The best chapter I’ve read so far has to be chapter 7: “Red Scares and Radical Imagination.” Kshama Sawant was a powerful, educated and socialist endorsing woman who caused rumble in Seattle, Washington. She was a part of the Occupy movement in Seattle during 2011, but as the movement faded she looked for a group that would represent her beliefs. She found the Socialist Alternative and became such a prominent member of the group that they were willing to endorse her for president in the 2012 election. One of the greatest qualities of Sawant was that she had a passion for changing the lives of people in unfortunate situations since she was once in their shoes when she grew up impoverish in India. Jaffe explains the trouble with Sawant labeled as a socialist while simultaneously showing the political discourse she joined to fight for her beliefs.
The label socialist have is that they want to take money away from top earners and prevent people from excelling to make a better living for themselves. When in reality, Sawant and many others want to protect the rights of the people and give them a fair advantage rather than struggling in poverty. Jaffe shows how protest groups can sometimes be labeled by other groups, but little do they know that they were fighting for the exact same thing. For example, Richard D. Wolff, a socialist and economist, was being asked to share his beliefs by the Tea Party. This was strange to see that a group representing capitalism would want a socialist speaker at their event. However, they pleaded for Wolff to speak knowing he was a socialist because his speeches embodied “..what happened was unfair, that the little guy got screwed” as stated in their words. Jaffe’s overall message in this chapter is to show how even protest groups from different political backgrounds can come together to fight for basic human rights which means that something NEEDS to change. One of my favorite aspects about this chapter was that a powerful advocate for human rights was from a minority background, and a woman. Jaffe describes in the beginning of the chapter how Kshama Sawant and Governor Nikki Haley are on opposed sides of protesting, but still remain influential, Indian decent women making a difference.
I think she included this to show that woman are represented in different protest groups and that they can succeed with the influence they have by changing our country for the better. Jaffe is such a powerful woman herself so it does not surprise me that she acknowledges and lifts up women in this chapter. The “women can do exactly what men can” type of attitude Jaffe presents makes all women feel like they have a voice and a power to change. On January 21st, all over the country women and men were parading the streets to fight for women rights whether it be salary, bodily rights, and more. People like Kshama Sawant and Nikki Haley are the women that stood up for what they believed in and never looked back. The women walking in the marches had the confidence to do so because of influential leaders like them. The voice of the people is the main focus of Jaffe’s book, but many themes indicate that she is the voice for women as well. #ActWrtMedia17