Can We Afford To Not Be Political?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Can We Afford To Not Be Political?

Teen Vogue, Jeff Sessions, and millennials.

Can We Afford To Not Be Political?
Comedy Central

A few weeks ago, I was on a radio show, discussing a recent article I had written. The article was about my experience in a College Republicans meeting and my surprise at how much I enjoyed it. One of the radio DJs asked me if I had always been interested in politics, and I answered that my interest was largely spurred by the recent election. Politics began intersecting in pop culture—my usual topic of dissection—with a frequency that was difficult to ignore.

And, I added, as a gay person, it’s difficult to remain unpolitical. When your rights as an American are fodder for Congress and religious organizations, you almost have no choice but to be political.

On campus, I’ve noticed a major uptick in the amount of political discussion. Less and less people are deferring to the “I’m just not that political” defense. I’ve had conversations with people about Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. When before would two college students discuss anyone with a name like "Gorsuch" or know how the Supreme Court nominations work?

What I think people are beginning to realize is that we no longer have the option of being un-political. College students were up-in-arms over Bernie Sanders. They reacted strongly to the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary. Why? Because we’re in school and these things affect us.

Everyone was so surprised when Teen Vogue became the ultimate voice of reason with Lauren Duca’s “gaslighting” article about Donald Trump. And recently Elaine Welteroth and Phillip Picardi from Teen Vogue were on Trevor Noah’s show.

Noah remarked on the strangeness of Teen Vogue coming on to talk about politics. Picardi pointed out that young people are incredibly civically involved at this moment, and Teen Vogue reflects that.

“To tell a teenager that she should stick to lip gloss, when she’s being directly impacted by policies,” said Picardi, “and they’re directly affecting her lifestyle and the lifestyle of those around her is frankly irresponsible.”

One moment that felt politically crucial to me was a few months ago. It was the confirmation hearings of Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General. He was lamenting the amount of deaths from gun violence.

And in the wake of the Orlando massacre—the largest number of gun-related deaths and a hate crime on a massive scale—to hear a Republican senator bemoan those deaths for his political gain, when the GOP blocked any measures of gun control, made me angry. It made me angrier than anything had in a long time.

I was not personally involved the massacre, nor was I directly affected, but as a queer person, it’s impossible not to be heartbroken by the stories that came out of that massacre. And so to hear a senator of our government robotically talking about the tragedies of gun violence, when he and his colleagues blocked any gun control measures proved something to me.

There is a massive disconnect between the machinations of higher-up government and the people on the ground. And if we do nothing, if we let our voices go silent, then we prove that we are not worthy of consideration. Because the people in government can use our tragedy as political ploys, can bemoan gun violence while refusing to consider any change. Because while we might be interested in pop culture and music, our bodies are under consideration. Our freedoms are up for grabs. Our futures are being toyed with.

You can’t afford to be apolitical, and I think people are realizing that.

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

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

Kinder Self - Eyes

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

Maybe don't try them all in one day...

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

My 21st birthday is finally almost here. In honor of finally turning 21, I thought I'd share 21 fun drinks since it's finally legal for me to drink them.

Some of these drinks are basic, but some of them are a little more interesting. I thought they all looked pretty good and worth trying, so choose your favorites to enjoy at your big birthday bash!

Keep Reading...Show less

Ancient Roman Kings: 7 Leaders of Early Rome

The names and dates of the reigns of the first four kings, as well as the alternation of Sabin and Latin names, are more legendary than historical. The last three kings, of Etruscan origin, have an existence which seems less uncertain.

inside ancient roman building
Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

It is evident that all this is only a legend although archeology shows us little by little that these kings if they did not exist as the ancient history, describes them, have at least in the very Outlines were real as chief of a shepherd’s tribe. The period when kings ruled Rome could estimate at 245 years.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments