Why protesters are more than just ‘whiny millennials’

We’re not triggered, we’re just pissed

For many, our ‘snowflake generation’ is a homogenous group of politically-correct, triggered, entitled, free-speech hating social-media addicts that can’t handle opposing views.

For many, the #OurCampus #SanctuaryCampus walkout that swept through the nation’s schools on Wednesday was seen as a stunt by spoiled, entitled liberals. The same thing has been said about the anti-Trump protests that erupted all over the US.

These critics are missing the point.

Our generation is not fighting to repress freedom. This is a fight for freedom, freedom from white supremacy. Freedom from rampant capitalism, that produces atrocious inequalities and displaces Native Americans.  And now that racism, homophobia, sexism and xenophobia have been legitimized as a result of the presidential election, the urgency of this fight increased overnight.

Trump is a product of white supremacy, and not the other way around. The fact that his racist rhetoric was not a deal breaker 60 million Americans is proof enough.

These protests are not happening because students are coddled, the number of hate crimes has shot up dramatically since the results, and people of color are fearing for their safety. Just look at Shaun King’s Facebook feed. Besides, critics seem to be conveniently forgetting the vile racist protests against Obama in 2008.

Protests are a integral part of a democratic society. That is how the people make their voices heard. To condemn these student protests is to condemn democracy and to silence the voices of the future leaders of this country. To condemn these protests is to legitimize white supremacy.

Advocating for a #SanctuaryCampus does not make us weak. It is a sign of solidarity for those at the mercy of a newly legitimized system of oppression. It’s time to stop demonizing activism and writing it off as trivial acts of entitlement.

Brown University