Dear Delphi: Student protests
March 12, 2019
Our school is fairly politically active; a large proportion of our student body will participate in a rally or sign a petition. But after that, we don’t actually seem to do anything. Why won’t anyone sustain a political or social campaign? Why won’t anyone do more after going to a rally? It almost seems that people don’t really believe in what they “fight” for. It’s frustrating.
Dear Whitman Skeptic,
I’ve noticed this too. But first, I think you should cut Whitman students a little slack. After a protest ends or a news story fades, it’s only natural that maintaining the passion for that issue gets harder. But that doesn’t mean that people don’t care—they’re just busy.
Year round, people might not protest for better gun control, but the student turnout for the March for Our Lives last March made a big difference. These small gestures, when taken together, can add up to something big.
The reality is that people only really have the time and energy for an issue if it’s convenient—which isn’t a phenomenon unique to Whitman. And that’s okay. Later in life, maybe they’ll return to it full time. Or, they’ll continue attending protests, but won’t have time to do anything more. Even if people are just following the crowd and aren’t that ardent about an issue, at least they’re getting involved and learning something.
It sounds like you have the passion to stay involved for a longer period of time. If that’s the case, you should go for it. Organize a protest or start a club. If you’re angry that people aren’t involved for a sustained amount of time, take action to get them involved. If this seems like a daunting task, I think you’ve answered your own question.