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The tension in the political atmosphere is palpable, you could stick a fork in it. But, in spite of the growing rift between right and left, millions of people will gather on March 24, all over the country, and possibly the world, to draw attention to gun violence in American schools and communities and to honor the young people lost every day to it. We will march side by side, hand in hand, to tell our congressmen and president #Enough is Enough.
As you gather your signs, and tell Fox News to F off, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Most importantly, before you walk out that door consider why you are going. If there is hate in your heart or hostile words in your head, please sit down and smoke a bowl first. Hostility and hatred are not welcome, they represent the kind of mindset and reasoning we are working to eradicate. On the other hand, showing up with bloodshot eyes and a breakfast burrito is completely acceptable and may lead you to make some new friends.
- Carrying on this theme of non-violence and mutual love, we all ask that you leave your extreme political ideologies at home. Everyone has their own opinion, and thanks to our first amendment, everyone has the right to share it. However, in pursuit of a well organized and well received international demonstration, your personal biases and prejudices have no place there. As you join the March on Saturday, party lines will vanish, red and blue will blend to become purple, and voices will rise and fall together, our message is stronger when we are saying it as one. Do not come out with the intent to argue or sway someone’s views, there is no value in your opinion if you are trying to shove it down another’s throat. If you wish to partake in heated debates that accomplish nothing, if you wish to share your opinion but are not willing to listen to others', please sit back down, login to Facebook, and turn your Fox News back on, because this is not for you. Keep in mind, “Our fellow Americans who disagree with us are not our enemies.”
- On the subject of Facebook and company, we can’t express how important it is that you responsibly educate yourself. We want participants who know why they are there and what they want to change, even if it doesn’t align exactly with the protests’ demands, or if you are at complete odds with the person marching next to you. Never has it been so critical to have your own educated opinion rather than regurgitated non-sense from Trump’s Twitter and Fox News’ “news.” So, before you pin that trendy #button to your shirt, before you start chanting with no discernible reason, consider why you decided to participate in the 2018 March For Our Lives. Ask yourself what you are protesting, and remind yourself that you will not agree with everyone there and most won’t agree with you. Ask yourself if you think you can change things, if you answered no, you haven’t yet grasped the magnitude of the movement because you are not one voice, on March 24 you will join millions of voices and that can change the world. Before you walk out the door, look yourself in the mirror and be confident in what you believe, but not stubborn; be strong enough to stand up for them, yet not belligerent; and be knowledgable about the topic so you can take that reporter's microphone and give them what for!
What a time to be alive, right? The most valuable thing you can do right now, for yourself and for your country, is register to vote. If you are indeed attending a local March for Our Lives, there will be many opportunities to get registered, just be prepared. Although I worry about the state of our Union many times throughout the day, and wonder what lasting effects the Trump era will leave on the world, I believe in the American people and our thirst for freedom. I have never been so proud to be a millennial!