This Christmas we thought we’d shake things up a bit.
“Why not,” said we, relatively new and inexperienced parents, “take a 2,000 mile, international, two-flight trip over the Christmas holiday, spend five hours in the busiest airport in the world, and partake of the joys of changing a poopy diaper at 35,000 feet in turbulence?”
In all seriousness, it’s all worth it to spend time with family we only see once or twice a year—and we’re loving our balmy Christmas.
And as I sat helping the family get ready for the big day, I get a text:
“Hey, on the bright side, after your relaxing trip home, you might not be able to get out of the airport. Yay!”
“Huh?” I responded, in full vacation-mode ignorance of current events.
BLOOMINGTON, MN - DECEMBER 23: Mall goers and police queue up around the upper decks of the rotunda of the Mall of America waiting for the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration below on December 23, 2015 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis staged a brief protest at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN before moving their protest to the airport. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
My friend then proceeds to tell me that hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists decided to “shut down at least one terminal at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport Wednesday for about two hours in an afternoon of protest that began miles away at the huge Mall of America.”
Sure, disrupt a major airport during the busiest travel season of the year. How very decent.
I’ll cede them this point: it’s certainly a way to make a splash.
But that’s where my recognition of what they’ve done ends—and I’ve got quite a few questions. And as my family here south of the border would say, ahí les va (here we go):
Dear Black Lives Matter protestors of Minnesota,
Look, I get it. You’ve got a bone to pick, and you’re looking to make a splash by disrupting the Christmas plans of thousands of completely innocent people at the country’s biggest mall, and at a major airport. Your goal, admittedly, is “to disrupt the flow of capital” in order to be heard. And in a way, my writing this is a bit of an admission that you’ve made that splash.
Here’s the deal. I’m not here to debate the validity of your protests. I’ve already had that conversation on other occasions.
I’m here to pick a bone with the means.
BLOOMINGTON, MN - DECEMBER 23: A plane lands as cars back up on Minnesota Highway 5, headed toward the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after Black Lives Matter Minneapolis staged a brief protest at the Mall of America on December 23, 2015 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis staged a brief protest at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN before moving their protest to the airport. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
You honestly think it’s acceptable for you to majorly disrupt the lives of thousands of people who have wronged you in NO way?
Let me say that again: people who have wronged you in no way, shape or form.
For that matter, (and NO MATTER the gravity of the grievances you’re airing) where exactly do you get off assuming that you have a right to do something that curtails the rights of others?
What is your fascination with protesting where it will make precious little difference, save for momentary media attention? (And no, protesting "where it makes a difference" doesn’t include occupying government and law enforcement facilities to the point where it jeopardizes the ability to function properly for the public.)
What makes you think this kind of epically selfish stunt doesn’t diminish your cause in the eyes of the very public you’re trying to convince?
Here’s the deal. Whatever the grievance, whatever the cause, whatever the end you’re seeking: you do not have the constitutionally-protected, legal right to curtail the rights of others.
I get it. I really do. You’ve been absolutely convinced—despite concrete evidence to that end—that there is but one narrative in the Jamar Clark officer-involved shooting, and I can see how a little “inconvenience” felt by the public is laughable in the face of the injustice you perceive.
Ok, let’s assume it’s all true. Let’s assume Jamar Clark was murdered by police. Let’s assume there’s institutionalized racism in the Minneapolis police department, and in departments across the country.
Would you mind explaining to me how preventing a family from flying home for Christmas or preventing some kid from buying a toy at the mall is going to fix that? How shutting down a major highway is going to fix that? How defacing property is going to fix that?
And if this really is about the value of life, and in turn the rights that life is entitled to, you get nowhere by trampling on the rights of others—as insignificant as they may seem to you.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. ET). She can be reached at: email@example.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
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