i grew up in a very white, very conservative area of kansas. most of my family, friends, classmates, and colleagues are conservative, and that’s reflected on my social media feeds. i escaped this for some time because i intentionally did not read my timeline during the election season, but i feel like i need to burst the liberal bubble in which i’m enveloped and see how people outside of my worldview feel about current issues.

one type of post i’ve been seeing a lot of lately are posts calling protestors names. i’ve seen everything from “SJWs” to “crybaby snowflakes” to “participation-trophy pussies”. this is especially hurtful given that some of these comments have come from family and church friends that i really love and respect, and doubly so because i have taken part in some of these protests so some of these comments feel more than a bit personal.

i protest because i do not agree with many of the actions taken by the office of the president over the past couple of weeks. i believe that the united states should accept more refugees, not less. i believe that the united states should accept immigrants the same regardless of origin or religion. i believe that the vetting processes already in place are stringent enough, if not a bit too stringent. i think the DAPL should be either stopped or re-routed to avoid the water source of thousands of native peoples. i believe in universal healthcare. even though i realize premiums were increasing, i believe that it was worth it to provide insurance to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who could not afford or did not qualify for insurance prior to the ACA. i believe that drone warfare is immoral. i believe that separating families via mass deportation is sickening.

i’ve seen many posts from friends and family that relate several of the current president’s policies to those of bill clinton and barack obama. i do not agree with the mass deportation or violent border control policies that came to be under either of their presidencies. i do not agree with the mass-incarceration and minimum mandatory sentences that occurred under clinton’s watch. i do not agree with the drone warfare that rose to prominence during obama’s time in office. i think it does a disservice to the severity of the policy that trump’s white house put in place to compare the refugee/middle-east ban to obama putting a pause on immigrants from one specific country following a specific terror incident. why didn’t i protest when any of these things happened? quite honestly, i was either too young to understand (during clinton) or still primarily a conservative (during obama). i think both administrations should be held accountable for those actions as trump’s administration should be held accountable for his.

what’s my point in saying all of this? i wish that those who are close to me would reach out and try to gain some understanding of the purpose behind the protests and what we’re trying to accomplish before they take to their social media profiles to condemn us. i’m not asking you to agree with me on everything, but at least try to see the other side before resorting to personal attacks. i promise that i’m trying to do the same toward you.