Yes, I'm a coward. Why? Because I'm an academic. I don't do anything productive, I don't stand for anything meaningful. I just sit in front of a computer/book/class and postulate about "why" the world is such a backwards place, but don't do anything to change it.
How many Canadian Prime Ministers in the past 50 years have been labeled as "true" academics as career professions? I'm talking about those political science, sociology, history, and economic professors and all those experts in the social sciences and humanities that actually do know how to run a country and society (and talk about it in papers and classrooms and universities and conferences all over the world), but choose not to and prefer the security - and salary - of tenure. (To be fair, some on this list were professors of law at some point in their careers.)
Martin: Business Man/Lawyer
Okay, I know a lot of people will say right now: "so what about all those politicized student groups that demonstrate and protest in campuses all over the world?" My question is, what happens to those same politicized students after graduation? They go out and get a job. And a new group of bright-eyed and bushy tailed first years take on the same 4-5 year (undergraduate) fight, until it's their turn to realize that university is not the real world. It is the Ivory Tower of Cowards.
This makes me sound like a hypocrite, right? But really and truly, what am I doing to change the world? I write about Black people and criticize society and racism, I'm working on my dissertation, but if I don't toe the line of cowardice, this is all for naught. My dissertation committee, my department, and the university, will not approve my work, and I won't receive those three little letters on the back of my name and the two in front. If I speak too loud and outside the box, it's all for naught. I won't get the degree, the post-doc, the research funding (which has to be approved by what my school and our Government thinks is worthy of getting a few thousand dollars), and ultimately the tenure-track job as a professor.
So what do I do if I want to be a part of this academic club? I go back to my ancestral roots and say "yes massa".
And if I don't? I become a lawyer.