Protest Peacefully—But Not Like That!

Protest Peacefully—But Not Like That! May 25, 2017

Frankling Graham is angry that some Notre Dame graduates walked out of their commencement speech, delivered by Vice President Mike Pence. In fact, he thinks they should lose their diplomas.

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Text: Just rip them up! Maybe that’s what the president of University of Notre Dame should have done to the diplomas of the students who so rudely got up and walked out of commencement as the Vice President was speaking this weekend. These young people must not have been taught the meaning of respect. They knew well in advance who was going to be speaking at their commencement; and if they didn’t like it, they shouldn’t have come. The New York Times says many of those who walked out were wearing their LGBT rainbow or flag pins in protest. To get up and walk out on the Vice President of the United States of America, who was gracious enough to come speak at their graduation, that’s just insolent! Maybe they need to take another class before they graduate—one on civility and respect. What do you think?

We don’t live in a fascist state. We don’t live in a dictatorship. We don’t live under martial law. Disagreeing with and protesting politicians in elected office is a thing we are allowed to do. In fact, the last time I checked, it was a thing we were encouraged to do. Civic engagement, right? Isn’t it Graham’s generation that is constantly complaining that millennials aren’t sufficiently engaged in the political process? That we’re all self-centered moochers or some such? Well look—engagement!

I’m baffled that individuals who spent eight years talking smack about Obama, spreading lies about him and his programs, and portraying his presidency as the literal end of the world are suddenly so in favor of civility and respect. Literally all that has changed is that their party is now in power, and suddenly everyone is supposed to bend and scrape to the President, and god forbid someone show their displeasure with him or his administration or his policies.

I am at a loss as to what these students should have done. Not attend, Graham’s Facebook post suggests—but to not attend can go unnoticed. I’m quite sure that if these students had held signs and stood on a sidewalk nearby and chanted (as protesters are want to do), Graham would have been just as angry with them, once again calling them disrespectful and disruptive. The students who walked out didn’t cause any problem at all. This was the definition of a peaceful demonstration—and yet still not acceptable.

What is it that they want, exactly? Silence? On second thought, don’t answer that—I already know.

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