Living in a major city means that right now I can see protests just walking to class or work. There are large groups of people with drums, chanting, "Not my president," "Muslim lives matter," and "The people united will never be defeated." Along with many other inclusive chants about sexism, racism and xenophobia, these groups create a power which can't simply be ignored. They also seem to have garnered a lot of negative reactions, even within the blue city of Boston. Having been involved in the first rally by this movement and hoping to join more, I can't help but respond to some of the comments I've heard regarding these protesters.
This won't change anything. Kids today...
Ignoring that this kind of protest has roots in history and certainly isn't limited to "today's kids," many of the protests in Boston have direction and purpose under the Boston Socialist Students. This organization has a plan with goals and a message to not only fight the results of the election, but to fight the hate that got Trump into office in the first place. To say it won't change anything is to say that movements cannot be built through rallying and protesting and then lead to shifts in public opinion and legislature, with which history vehemently disagrees. I cannot speak for the protests in other cities, but every protest is not a one-time occurrence full of childish, bratty kids. We're just getting started. Don't write us off yet.
Too late now.
It's never too late to stand up for what you believe in. Some of us have been fighting a Trump presidency since he started campaigning. We're not about to give up now because of some idea that the time has passed. We won't accept inevitability or impossibility.
If being educated on and exercising the constitutional rights we have is dumb, I gladly embrace the label. We might be disturbing your day, we might be annoying you, but that is secondary to pushing for changes we want to be made and echoing voices we want to make sure are heard.
They're protesting. Why? Because they can't accept. It is what it is!
You may choose to accept the results and move on without a fuss, but we choose to stand up and fight back. Each of us is making a choice we have the right to make. If peoples throughout history accepted their lot and said "it is what it is," I think we would be a vastly different country today. It's also quite privileged to believe that "it is what it is" and be able to just "accept it." Deciding to move on is fine, but not everyone can. There are lives, families and livelihoods at stake in the aftermath of a hateful campaign winning the most important office in the country. Trump's campaign encouraged violence toward marginalized groups which hasn't stopped and will likely only increase in years to come.
They kind of scare me.
I realize that some of these protests have turned violent, but this is not true of all of them. None of those in Boston have been violent yet. Try coming to join us. You will see that among the yelling, there are passionate and accepting people who want to see America benefit everybody. I can't tell you how many laughs and smiles I shared with fellow exhilarated protesters on the night of that first protest. We're not scary, just committed.
This is pointless. Boston voted Clinton
In major cities like Boston, results were blue. So it doesn't seem logical to protest in places which overwhelmingly agree with you, right? Well, not exactly. Something us millennials know very well and that some other generations might forget about is social media. We realize, in Boston, that it isn't those around us who chose Trump. But we know that at every protest, there will be countless recordings and videos by inhabitants and by the media. And we know that these clips will spread throughout social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are full of protests, and this holds weight. Anyone in any part of the country can see it and those in the government can see it too. Social media is a powerful and influential entity. We want to use it for all it's worth.
Older generations often criticize millennials for being lazy, selfish and uninvolved in the political process. These protests are evidence that we can and will stand up for causes and that we are active, able to be selfless and politically involved. Not only us, but other generations as well, students or otherwise. We support each other and won't let this presidency mean hate toward Muslims, people of color, immigrants or women. We will not be silenced.