Why we protest

I joined about a dozen friends and friends of friends at the protest downtown. One recurring question among the group was this: why are we marching today?

Primarily, I went because hate is wrong. Those who act in hate, speak in hate, or ratify hate are wrong. We all have a choice: we can acquiesce, or we can bear witness.

But I also had another reason in mind.

I went because I figured a lot of people I know wouldn’t go. I don’t mean that as a guilt trip; it’s been 15 years since I’ve exercised my right to peaceful assembly, which is why I feel guilty. But if you didn’t go, what would you think of the people who did go?

It’s so easy to dismiss a fellow human as the other, as a figure on our screens, or an avatar on our feeds. We’ve always been good at dehumanizing each other, and with recent technology advances, we can do it in realtime, at scale, and without consciousness.

One way to disrupt that trend is to leave the bubble and talk to people. One way to scale that disruption and accelerate change is to share those experiences with people you know.

Nearly all of you know me. We are friends. We’ve worked together. Gone to school together. I went because I wanted you to see me there, to see that the people who were there are a lot like you.

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