Let me begin by saying that I vehemently disagree with violence in protests. However, protests are a great thing. In a world of social media and instant connection, people actually coming together and voicing their opposition to something is fabulous. Not to mention that it’s been a part of our heritage as a nation and has pushed us forward. So, why are they protesting all over the country right now about this election?
They’re angry. They’re scared. And as we have learned already, they have right to be. Trump empowered people are already threatening and acting out against people. At the school my wife works in, students taunted hispanics about being deported and muslim employees and college students across America have had their hijab snatched off their head. Written and verbal threats, spray painted swastikas, all emblazoned with “Make America Great Again” or “Make America White Again”.
They do not want to be remembered as the country, the people, that elected such a hateful person to be our leader. They believe that voicing their opinion and showing their disagreement is their right (and it is). They believe it will help change things. That it will show the world that we are not this. They are doing what citizens have been doing for almost 250 years.
Offering religious platitudes doesn’t help.
“Get over it” doesn’t help.
“We need to unite” doesn’t help.
“The election is over, you lost” doesn’t help.
What will help?
“I hear you, I am sorry you feel this way. I am sorry people are treating you this way. I will stand with you on ______.” will help.
Protestors – I know you are angry and fearful for the state of our country. I know you want your voice heard because straight white privilege has been heard for way too long. Please do not be violent. Do not lower yourself to the level of the man you are protesting. Stand. Protest. Shout. March. Make your voice heard in mass. I stand with you.
Right wingers – Get off your high horse. Yes you protested when a black man won the election 8 years ago. The petitions and threats to secede from the union. Remember that? The confederate flag parties and “south will rise again” rhetoric. Remember that? Threats of assassination and “white people are being oppressed” rhetoric. Remember that?
Not all protestors are protesting violently. Not all right wingers signed a secession petition.
Listen to your neighbor and love them. Disagree with them peacefully. Fight for what you believe. Make it known that a loud minority will not be tolerated. Offer hope to one another.