The Right to Disagree – the Foundations of American Democracy

This Sunday, an Appalachian State University student and activist, Anna Marie Wright, was arrested for protesting near the location of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Anna was charged with carrying a weapon and wearing a mask in public, which you have to read this little news article to see how ludicrous this is (High Country Press).  While it is not clear what Anna’s participation was about, why is that the United States treats its public like they live in Egypt, Syria, or Libya? It seems we again find ourselves at a crossroads of double standards for this great Democracy we have expected to spread like fire across this world. Certainly, whether Anna was a threat or not, she has a right to disagree and express her grievances to any government or its members who do not serve her or her country’s needs. In fact, in order for a democracy to achieve its goals of freedom and justice for all it has to allow people to have a voice, whether it is wrong or right in the majority’s eyes. How is what Anna doing any different than Tea Party representatives who sit on Capital Hill? I know – she didn’t have the backing of thousands of people but would she if her voice is heard? I commend Anna for becoming politically active in a country filled with complacent citizens, particularly young adults. I hope ASU can think about how this action was something they encouraged and not punish her because isn’t a liberal education about creating free thinkers who try to challenge the world and find solutions that help with tomorrow?


About lippardcd

Assistant Professor of Sociology at Appalachian State University.
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