A dissenting voice does not indicate choosing “a side.” It demonstrates an individual’s choice to speak up and speak out about important matters that have an impact on their lives, and the lives of those they care about.
Protest, conducted in a moralistic and non-violent manner, does not mean “donkey or elephant,” “red or blue,” or even “black, white or purple.” What it means is that an individual is upset about something, and that they wish to make it known.
We protest every day, and most of it trivial. Do we not?
Think about it.
We bitch at the barista for getting our coffee order wrong. We gripe at the cashier at McDonald’s who happened to forget the extra packets of ketchup and napkins. Shit! We bitch at our children, our family, our friends, our coworkers, strangers in cars. We are by very nature a fractious and entitled species.
Therefore, dissension is just a part of who we are. To quote my wonderful, lovely, angelic friend Theresa:
“America was founded on dissension. The Pilgrims were not afraid of dissenting from England. The Boston Tea Party was dissension. The Declaration of Independence was the ultimate dissension. The Bill of Rights guarantees us the right to speak up and write in dissent. The Civil War that freed the slaves was dissension.
“The suffragettes who won the right of women to vote was dissension.”
And even though I am an Atheist, I am glad she was able to provide biblical facts:
“Christianity was founded on dissension against the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman was dissension. Jesus eating with the tax collectors was dissension. Jesus telling the Pharisees to leave the woman alone who anointed him with the perfume from the alabaster container in preparation for his burial was dissension. Jesus overturning the moneychangers’ tables was dissension. “Brood of vipers” was dissension. Preaching the Good News was dissension. Jesus being crucified was dissension. Jesus was not afraid of dissension.
“So please do not tell us to get over it and accept it. We dissent. I pray we can dissent respectfully and peacefully. But there will be dissent. There will be protest. There will be fighting for what is right. And we will not be silenced to make others feel better.”
And honestly, this is bigger than a fucked up coffee order, forgotten ketchup packets, or even who fucking forgot to pick up his socks again. Am I right?