Protests are generally from the heart.

When people protest, the protestor has decided this is enough of an issue. They need to take time out of their lives and call attention to it. There is an injustice that only calling attention to it via a public forum can redress these grievances. This is precisely why the US Constitution has the First Amendment and why it’s the first of 10 in the Bill of Rights. We know this through the writings of the founding fathers in the Federalist Papers. If you don’t know the Federalist Papers, please visit the Federalist Papers at the Library of Congress.

There isn’t a problem if it’s not affecting them

I hear all the uninvolved commenting to put protestors down. There are many excuses they’ll give. Either the protestors are paid or don’t work, live off welfare, or any number of ways these people are beneath the commenter. Those against protesting feel better about themselves and can look down their nose.

It also gives themselves an excuse and permission to dismiss the entire protest and the people involved. They aren’t important enough, and it’s not affecting them.
It never occurs to them that someone else may have a different experience with life.

That’s the way institutional bigotry works. Those in the majority are trained from a very early age to not see or acknowledge the bigotry in the system. Some are so indoctrinated in this way of life that facts and statistics don’t sway them.

I had heard about “Driving while black” and “Being black in a white neighborhood”. I didn’t understand how this could be, so I dismissed the notion as something that “used to happen.”

Then, one of my friends was pulled over because he didn’t look right driving the car his parents gave him. We were younger and his parents drove Cadillacs. So they gave him one. It was an old one they had replaced. Ultimately, law enforcement pulled my friend over and questioned him for driving his own car. It must be nice having wealthy parents.

Yes, I know this anecdote screams “white privilege”, but it did serve to open my eyes.

The mere existence of these idioms is cause for alarm. America is supposed to be a land of Freedom for All. It’s not supposed to have a caste system where one only interacts with one’s own class. Except of course if one of those in a higher caste speaks with you. Then you must show proper deference or expect to be corrected.

That’s the whole point, right?

I mean, the commenter above is a busy person with much to do each day. How could anyone walk away from their job and all they do to maintain their life? They can’t imagine anyone deserving to be heard if they aren’t as busy as they are. If they have time to protest, to advocate for themselves, they obviously are lazy, no good, dirty, rotten scoundrels. The commenter is convinced supporting such a protest is immoral.

Usually, their logic is backward because they are not a member of the same group as the protestors.

They are giving themselves permission to be shitty to another human being. This requires mental gymnastics that don’t stand up to scrutiny but only need to convince themselves. Once convinced, they tend never to reevaluate their made-up logic.

It’s also been the racist, homophobe, bigot, sexist, and any other type of horrible behavior out there, playbook since man learned to communicate and form communities.

If someone finds themselves putting down protests and protestors, the logical place to start is asking questions. What is the issue? You won’t get a complete answer from anyone not involved with the issue. I’m not suggesting going to the protest. That may be dangerous for several, and no one wants to get hurt. Seek knowledge. Remember, there are a bunch of people who are hurting enough to gather to make their voices heard. It’s important to them, it might be important to you if you know what the real challenge is. Make sure you ask the right question of the right people. This will require admitting there are things we do not know. There are experiences we may not have experienced.

It’s Important to Understand Others’ Struggles as to have Empathy for their challenges

People who can’t understand that someone else could hurt worse than they lack the empathy to understand anyone else’s situation. Especially when it’s in the form of a protest about an issue that does not affect them, if they’re ok, everyone else must be too.

It’s easy to spot once you know it exists. The point is that if you aren’t working for everyone to have the same rights, you are working against anyone having rights. Taking a right from one segment of the population causes harm to everyone.

Assuming others don’t have an issue because it’s not your issue is disingenuous and abusive. Either way, it’s not a good look for anyone.

%d bloggers like this: