Successful movements often have a Public Figure who represents the movement as a whole. For example, Dr. Martin Luther King served as the public figure for Civil Rights.
Olaudah Equiano acted as the Public Figure for the British abolition movement. After attaining his freedom, Equiano devoted his life to traveling around England speaking about the realities of the slave trade. His autobiography, which depicted the horrors of slavery, sold thousands of copies. When the British thought about slavery, they thought of this eloquent man who stayed out of politics.
The Public Figure operates in the arena of ideas convincing the people to change their minds. The problem with the pro-life movement is that we have no Dr. Martin Luther King Jr . to represent our cause. Instead we have dozens of somewhat influential people who have only a mediocre following.
Ideally this public figure would be an attractive, eloquent and diplomatic woman. She is the type of person people listen to even when they disagree with her because she is so engaging. When she is on CNN, viewers stop changing the channels to listen to her speak.
I am convinced that a man cannot serve as an effective public figure. Could MLK have led his movement if he were white? Men have less authority to speak about abortion because the ramifications only affect them indirectly. Part of what has hurt the Pro-Life movement is that its primary leaders have been mostly men. I don’t want to discount their heroic accomplishments, but they need to allow a woman to surpass them if we want to reach new heights.
What do you think?
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And yet so many women have already tried. Of course, all that means is that the right woman hasn’t risen to answer God’s call yet. 😉
Readers, check out [u]http://prolifeteenagers.com/[/u]. I think young people will have more impact on this issue than older people. This new website may encourage the younger generation to action.
Part of the reason Equiano was so effective was because of his personal story. He was a walking exhibit, bearing marks from his experience with slavery. Martin Luther King also experienced prejudice and dreamed of the day when blacks and whites would peacefully coexist. The Public Figure, in addition to the other qualifications, might be someone who has been personally touched by the tragedy of abortion. The story of the public figure will draw in those who would not otherwise listen.
First, "the right person" includes every person that truly cares to have tried. They may appear to have little effect but every try "loosens the lid" for the one to come along and break the jar (so to speak)
Second, the hardest part of the battle is overcoming the media. Ineffective battle techniques have put more apathy in the mix for communicating the valid reasons for choosing life. The negative scrutiny any public figure must deal with is not small thing. And then to look for an effective public speaker WITH a personal story to back it up… well, that is where prayer is needed. I'm neither young enough nor any kind of public speaker.
I'm still reading though the different roles and don't know where this role fits, but I say an important responsibility of multiple roles is the direct encouragement/support of the public figures and the public defense of those figures. We cannot allow the attack ads and tactics to discredit the real leaders we need. No one is perfect (no, not one). So remember how draining the job must be for our leaders and public speakers.