I don’t even consider participating in protests. Certainly, there are issues worthy of waving a multicolored sign on the Capitol steps, but that just isn’t me. And If you ask me about protests, I’d tell you two things.
First, the quest for social justice needs all kinds of action. I am thankful for the people who do go into the streets and protest, though I wish the folks among them who accuse the rest of us of “silence” were equally thankful for action that takes other forms.
Second, my preferred form of action happens every single day. It is far slower, far less glamorous, and far more effective: education. Education does not only occur in classrooms in accredited institutions; it occurs everywhere that people converse honestly and share ideas: in everyday conversations, in media and programming, in slogans and heuristics. More powerful than those one-time willful exertions of a political stance will always be knowledge, and knowledge that results in wisdom will change hearts and minds for the better.
I agree that sometimes we need for others to hear us, and that’s why protests are important. But more than simply being heard, we need to be understood and respected. As a man who favors justice, equality, and freedom, I place my faith in knowledge and wisdom as the best mechanisms to lead us away from injustice, inequality, and oppression. You’re far less likely to cheat or oppress someone you know, understand, and respect. And respect is earned every single day.