An Open Letter to Everyone I Went to High School With:

It’s easy for you to tell people they should “stop complaining,” and be “productive” when you see news of protesters. You, like me, were born into security, and most likely you continue to enjoy that privilege and will for the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean you don’t have problems, that you don’t feel pain, or that you’re not allowed to complain.

It does mean that you should probably consider how this day feels to people who have not, and probably never will, have what you have.

For a lot of people protesting, this isn’t about “complaining” or “whining” or whatever else you’ve decided to recast the constitutionally protected right to dissent as. A lot of people today, myself included, are very nervous, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be.

A lot of us will weather the next four years, however they go, without much change in our lives. Some of us won’t. Some of the former feel the latter are being screwed over the hardest, and they think it’s up to those who have everything to help prop up those who have nothing.

I don’t expect everyone to devote their time, money, and even emotional or mental resources to resisting Trump. If you just can’t bring yourself to do anything else but dig in and try to weather the storm, I understand, and I don’t judge you for it.

But if you’re actually taking time and effort out of your day to talk shit about the people who are expressing themselves, in whatever way the can and whatever way they think is appropriate, who aren’t hurting anybody, who aren’t breaking any laws, there is something black eating away at your soul.

My uncle was a Vietnam vet. He was a soldier. He also was recruited by the NSA, and then was asked to leave because he thought it was his duty as an American to protest the war he had fought in, and watched people die needlessly for.

So when you scoff and spew bile at people who think protests are important, you’re insulting me, you’re insulting everyone who has less than you, and you’re insulting the memory of my family members.

So if you tell me “don’t take it personally,” you can go fuck yourself.

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