America, it’s time to stop being polite and start getting real. We can’t let the powerful and the comfortable dictate how the powerless and disenfranchised protest systemic injustice. We can’t beg and be patient. We need to scream. We need to march. We need to chant. And we need to vote.
Advocates for change have been polite. President Obama was so polite he didn’t talk about Russia interfering in our elections because Mitch McConnell didn’t want him to. Football players who politely protest are called anti-American and are forced back into the locker rooms. Hillary Clinton was polite until she wasn’t when she called racists deplorable. She was then reprimanded for calling out despicable behavior.
You know who isn’t polite? Mitch McConnell. He refused to hold a vote for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. And now, despite saying that Supreme Court appointments shouldn’t be made during election years, McConnell is now jumping at the chance to confirm Trump’s nominee prior to the midterms. He is so impolite in fact that he changed the rules so that a Supreme Court nominee can be confirmed with a simple majority rather than 60 votes in the Senate.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders isn’t polite. She lies to the American public every time she stands behind a podium. Some of her greatest hits include lying about laws that say it’s okay to take children away from their parents and saying that President Trump didn’t pay Michael Cohen back for giving Stormy Daniels hush money.
Trump’s cabinet is very impolite. Kirstjen Nielsen ripped families apart. Jeff Sessions cracked jokes about these same families. And Betsy Devos has allowed the Education Department to dismiss civil rights complaints because they’re too “burdensome.”
The most impolite of them all is probably President Trump. He’s admitted to sexual assault. He made fun of people with disabilities. He’s called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. He labeled African countries “shitholes.” He “joked” that his own vice president wants to hang gay people.
Critics are saying that protestors are treating these people unfairly. Their delicate sensibilities are offended by the impoliteness they’re witnessing. Can’t we disagree without being disagreeable? No. If you threaten our civil rights, then we cannot be civil.
The Trump Administration has lauded the ability for businesses to deny queer people service based on moral beliefs. But when Sarah Huckabee Sanders is denied her chicken breast because she’s a terrible person who lies, that’s discrimination. Being queer isn’t a choice, but being complicit in America’s decay is.
If Kirstjen Nielsen doesn’t want Latinx people in this country, then she can’t eat a Mexican restaurant.
Conservatives say this kind of rhetoric or behavior could lead to violence. If this fear is genuine, then maybe we should make it harder for people to own assault weapons instead of stifling free speech. Hate crimes in the U.S. have continued to rise. But no GOP or Trump official has taken any blame for the violence that reflects their rhetoric.
Protestors haven’t been violent and none of them have advocated violence. They’ve simply used their freedom of speech to protest immoral and unjust policies. These public officials are powerful but they answer to you. Never forget that.