Those of you around in the late 1960s and early 1970s will remember the anti-draft chant of “Hell no, we won’t go!” That chant was heard almost every day at colleges and street protests and during occasional riots.
In the 1930s the chant was: “America first! America first!”
Those of us in labor unions have used many chants as we picketed or protested this, that or the other injustice.
The recent anti-Trump rallies have seen many such chants, some which have been used long before Trump became President. Here are a few (taken from L.V. Anderson’s article “All the Chants I Heard….” from Slate website:)
- No justice, no peace!
- My body, my choice!
- Muslim rights are human rights! (You can replace “Muslim” with any group.)
- Black lives matter!
- Education not deportation!
- Say it loud! Say it clear, refugees are welcome here!
- Love trumps hate!
- Whose streets? Our streets!
- Hey hey! Ho ho! Donald Trump has got to go!
- Love! Not hate! Makes America great!
- Donald Trump! Go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!
Many of you who are religious know the various chants of your faith. In Buddhism such chants are called mantras.
So why are chants used in protests? Two reasons:
- The chants keep people united
- The chants stop the chanters from actually thinking
Something said over and over and over again drowns out any other thoughts a person can have. This is an effective tool in meditation because it focuses the mind. Chanting is a thought destroyer that allows leaders to manipulate the chanters.
The next demonstration you attend (or watch on television) please note the faces of the chanters. Do they reflect deeply held thoughts and reasoned opinions? Or do they reflect the exact opposite?
[Read my book Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available at amazon.com, kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.]