw that a page that was sharing content actually apologized. I really hope that they mean it and that they will change.
We can only hope.
Namaste & Blessed Be