A protest is not a temper tantrum

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people refer to a protest with which they disagree as a “temper tantrum.”

An example of this is a recent opinion piece describing the Freedom Convoy as a “mass temper tantrum” (via Instagram).

First of all, I’m not sure why this columnist decided to point out that the convoy “won’t end the pandemic.” The goal of the protest isn’t to end the pandemic; it’s to end government policies that violate people’s rights. By pointing out that a pro-freedom protest won’t end the pandemic, this columnist is (falsely) presuming the truth of what they are trying to prove, namely that ending the pandemic is the only thing that matters, that no goals other than ending the pandemic might possibly exist, and that anything that does not contribute towards ending the pandemic is purposeless. 

Second and more importantly, how exactly is a protest a “mass temper tantrum”? The fact that a particular person does not agree with a protest does not make that protest a temper tantrum. A temper tantrum is a specific thing, not simply any protest with which someone disagrees. The fact that someone would use this term to characterize a protest against government policies that take away people’s rights to make their own medical decisions is absolutely despicable. It is also hypocritical, because somehow I doubt that any of those calling the Freedom Convoy a “temper tantrum” used the same words to describe the BLM riots during which people violently destroyed irreplaceable works of art because a police officer killed someone who happened to be black (a situation in which the phrase “temper tantrum” would be a lot more appropriate).

The practice of calling a protest with which one disagrees a “temper tantrum” needs to end yesterday. It is completely unacceptable, and anyone who does it should be immediately fired.

(By the way, with regards to the member of the Freedom Convoy who was photographed holding a Confederate flag, I agree with the Virginia Flaggers, who wrote that the flag is “a universal symbol of rebellion against tyranny.”)