This week has been plagued with news that many of us don’t want to hear, devastating policies and executive orders that have ripped families apart. We have also seen increased dissent, with people taking to the streets, the airports, and calling their representatives with fervor.
At the same time, we have also seen people denouncing this activity and asking us to accept the outcomes of the election, and suspend our “complaining.” In the past few weeks, legislatures across the country have introduced changes to existing laws or new laws that would make it harder for people to exercise their first amendment rights.
Dissent is not about political parties or ideologies. It is about a right guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Complaining about our government is as American as apple pie; it is the foundation upon which our country was laid. History has shown us that it plays an integral role in how change happens in this country.
We are not marching because of this president or this election. We are marching for our humanity, because women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and immigrants have always had to. If you find yourself upset or inconvenienced by these demonstrations ask yourself if that is because you have the privilege of not being affected by politics, and the outcome of elections.
Fighting for our rights no matter who is president, is not complaining, it is our duty.
A woman in Nashville holds up a sign at a Tea Party protest in 2009, reminding us that dissent is patriotic.
Photo from Wikipedia
Women’s suffragists parade in New York City in 1917, carrying placards with signatures of more than a million women
Photo, The New York Times photo archive, Public Domain
Photo by Rowland Scherman for USIA – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
In 2014, demonstrators gathered in NYC to protest the deportation of LGBTQ immigrants under President Obama. Many were sent back to countries where their sexual orientation can put their lives in danger.
Photo by Julieta Salgado, courtesy of GetEQUAL