An Open Letter to HB Regarding The Internet

By Jasmine Hanna-Funk

Friends,

As a leader in SWAG, I was hoping to offer you hope for a better future, and I have been disappointed. The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Net Neutrality.

To those who have hope, hope is work. As Deray McKesson has said, “the theory along will not get us free,” and many are “in love with the idea of resistance instead of the work of resistance.” If you’re hoping for a resolution, you have to work for one.

To those who want to be angry, you can be angry. You can scream and shout and stomp your feet, but do not mistake anger and passion for work. There’s something romantic and compelling about powerful protesting, but remember the work protests arise from. Most of that work comes from readers and writers and thinkers– before it’s cool.

To those who have ignored us, we ask you to think for a moment. Think about the opportunities you’ve had to resist, think about the reasons why you haven’t this time. Think about the reasons you’ll have the next time, and whether you want there to be a next time.

We’ve fought for net neutrality not because we have extra time on our hands, or we’re trying to ruin your day with bad news, or we think we’re better activists than anyone else. We’ve fought because this affects all of us directly and as alumna Delani Hughes said last year, “No one ever made any change by remaining silent. Every big change starts with little, loudmouth people at the bottom who were too stubborn and determined to walk away from the battle. This is what it means to leave a legacy.”

The fight is not over, the FCC has around 60 days to implement their repeal, and the Democratic Party has made plans to file suit against Ajit Pai and the rest of the opposition to Net Neutrality.

Do not mistake party involvement as an indication of a partisan issue. Everyone uses the internet, and now is not the time to divide ourselves down the aisle.

Respectfully,

Jasmine Hanna-Funk

Co-Leader of the Out-of-School Activism section of the School Wide Activist Group