#ThinkpieceThursday – Whistleblowers
This month is Power of Conscience month, where most of the website’s content is dedicated to those who are justice seekers. They believe they know best what is right or wrong, and will go as far as they have to do ensure that wrong is punished or set right.
Today we’re looking at Whistleblowers. These are the men and women who call out injustice and conspiracy for the good of the people. In the real world, we have recent examples like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, who were forced into exile for exposing Government wrongdoing.
Whilst it may have broken the law, sometimes laws are outdated and no longer work to protect the people. When this is the case, sometimes, you need to go outside the law in order to do what it right. This is exactly what any Power of Conscience character would do.
There are also Whistleblowers who don’t break the law but are suppressed and finally risk everything to do what is right. Most recently we saw Rose McGowan, among others, who drove the momentum after the accusations came out against Harvey Weinstein.
The movement became bigger than one predator because of Whistleblowers like Rose McGowan who were bullied into silence but spoke out because it was the right thing to do. Whistleblowers are always Power of Conscience characters.
An excellent example of a fictional Whistleblower is Captain America (Chris Evans), in the 2014 movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America is frozen in time after WW2 and defrosted in the present day. A soldier with a boy scout mentality has his morality severely tested when he discovers that SHIELD, the espionage organization he works for, has been infiltrated by HYDRA, the villains he thought he defeated back in the 1940s, since the beginning. He has been working for the bad guys and decides to reveal this information to the public.
This action destabilizes national security and leaves the espionage community, and government, in chaos.
He may not have been a Whistleblower if he wasn’t a Power of Conscience character. He always does the right thing, even if it may have catastrophic results in the long term.
In this case, he was right to do so, but in the 2016 sequel he goes the other way and keeps information from his friends, and violates international law because he believes it is the right thing to do. Captain America is every bit as much as Power of Conscience character as Manning, Snowden, and McGowan.
This key speech from the film perfectly sums up Captain America’s motivations:
“The Price of Freedom is high, and it’s a price I’m willing to pay.”