I’ve talked several times this last year about my difficulty in reaching out to friends and family with conservative views, and how I can’t get over their use of alternative facts and reality. I’ve had several more conversations with folks lately about reaching across party lines, and taking another look at why I have trouble connecting with the Trump supporters in my life. Even saying that maybe I should find some conservatives who aren’t my family or friends that maybe I’m not so emotionally attached to, and allow myself to have a conversation where I do not get so angry.
Over the last two weeks I’ve put a lot more thought into it, and I’ve come back around to the “fuck no” position. I refuse to feel like I have to meet these people half way, on issues that are so important, and that I have to discuss things that aren’t real, made up, and rooted purely in racism and hatred. The reason I’m getting emotional isn’t because I’m talking to friends and family, I’m getting emotional because I care about these issues, and I care about reality. I care about facts, science, and other human beings. I’m not going to give the other side the legitimacy in their believes by meeting them half way. I’m sorry, I’m just not–they can fuck off.
What I will do, is spend more time reaching out to people of color, different religions, and from other countries. I will spend time sitting down with marginalized people who are impacted by the negative policies of the current administration and their supporters. I will spend time listening to people who do not look and think like me, who are not currently part of the white supremacy nationalism that is taking hold in America. I will not be meeting this damaging nationalist movement halfway. I don’t care what economic agenda they say is more important. I’m going to focus purely on a human agenda, which is much more important than the whispers of capitalism and the 1% who are benefitting today. The economy and tax breaks do not get priority over treating people like their are human beings–it doesn’t work this way in my world.
I do not feel like the path forward involves finding compromise between the Democratic and Republican parties, especially when the current crop of Republicans have demonstrated that they will give up so much just so they can have their racist agenda. This desire for compromise amongst the ruling parties has gotten us into the bad situation we find ourselves in. I will not be reaching across the aisle, I will be working to reach out and listen to the people negatively impacted by our white male dominated reality. I will stop taking leadership positions, and support women and people of color taking the lead. I will not meet hatred halfway. I will not meet racism halfway. I will not support capitalism halfway. I’m tired of meeting halfway, only to see so many other people get left behind. The call to meet the other side halfway is a distraction, a siren call from the machine that benefits me, and keeps other people down.
The demands to work with the other side are about finding compromise to maintain the current white supremacy machine. I’m done. It doesn’t matter if “they” refuse to see the racism this represents, and are in support of. It doesn’t make it go away. I don’t care if I’m called uncivil and unfriendly. I’m just being uncivil to a group of people who’ve embraced hatred, and refuse to acknowledge that other humans who do not look like them are equal. I’d rather reach out to the people they are so willing to leave behind, and refuse to see. I feel like conversations around reaching out between the white people in control are about maintaining the status quo. I’d rather reach out to those who are under-represented, and support people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to speak up. Us white men need to step back, and support a new generation of leaders. It is clear that we can’t govern without just maintaining the same awfulness we have since the beginning of time.
I’m done with the ignorance. I’m done with the fear. I’m done with the lies and made up history. It sounds damaging to shun “the other side”, but until we bring everyone to the table and give them a voice, I think it is what has to occur. I trust my heart, and I’m tired of having my emotions intentionally stirred by conservatives who enjoy taunting liberals, and hating on people of color. I won’t be accused of gaslighting when I’m only talking about the damage their fear of world, racism, anti-semitism, and doomsday lies have inflicted. I feel it will take a generation or two of healing before the right in this country will be taken seriously again. For me, I’m not sure I will ever fully be able to heal and forgive after this election, until I see people of color truly given a voice–which I only hope will happen in my lifetime.