We have all heard someone say this. A person "doesn't get involved in politics." Often there is a "but" after this sentence, followed by an interjection of an opinion. This can also be used to say that they are not educated enough on topics so they do not have an opinion.
But not being involved in politics is not an excuse anymore.
I am not trying to belittle anyone who doesn't know much about politics nowadays. I understand that the evening news is depressing and you would much rather turn off the talk shows for peace of mind. Good for you that you are able to block out the news and retreat away from the horrors of the modern political climate. You have not been personally touched by politics.
So many people nowadays do not get to say that.
Those who have been affected by gun violence cannot turn off the television and forget about those they have lost. Immigrants cannot claim to "not be involved in politics" when they are fighting to not be deported. Women who want abortions check the news every day to see if their right to their bodies has been taken away via the state legislature.
If you have not experienced a threat to your safety, well-being, or otherwise, then congratulations. You are privileged. You are not involved in politics because no one has it out for you.
Many groups of us are privileged in one way or another. Whether it is wealth, gender, race, mental health, or other. Being privileged is the opposite of being marginalized. Those who are marginalized are targeted every day, whether you see it or not. If you are not involved in politics, you are not being targeted by some combination of privilege.
In this political climate, there is no turning your back on the obvious anymore. Everyone is aware of what is going on. Strangers on the street know that people are in cages at the Mexican-American border. Friends and neighbors know that there are mass shootings almost daily in the United States. Those who have their fundamental human rights taken away want those who are privileged to see them and help them. The only way to correct injustices is for those in power to listen to and help those who were wronged.
You may ask yourself how you can help. You can always have conversations with those around you. Share knowledge and challenge opinions. And never forget that election season is coming up. Many of the politicians that control your life want you to be "not involved" in politics. They are counting on you to be an uneducated, complacent voter. Prove them wrong.
Recently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted a quote that inspired me and I hope will inspire many others. Desmond Tutu once said, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."