top of page

Social Change is NOT That Easy

Social Change does not come about by ignoring the problems that surround it, and assuming that the ‘other guy’ is the only one who has to make a change.

At the time of this writing, there’s a commercial running concerning an organization for ‘social change’.

It begins with a young man saying, “Sure I did some things wrong and I even committed some crimes, but I am not a criminal.”

The commercial says that he needs a chance and it ends by saying that ‘social change’ is possible.

Here’s my question…HOW??????

If you committed some crimes, you are in fact, by definition, a criminal. Hiding behind the need for social change in society WILL NEVER change the fact that, if you commit crimes, you are indeed, a criminal. This commercial comes across as a denial of any wrong-doing by an admitted criminal and a condemnation of those who cannot simply ignore his crimes.

Look at the wording…he says he committed “some crimes”, not just “a crime” but many. He admits to multiple crimes yet denies he’s a criminal. Almost as if he’s denying having done anything wrong at all.

Implying that this individual is getting a raw deal only because he “did things wrong – committed some crimes” and his criminality is now ‘wrongly’ held against him WILL NEVER facilitate social change.

Again, if you committed even some crimes, you are in fact, by definition, a criminal.

Attempting to ignore or white-wash that fact is not social change of any sort.

It’s nothing more than sweeping the root problem under the rug, all the while hiding behind the real and valid need for change in society.

When a member of this society becomes a criminal, there’s only two ways to go:

First, you scheme and plot to deny and veil your past actions, and that usually leads to further crimes.


Second, you accept the responsibility and you take the consequences for your actions and you move forward from there and you learn something from them.

No one else in this world is accountable for your crimes and no one else is liable for your crimes.

No one else has ANY social responsibility to ignore your crimes and pretend they never happened just because you claim you’re not a criminal and you think you’re being wrongfully labeled.

He doesn’t say, “I was a mixed-up kid” or “When I was young, I did stupid things that broke the law” and he absolutely makes NO inference to accepting ANY consequences or responsibility. Quite the contrary, the commercial implies that he is somehow owed a pass on his crimes for the sake of social justice and change.

I call bullshit on that one. No one is owed a damn thing. No one.

Yes, I must call bullshit, and I’ll tell you exactly why:

If a person – any person of any race, color, creed or nation – openly admits to criminal activity, but only wants a second chance because he doesn’t believe his crimes make him a criminal, that person is NOT READY for that second chance. They still do not recognize that they did anything wrong. They indicate they do not even view their wrong-doings as crimes.

Every man-jack around certainly deserves a second chance, but not everyone around is always ready for it.

If a person – any person of any race, color, creed or nation – commits a crime or even makes a lot of mistakes, accepts what they did and then does all they can to correct it, then THEY are ready for a second chance. It doesn’t matter if they changed their entire world or not. What matters is the way they recovered from their failures. Accountability, responsibility and acceptance of consequences. They demonstrate their understanding of wrong-doing and the need for change.

Pretending that crimes never existed solely to clamor for ‘social change’ does NOTHING but further chip away and pry at the cracks and crevices already present in the social structure.



Acceptance of consequences.

There’s no other way around it.

I hired and fired for the better part of thirty years in business and manufacturing and I learned one valuable lesson above all. Beyond all the fluff of a resume and an interview, beyond all indications of potential trouble, I looked at the person who wanted the job. Was that person a ‘decent human being’?

And that was never personally subjective. No, not at all.

What it means is, “Is this a person that can be trusted in all things, even when they stumble and fall, and will they more-often-than-not try to do the right thing?” THAT makes a Decent Human Being because they understand there is accountability in everything they do.

I never wanted to hear, “Yeah, sure, I have a couple felony convictions, but they weren’t really my fault, so it’s ok for you to hire me.” That was actually said to me once in an interview.

Incidentally, the guy who said this was an obviously well-off white kid who was indignant because he didn’t believe he had to go through an interview at all – and he tried to steal my phone from right in front of me at the end of the interview!

THAT is an element of social structure that is in dire need of repair!

A better commercial might have said:

Sure, I did some things wrong and I even committed some crimes when I was younger, but I’m a different man now” followed by the narrator saying:

Never turn your back on people because of their mistakes, look at how they corrected them. Everyone makes mistakes, but if they can learn from them, they are WORTH your consideration. Everyone deserves a fair shot.

The beginning of Social Change is as simple as that

True social change is dependent upon the changing of attitudes and perceptions over time, and that will NEVER happen if the only argument ever offered is “This is how I am, and YOU have to accept me, but I don’t have to change a thing.” On the same token, if the folks that really should be changing their thinking are given nothing but what they’ve seen and heard before, they won’t ever have that push to change, either – they’ll continue to act like the blind and deaf brick wall they have become.

Give them an indisputable reason for change, and over time, they most certainly will change.

It’s a lengthy process, but it does work if given the chance, and it does shake BOTH sides out of their comfort zones.

If you doubt that concept, study a little more history.


bottom of page