Commentary: There are more important things to protest for

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Dylan is a senior, and this is her third year on the Gazette/GBT.org staff. She is a Senior Editor.

   Over the past month or so, I’ve watched the world through my television. News these days is mostly the same, COVID-19 this, Coronavirus that. Most recently, I’ve seen something that, for me, was almost comical.    

   Protesters. Participating in something called ‘Operation Gridlock.’ All throughout the country, ignorantly demanding that their states be reopened. Some holding signs that read “all businesses are essential,” “faith not fear,” and my personal favorite, “my body my choice.” Most participants were waving American flags as if that is what the United States stands for. 

   These people are not people who have advocated for universal human rights before, because they haven’t ever had to. The people in these crowds, without masks, without six feet of space in between them, who stereotypically have never advocated for any minority rights in the past, are now advocating for themselves. My point is these protestors who are demanding for freedom have openly refused to give others the same treatment. 

  These protesters are the same people who have preached over and over about listening to authority, the ones who tell immigrants in cages to listen, the ones who tell people of color to stay quiet, the ones who tell the LGBTQIA+ community that they cannot love, and told women that they weren’t equal. When they are finally stripped of their “freedom” they get a taste of what these minority groups have felt all along, and they don’t like it. 

   To be clear, it’s unfair to categorize all of the protesters in this negative light. However, I find it hard to believe those who champion the massive spread of a deadly virus would also support the rights of anyone besides themselves. 

   This unfortunate time in everyone’s lives has revealed the hypocrisy that our entire country lives and breathes. 

   Creating a divide during a time that would usually bring our nation together is terrifying to me; we should all be working together in order to beat the virus quicker. 

   I’m disappointed in how we have chosen to react to such a serious event, but it wouldn’t be the first time. I hope that when this is all over, humankind will come out of this stronger and more united. 

   Rallies and protests will not make this virus go away. Our government is taking the necessary precautions to maintain COVID-19. To keep those in the medical field from drowning in cases, to keep people safe, and to stop it from spreading. 

   The mandatory stay at home order isn’t something to be taken lightly. We can get experiences back, but we can’t bring back those who will lose their lives.

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