“Inessential Weirdness”

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“Do you oppose fascism? If so, you have a duty to study it — and, once you’ve done so, to pick a side.”

I just finished reading this excellent article on Mark Bray, the author of Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook.  One quote, from his earlier book on the Occupy movement, caught my attention:

“I learned the value of presenting my revolutionary ideas in an accessible format.  How I dress, the words I choose, and how I articulate them affect how I am received, so if my primary goal is to convince people of what I am saying, then it’s often useful to shed my ‘inessential weirdness.’ ”

In other words, anyone who wishes to change society would do better to wear slacks and button-up shirts than jackets with anarchist patches and metal studs.  If one is looking to have a message spread, it helps to look “normal,” and it’s easily worth the sacrifice of the “inessential weirdness” that we all possess.  It’s also more dangerous: if people can’t tell the difference between the establishment and the revolutionaries, their perceptions are blurred and confused, which can only help a nascent movement.

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