This is what I ought to say to those activist types who give me dirty looks when I politely refuse to take part in their cause.

Currently, I live on a college campus. While this particular campus is not a hotbed of activism, we do enjoy the occasional rally or sit-in. Let me also say that I am receiving obscene amounts of financial aid in order to attend this private institution, although there are very many others who receive none (i.e., are inordinately wealthy).

I have watched the recent protests, and I have seen those who wear the buttons and stickers of the cause, a better wage for the university's menial employees. Some of the activists are working schmoes like me. Many of the most vocal, however, have almost certainly never worked a day in their lives. They almost certainly don't know the value of a dollar. They have no idea what they're asking for because they're still living out of Daddy's wallet.

Just because the university is wealthy doesn't mean it has to spread it around indiscriminately. It's a business, not a charity.

I consider myself to be generally liberal-minded, and I agree that the current wage is a pittance. But, certainly, these people earn more than they would at McDonald's or another form of unskilled labor. Their wage is significantly above the minimum. And, while I empathize deeply with them, my family having lived on a similar wage my entire life, I feel that skills training -- chiefly, learning English -- is more important than a higher wage.

I don't have time to campaign for skills training, though, because I need to find a job to support myself and to pay off my incredible debt. Besides, these trust fund babies have co-opted the struggle, gaining an absurdly loyal following who employ questionable tactics. Stopping secretaries from using the restroom will not make your voice heard.

If you're one of these people -- if you ask me to come to the rally this afternoon -- please don't give me a dirty look when I decline. Don't think I'm some heartless bastard who doesn't give a damn about anyone else. Just understand that your classmates weren't all born with silver spoons in their mouths, and that there are causes other than those which are fashionable among your buddies.

Also, please stop drinking Starbucks coffee during rallies. It's painfully ironic, and I'm sure you have no idea.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.