The “argument” I get annoyed with the most when people are outraged by something outrageous is “where was this reaction when it happened in the past??” I mean yeah, maybe I would have said the same thing a few years ago. Perhaps I would have been really annoyed at people who reacted over one issue now who never reacted to a very similar issue before. But I’ve come to realise how ridiculous that is, for a number of reasons:
1. When bad things happened in the past, people DID get angry and outraged. People do react and protest. But no one pays attention. What happens next is that these few people get organised. They hand out information. They create groups that focus on these issues and they spread the word. They advocate and they research and they work really hard. After a few years of struggle trying to get the media and politicians to listen to them, they slowly start getting traction. Inevitably, the issues get worse. Social media and technology get better. Global communication becomes the norm. And finally, a spark ignites and the “media frenzy” happens. But it takes constant effort to get people into that frenzy and it’s a combination of that effort and timing (and recruitment of more people who weren’t previously aware) that creates the frenzy.
2. Some people were just not raised aware of the world. There are people who don’t care. There are people that just want to live their own lives. Just because I have grown up knowing about certain issues doesn’t mean everyone else my age had the same, unfortunate opportunities to learn. “You’re only just hearing about this now?” Yes. Yes, there are some people who are just hearing about this now. Educate and move on instead of looking down on them. Better late than never.
3. What is the point? I really shouldn’t have to say this, but just because there weren’t mass protests about this issue before doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have mass protests now. Shouldn’t you be glad that people are finally caring enough to get up and do something?
I suppose there might also be bitterness towards people who knew about something before, didn’t say anything, then after the issue gets big they jump on the activism bandwagon. To this I say, again, better late than never – better to have changed into someone good than to continue being passive. We can’t complain about people who do nothing as well as people who start to do something. ‘Why didn’t they do it earlier then?’ Perhaps they were young and ignorant. Perhaps they believed it was dangerous. Perhaps they thought their busy life was more important – sometimes, it is important to work on oneself before trying to help others. All in all, who knows why? But if you’re hating on someone who decided to help now, or who finally decided to join in on your outrage and speak up about it, that’s your issue, not theirs.