Why “I’m just not very political” is an Ignorant Statement 

Few phrases get under my skin as much as, “I’m just not very political” does.

First of all, if you don’t care about politics you’re probably incredibly privileged. If it doesn’t matter who’s in power to you, you’re probably not the one getting your rights taken away, or having to fight to have rights in the first place. Even if the majority of politics “aren’t going to effect you” you should still have an ounce of humanity in you to care about other people, and how politics might affect their lives.

Most people don’t get the choice to not be involved in politics. They have to fight for basic human rights and to continue to have the right’s they’ve already been given. Being complacent isn’t an option. Minorities having been fighting the same fight for hundreds of years, and know that they can’t back down even when they’re tired or its inconvenient.

“I’m not just that political” is such a cop-out statement. As if not caring about politics excludes you from having to care and making decisions that effect other people’s lives. For example, I know a lot of people who refused to vote in the last election because they didn’t like Trump or Hillary. Choosing not to vote does not mean that you aren’t responsible for the outcome. Voting is your civic duty, and if you are able to vote and chose not to, then you are part of the problem.

Many people who claim they “aren’t very political” seem to feel a sense of moral high ground, as if caring about politics is wrong or stupid. I think not caring about politics is wrong and stupid. Attempting to exclude yourself from politics, does not make you a better or more mature person. I would actually argue that it’s incredibly immature to not participate in politics. Hard decisions have to be made, rather you like the candidates or not, and is the last election it should not have been a hard decision. No matter what country you are a citizen of, you should always be actively trying to make it a better place. If you are lucky enough to live in a democracy, then you ought to play a part in politics, and put your ballot where your mouth is. Also, if you chose not to vote, you have no right to complain about politics. You had a chance to better our country, and instead you sat idly by being complacent.

Everyone should vote.

Everyone should care about politics.

Everyone should want to move forward and better our country.

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Where is the love?

I’m tired of seeing hate and bigotry all over the news.

I’m tired of seeing hate crimes, and racial targeting.

I’m tired of seeing innocent lives being taken, and then justice not being served.

This morning I saw a video of an altercation between a white cop and a black woman in Fort Worth, Texas. The woman had called the police after her white neighbor choked her seven year old son, because the boy didn’t pick up his trash when the neighbor told him to. The situation escalated quickly after the cop questioned why it was wrong for the man to choke her son, then he put the woman and her daughter in hand cuffs, and threw the mom on the ground. Let that sink in. This cop looked a mother in her eyes and asked why is was wrong for her child to be choked, and then put her in handcuffs. While in the end (as far as I’ve seen) the cop didn’t shoot or injure anyone, unlike many cases of police brutality that have taken place this year, he still sent a clear message to not only this family, but all of America, that black lives don’t matter, and white people are allowed to terrorize and abuse minorities.

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Now these incidents of police brutality aren’t new; the news is only now beginning  to cover these stories. Every week, if not everyday, there is a new hate crime being committed by officers and every day people towards minorities in America. I don’t think all law enforcement is bad, but this past year I have seen more harm than good.  Police officers are power hungry, and their go to emotions are often hatred and hostility. Every experience I’ve ever had with a cop as a white woman in America has been negative. We aren’t adequately training our officers, and they are becoming “trigger happy,” and killing innocent black people left and right, and then not being indicted. How are police officers supposed to “keep us safe” if they are a huge part of the problem?

I will never know what it is like to be black in America, but I do know I am terrified every time I see a cop car, and I can’t imagine the kind of anxiety minorities must feel. Police officers are afraid of black people, due to their own racism and bigotry, and in return black people are often afraid of police officers because cops are killing their friends, family members, and neighbors unjustly. Black lives matter. I will never understand how someone can respond to that statement with, “no, all lives matter!” Saying black lives matter does not negate the fact that everyone’s life has value. It simply states that black lives do matter, are important (especially right now), and it is a movement for racial equality.

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Where is the love? And why are we letting our fellow Americans get murdered? We are all human, and race, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, class, or age shouldn’t change how we treat one another. The amount of racism in America shakes me to my core, and I will never understand the hatred in some peoples hearts. Everyone deserves love, respect, and equality.  As cheesy as it may be, I really love the Black Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?”

“But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah”

Why has it been okay to discriminate against one another? Since our new President is being inaugurated soon, I believe the American people need to band together for the greater good, instead of continuing this great divide. Fighting one another will only cause more harm, and so far it’s getting us no where. Every life has value, and black people deserve to be treated justly and have the same rights as every white man. I want to live in a world where we are all equal, and bigotry isn’t tolerated

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Love your neighbor as yourself, and treat everyone with respect. Do no harm, and fight for others rights. I want to see more white people calling out injustices, and less innocent people being killed.  We may say “liberty and justice for all,” but I have yet to see a society in which that is true.

Lots of Love to Everyone,

Alyssa

 

P.S. This somehow got deleted and I had to write it again. It was better the first time, but I hope you still enjoy it.