When Castor the Beaver asks Possum why he’s protesting, Possum decides to ask Dr. Sharpie why people protest. Sharpie fires up her time machine, and together they look at some protests from the Civil Rights Movement. It wasn’t quite what Possum was expecting….
Full script below; this week the script has not been corrected, and may diverge from the video.
Possum [carrying sign]: I’m protesting!
Castor: Why are you protesting?
Possum: I want to make the world a better place.
Castor: But how will your protest change anything?
Possum: Let’s go ask Sharpie. She’ll know, she knows everything.
Possum [still carrying sign]: Sharpie, how will my protests change anything?
Sharpie: This is a good time to ask, because we’re celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Possum: He’s the person who led all those protests to stop racism, right?
Sharpie: Right. Let’s use my time machine to look at some of the protests from the Civil Rights movement.
Possum: Your time machine is held together with rubber bands.
Sharpie: All good scientists use rubber bands.
Possum: Are we going back in time?
Sharpie: That takes too much energy. We’ll just look at the past. Ah, here we are. 1956. Rosa Parks protested racism.
Possum: I remember! She refused to go to the back of the bus, just because she was black.
Sharpie: So she was arrested. Watch….
[time machine shows image of Rosa Parks being fingerprinted] Her arrest was part of a careful strategy to test the law about busses in court.
Possum: So their protests were carefully planned?
Possum: And you can get arrested for protesting?
Sharpie: Yes. Protests can even get violent. Like this….
[show image of Freedom Riders] The Freedom Riders protested laws about busses, and sometimes they were beaten up by white people.
Possum: That’s horrible!
Sharpie: Yes. And sometimes white people who liked racism held their own protests. Like this….
[time machine shows image of angry white people protesting] In 1963, these white people protested school desegregation in Arkansas.
Possum: I guess anyone can use protests, even people who are wrong.
Sharpie: Just like when armed protesters invaded the Capitol building on January 6. Protesting can be used for good or evil.
Possum: You were going to show us Martin Luther King.
[time machine shows image of Martin Luther King, Jr., in a protest march] Here he is in 1963, during the March on Washington. But remember, he did much more than just protest. He and thousands of others worked for years behind the scenes to change racist laws. The protests were only a small part of what they did. And their work still isn’t finished.
Possum: Wow. Protesting is more complicated than I thought.
Castor: Are you going to give up protesting, then?
Possum: No, but I need to learn more. Sharpie says she’ll show more about protests using her time machine next week.