Being Neutral Hurts Victims of Oppression
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Among every new, horrific policy or event of injustice lies the same crowd deciding that neutrality is somehow a solution. Marginalized communities and their allies are often told they need to remain civil, or "agree to disagree," when confronting people who support beliefs and policies that dismiss their lives and experiences. This is a common form of gaslighting: a method of mental abuse used on victims of oppression and/or traumatic experiences, with the intent of belittling their experiences by attempting to alter information in order to favor the oppressor, or make the victims question their own memory/perception by providing false information. This method often takes the shape of comments such as: "you are childish if you can't remain friends or disown relatives with different opinions," in which the term 'opinion' is used very carelessly in the defense of policies and beliefs that negatively affect marginalized communities.

Let it be known that it is completely okay to choose not to remain in contact with people who have beliefs or support policies can are harmful to the marginalized communities you or some of your friends/family are a part of.

While there are definitely ideas that are minor enough to remain neutral on and consider both sides, majority of the times where neutrality is presented are times where taking sides is vital to the protection of communities that are at risk of being hurt.

Examples of people with dangerous and/or harmful beliefs include, but definitely are not limited to:

People supporting electroshock therapy for the LGBT+ community.

People who allow the sick to go without treatment due to the inability to afford or lack access to proper care.

People who support the exploitation of immigrants in strawberry fields while being denied the tax returns and Social Security benefits that they pay billions of dollars into annually.

People who support the separation and therefore destruction of families at the border, or due to deportation from offenses as small as a tail light being out (and being illegally denied their legal rights to both a trial and information while detained). Most immigrants, undocumented or not, do not see a judge before they are deported, which is illegal in the court of law.

People who support the defunding and deprivation of updated, diverse education in public schools.

People who support adoption agencies' refusal of same-sex couples, single parents, and non-Christians while simultaneously supporting laws taking away women's reproductive healthcare rights, as well as taking away comprehensive sex education in schools.

People who support not allowing parents to have adequate maternity leave (6-8 weeks or longer), while also not supporting raising the minimum wage so working parents can support their families.

The list of inhumane and unfair beliefs and policies toward marginalized communities is absolutely endless. Though yes, it is possible to acknowledge the views of others, they are under no obligation to be respected. As soon as the opinions of you or others involve oppression, which includes hate speech and revoking the rights of entire communities of people, then those 'opinions' automatically become void. Dismissing the existence of entire groups of people will never be something that should be defended by 'free speech.' Also, it is important to remember that while everyone has the right to free speech through the First Amendment, it does not protect anyone from repercussions when spouting oppressive and harmful viewpoints.

To reiterate, please remember that you do not have a moral obligation to stay in contact with people, whether they be friends or family, who hold toxic ideologies that are harmful to you, people you love, or even people you don't know but still wish to protect their communities from oppression. To any readers who belong to any marginalized communities, whether they be LGBT+, Latinx, people of color, lower class or working class, etc., just know that I see you, I hear you, and to some: I am you.

Protect yourselves and the wellbeing of your communities before protecting the feelings of people who support your oppression.

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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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