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Politics and Activism

You Cannot Afford To Be Apolitical Right Now

We're hurting. And we need to fix it ourselves.

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You Cannot Afford To Be Apolitical Right Now

We are hurting.

The past month has seen some unspeakable things, both in our United States and around the world. There have been horrible, mindless tragedies, and there has been so much controversy and debate surrounding them that many of us can hardly bear to open their browsers or turn on the television. From the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and confirmation of Kavanaugh to another innocent black man being killed in his own home to Trump's latest tweet attacking women, it's incredibly difficult to watch all of these things unfold and not shut yourself off. However, shutting yourself away from the discourse can further the problems we face; pretending it doesn't exist or closing your eyes to it doesn't mean it isn't there. Seeing the hurt, pain, loss, agony and anger that the tragedies cause the communities of the people involved makes my heart twist.

As a middle class, cisgender, able-bodied white person, I have a certain amount of privilege that allows me to feel safe most of the time. I cannot pretend that I know how it feels to be systematically oppressed simply for factors of my personhood that I cannot control. However, as a fellow citizen – a fellow human being — I can and will always give my full support and empathy to those who have been and are affected by the senseless tragedies the world has seen of late. I try my best to understand my privilege.

What I implore you to understand is that "staying away from politics," "being sick of all the negativity," and "not being one for discussing these things" is privilege in action.

Your privilege allows you to live a non-political everyday life.

Your race, your socioeconomic class, your physical ability, your gender, your sexual orientation, etc. allow you to live without being a target of violent bigotry, of everyday attacks, of deportation, of family separation, of living in constant fear, because your life and your safety and your well-being are not at stake.

Obviously, this is problematic for many reasons, but in my opinion, the main issue is because this continues the cycle of violence. The only way to prevent these issues is to attempt to understand. People cannot always easily get inside the heads of people and communities who have had different experiences — either in one lifetime or throughout history — simply because they have never attempted to. This gets worse as time passes. The more set in their ways people are, the more difficult it becomes to remove them from their own headspace in order to see the world from a different set of eyes.

It is difficult and it is exhausting to talk about issues of oppression every day - in other words, we get it - "getting political" is hard work and it is uncomfortable sometimes. But remember - your temporary discomfort in talking about and advocating for the people who have been disenfranchised throughout history is nothing compared to what they face every single day.

People are literally fighting for their lives. You might not see it, but that's your privilege blinding you. I advise you — no, I urgeyou to try your best to understand the struggles and the strife of those different from you. Do not dismiss acts of violence against any community. Do, however, make an effort to show your support for those who may not have a strong voice of their own, especially if the reason is for something they cannot control.

Now, while I have your attention: REMEMBER TO VOTE. Find voting information for your state here. Let's take our country back.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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