To the Editor:
I was sitting in a local restaurant the other night and I overheard a conversation between two other tables. I couldn't help it. It was very loud. The speaker was complaining about all of the protests that have happened after the election. "Why do they protest?" He said, "They lost. They should just stay home and accept it." He wasn't really talking to me, and of course I can't answer for all the protesters, but here is why at least some of us protest:
First, our country just elected a man who mocked a disabled man on television, bragged about grabbing women by their private parts, called Mexicans murders and rapists, etc., etc. We are embarrassed and we want the rest of the world to know that not all Americans are like that
Second, we are afraid. We are afraid that our American values of inclusion and acceptance are about to be threatened. We are afraid that the vulnerable members of our society are going to be hurt by the incoming administration. Will families be torn apart by mass deportation? Will some marriages no longer be recognized? Will 10's of millions of people lose their health insurance?
We want to send a message to those most likely to be hurt by the new president that we are with them. And we want to say to the new president: "If you hurt them, we will stand up to you. You are the president, and we will respect you, but this is not a dictatorship. We do not serve you. You serve us. That is how democracy works."
So that is why we protest and why we will continue to protest. It's OK if you don't agree with us, that is your right as well.
With mutual respect,
(signed) Lori Hebel