The Sentinel

I Am Starting a Protest

Carlotta LaNier at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Carlotta LaNier at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Megan Trainor, Staff Writer

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I have decided to start a protest.

I do not, however, know very much about putting together a protest and my use of social media is shaky at best but I’ll try. I’ll stand with a sign slung around my neck and hollow chants falling on deaf ears but it is worth a try. I am inspired by Carlotta Walls LaNier, who recently came to campus, stood on the Arrupe stage and said “If there was a protest every day I would be okay with that.”

So this one is for LaNier and the bravery that it took to walk into Little Rock Central High School every day to get that diploma. She was the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine that attempted to desegregate the Arkansas school system in 1957. When she came to Rockhurst University on Feb. 22 she left the crowd speechless and with a few pieces of advice.

First, go into education or go into politics because those are fields where the most change can be enacted. Second, if you don’t like the way something is, change it. Finally, she told us to be proud of where we come from and to protect it. Our land was made for all of us.

The same day that LaNier spoke at Rockhurst, U.S. President Donald Trump revoked transgender bathroom guidelines set by the Obama administration. The guidelines directed public schools to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identified with the most, rather than the sex with which they were born.  House Bill 2 (HB2) also went over creating statewide consistently in regulation of employment and public accommodations.

Transgender people are 41 percent more likely to commit suicide in their lifetime as opposed to the 4.6 percent of the general public according to vocative.com. There are kids all over the nation who now feel the world is more dangerous for them to come out and be okay with themselves.

LaNier encouraged us to go into education or politics because that is where the most change is enacted. I am not going into education or politics, but I am going into writing. I am starting my protest today to stand up and speak out about all the people in the closet and all those who have stepped out.

I’m going to start a protest to protect refugees, immigrants, and their children. I’m also going to start a protest that everyone should be able to get a puppy — but that one will come in about four years, after the bigger problems have been addressed.

People before me have protested by themselves and in groups, to change the things in this world that left a sour taste in their mouths. Perhaps I am just following in their footsteps, but as a famous quote states, “Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.”

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I Am Starting a Protest