To my friends against the recent anti-trump protests…
Let me first express how I think healthy discussion and debate is a right we should all be utilizing right now. It is important to discuss the many issues, fears and future plans of the country now more than ever. Now, to my letter:
I have heard many people express their annoyance and even disgust over the anti-trump protests that have popped up over the U.S. within the past week and a half…
As an NYC resident, I have firsthand experienced the implicit inclusivity in NYC and how it exists in our city more than in rural areas. In NYC, we have no choice but to be on top of each other and see what melting pot we live in. Problems like poverty and police violence or gun laws, or immigration directly affect all of us in NYC way more than those in smaller towns with less access to diversity. Because we are so diverse, we are the loud and opinionated minority of individuals who decided it was worth the effort to show the rest of the world we don’t like what our new president has planned for the country, which so far has led to protesting for the past week and a half.
An interesting summary from M. Huemer’s book, The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey:
There are four types of implicit consent which citizens can give their governments: passive consent, acceptance of benefits, consent through presence, and consent through participation. In this case, we have a large majority of people who voted for trump who are not racist or xenophobic, not misogynistic or islamaphobic, but instead are accepting the outcome of the U.S. government by way 1. of CONSENT through PRESENCE 2. as well as exhibiting PASSIVE CONSENT. Consent through presence is actually something we as citizens of the U.S. do not have control over…Ie being a U.S. citizen means paying your taxes, having a passport, keeping track of your identity within the state and so on. Because we must pay taxes and have other legal duties to the state, most of us must perform our consent through presence or else be legally persecuted/become a refugee. However, passive consent is a different story. PASSIVE CONSENT implies that citizens agree with their government because they do not oppose their government. This passivity hinges on the majority thinking their opinion will not matter in the long run. When a citizen gives passive consent to the government, this implies that the changes within the government would not affect the citizen in a detrimental way that will decrease their level of satisfaction and/or their personal life.
All that really means there is just a choice: you either stand for the community of the oppressed or you don’t. Protesting is just the CRUX of the embodiment of this American RIGHT, and I will say this again, if we don’t stand up and find our community of accepting and passionate individuals now, when the time comes to fight against the new laws Trump plans to put in place, we will lack the structure or maturity as a group to get the job done. So keep up the fight for racial/women’s/LGBTQIA equality, immigrant rights, the fight against global warming, for tighter regulation on banks, better gun control laws, and so on.
I’m honestly embarrassed to not have spoken up sooner, but it must be better to get active now than to stay silent.
TLDR; Active discussion/progression and an advocate for morality//over passive consent. I would love to discuss what we all can do as a next step (protesting can only get us so far!), so we can all come to a greater understanding of what it should mean to be a U.S. citizen.