Posted: October 17th, 2013
Thoughtful journal response
A gadfly is a person who poses questions and criticism, criticizing how the political powers rule or how the social elite relate or treat others hence causing upset and discomfort among them. Such a modern day social gadfly is Charles Jacobs. Jacobs is the co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Group and a co-chairman of The Sudan Campaign. These are two independent organizations aimed at ending slavery worldwide and particularly in Sudan and northern Africa. The American anti-slavery group was initiated in 1993 on his learning about the persistence of slavery in North Africa. He and a fellow human rights activist Mohammed Athie and David Chand dedicated their time and resources to fight the vice regardless of how the rest of the world would perceive them, hence creating awareness of the existence of slavery across the world.
This occurs through awareness creations through publications and conferences, through advocacy for freedom of salves. The group identifies governments that tolerate slavery hence creating a stir among civilians and discomfort in the political circle. The organization also locates pressure points in organizations and companies benefiting from human bondage. They address this issue forcing the companies involved to take action. They also achieve this by challenging leaders in a position to curb slavery but who remain silent. They encourage the leaders to use their position to enact bans against slavery and render the act illegal. In April 2001, he helped in the liberation of 2900 women and children bound in slavery in Sudan.
He was also a Deputy Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. This is an advocacy group against media’s anti-Israel bias characterized by frequent inaccurate representations of Israel by the media. The group is a media review that watches out and criticizes media’s biased reporting against Israel. It does this by provoking protests and organizing demonstrations, through issuing full-paged ads against such media houses. In January 2004, he opposed the broadcast of a program Mosaic: World News from the Middle East on a cable TV in Newton, Massachusetts. According to him and most of the public, the program contained content that was anti-American and anti-Semitic. He likened the airing of the program to promotion of hate speech. He also disagreed with the broadcasters viewing the program to have a negative portrayal of Arab media. He also founded The David Project that educates campus students on Israel and encourages more voices for Israelis against the negative media concepts and depictions about Israeli.
Jacobs also co-founded a group with the aim of promotion of peaceful coexistence of the diverse ethnical groups n America. This groups name is Americans for Peace and Tolerance. It educates on the need of subtle leadership that will not cause chaos and one that supports core American values. This group criticizes the mosque in Roxbury built for $15.6 million, led by extremist leaders, hence leading to bias in resource utilization in the area. Therefore, Charles Jacobs fits into the bill of a person worthy of the name, social gadfly, as he fights social evils diligently without fear of criticism with the aim of bringing about positive change or ending the vice.
Alderman, Geoffrey. The communal gadfly: an anthology. Brighton, Mass: Academic Studies Press, 2009. Print.
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