All of the low-wage workers who demonstrated in Midtown Manhattan for pay equality -- all 10 thousand of them -- should have really considered they'd be delaying multi-millionaire Alec Baldwin in his big Mercedes when they convened last week. This was, in essence, the message that was sent to the Internet when Baldwin whipped out his smartphone and live-tweeted from his stalled vehicle during the demonstration: "Life in NY is hard enough as is," Baldwin wrote in one of his tweets. "The goal is to not make it more so. How does clogging rush hour traffic from 59th St to 42 do any good?"
Baldwin has talked frequently and openly about his disgust for income equality in America -- telling Hollywood Reporter back in 2013 that he "doesn't think of himself as a wealthy person" and that he was "born to spit on Rupert Murdoch." He's advocated for wage equality in Huffington Post columns before. But hardly any of this came through in Baldwin's recent Twitter storm, in which the actor explained he felt this form of peaceful protest was just further complicating things for everyday New Yorkers:
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In a New York Times open letter to Alec Baldwin from Sunday, writer Rachel L. Swarns hilariously schools the actor, politely advising him to check his priv. Swarns responds to each and every of Baldwin's misguided tweets with a knowingly "snarky" rebuttal. To Baldwin's point of the peaceful protest "inconveniencing" New Yorkers, Swarns writes:
"The convenience factor! Now, that, Mr. Baldwin, is an issue that doesn’t get raised every day by your fellow supporters of a living wage. And it reminds me that this point rarely comes up when we consider the history of social movements in the United States: the sheer inconvenience that peaceful protests create for people who are not protesting."
Swarns concludes with a bit of advice for the actor:
"The next time you’re stuck in traffic because of a rally for a living wage, please don’t pick up your smartphone to post your complaint on Twitter. Think instead of the workers who are trying to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads. Remind yourself that if traffic is your biggest hassle on a Wednesday night in New York City, you’re probably doing just fine."