Dear White Liberals, Whose Lives Are We Marching For?

Dear White Liberals, Whose Lives Are We Marching For?

An open letter to the white liberals who can afford to disarm.
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Since 2016, violence in its many forms (police violence, hate crimes, domestic terrorism, war) has been at the forefront of people's minds.

But one stands out among the rest - school shootings. The school shooting is a uniquely American tragedy which has inspired enough outrage, sadness, and fear to deserve the attention it gets. But rather than address the problems at the root* of the school shooting, we as a nation have chosen to ignore this in favor of disarming every person of color, every woman, every member of the LGBTQIA community who doesn't have the privilege of disarmament, of trusting the police with their lives. Once again, white privilege has won the day and the most "progressive" and "brave" movements of our time exist only to uphold the state monopoly on violence.

Before delving into why liberals have betrayed marginalized and oppressed peoples yet again, let's address how conservatives have betrayed basic human decency yet again. No, the Parkland kids are not "crisis actors." Yes, you are a scumbag for suggesting that is the case. Also, they're not communists. Moving on...

Liberals, I'm talking to you directly now, specifically you white liberals, you are and have always been the worst enemy of marginalized communities.

Martin Luther King Jr. himself has said so. You'd know this if you weren't so busy whitewashing the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.

A black man, a father, was shot dead in his grandmother's backyard holding a cell phone. His name was Stephon Clark. Who's marching for his life? Who's marching for Trayvon Martin's life? Who's marching for Tamir Rice's life? Who's marching for Aiyana Jones' life? Admittedly, there are a few people marching for their lives, mostly people of color. But where's their air time? Where are their interviews? When black kids said "never again" they weren't heroes. They didn't get on the cover on Time Magazine. They got tear gas and rubber bullets.

And as more and more Black Lives Matter leaders are being assassinated, where are all the white liberals demanding an end to the violence? As the FBI begins prosecuting "black identity extremists", where are the white "progressives" demanding justice? Because we all know it's not "black identity extremists" who are shooting up schools. It's white men. But white liberals can't touch that; that'd be a challenge to their white privilege. They can pay lip service to it, on some level they understand that something inherent in white identity is violent, but their liberal ideology, the same ideology of the conservatives, will not allow them to do anything which is against their best interests as whites.

This is not the first time this has happened. Gun control has always had a racist history. It was the Black Panther Party which made Ronald Reagan pro-gun control while he was governor of California. And, as a white man, he should have been afraid. That was a direct threat to his white privilege. The Black Panthers weren't going to hand in their weapons to the same police, the same government, which threw them into concrete cotton plantations, which beat and killed them in the streets like animals. They were demanding and asserting their liberty.

Calls to disarm civilians but not the police and the military are efforts only to address the violence which affects you white liberals personally. You were fine with Obama's Shadow War. You're fine with a militarized police force. Why is arming the citizenry, the people of color, the women, the queers, and the workers, the line not to be crossed?


*Note to Reader: I have wanted to do an article about the underlying causes of mass shootings (addressing race, gender, etc.) for a while but never got around to it. Every time I was about to I thought: “the timings not right, wait until the next mass shooting.”

It's absolutely horrific how certain everyone I know and I are that, yes, there will be more violence in schools and, no, we won't even be shocked by it. It's expected now; just as we expect America to pursue endless war (whether we hear about it or not) and cops to keep killing unarmed people of color (whether we hear about it or not).

We are a sick nation which refuses to look itself in the mirror and address reality.

Violence will continue until we recognize that we are a colonial nation founded on violence and perpetuated by violence and choose to do something about it at the expense of our own privilege. Gun control is but a band-aid on the open wound that is colonial and imperial domination both at home and abroad.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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