College Kids and Their Silly Protests
by Sharon Murphy
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This post was written as a reply to comments made by Graham Allen. I felt that his comments warranted an opposing viewpoint from someone other than those he seems to be attacking (i.e. someone closer to his age).

To save you a click, here is the text from his post:

Dear America,
Specifically the students of Notre Dame…..
The irony of holding an anti hate sign while performing an act that is fueled by hate of a man that wasn’t even speaking in general🙄
Allow me to educate you…..
The right to “Protest” is a right fought for by many brave men and women….however, your version is nothing but a blatant disrespect/perversion of the very concept.
To protest, doesn’t mean to disrespect…..not even a little bit.
The greatest movements of our history were sparked by protest…..however, to disrespect the very status and or office of the people you are protesting against because of different views and beliefs…..is to lose the battle before it begins.
A respectful and appropriate form of protest would have been to not show up to the graduation event at all…..to get up and walk out while the Vice President of our country is speaking is nothing more than a child’s tantrum.
Congrats on proving the point that the American youth no longer understand respect, etiquette, and the very rights we hold in general.
Your point was not made and not received because you failed to do it the right way.
If anything, you did nothing but put a further divide between the youth of America and the rest of our society.
So congrats on proving everyone right about YOU!
America…..this is our future?!
Food for thought….
-Graham🇺🇸

This, I felt, was a short-sighted judgment of an entire group of people in a certain age and education bracket. So, in the words of the great Samuel L. Jackson, “allow me to retort.”

The two snippets that I have seen used far too often, “Allow me to educate you…”, and “…a right fought for by many brave men and women…”, are very misplaced. I see these and ones very similar to them (military heroes are always mentioned) when someone is trying to put others in their place when they try to exercise freedom of speech. These words are exactly what will turn people off from reading. Don’t call them “young people,” they are educated college graduates, so educated that this happened at a “prestigious public university” only a few spots behind Ivy League schools.

College students today are very well informed on the political landscape. They know who he is. They know what title he holds. They also know that in his state he wanted “separate but equal” laws passed based on religion and sexual preference, intertwining the two (Religious Freedom Act). They also know that he wanted to make “gay conversion therapy” and “transgender therapy” legal (this includes shock therapy and castration, if you haven’t looked it up).

Also, does anyone else feel that the word “respect” is thrown around way too much? Didn’t these students just then show “respect” for those being marginalized? Didn’t they show “respect” for those who couldn’t stand up and speak out? I’ve heard of white privilege, but there’s also privilege afforded one simply through education. These graduates recognize their place of privilege and chose to use their power to peacefully protest.

I would have walked out, too. I would have looked at my WW2 veteran grandfather, now 91, and said, “this is me exercising the freedoms you fought hard for in Normandy, against Germans, against Hitler who was a man that people let speak and didn’t challenge even though they didn’t agree with him.” These students did exactly what they were supposed to do.

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